Beyond per caps: commercial metrics for visitor attractions
When it comes to analyzing visitor attraction data, per caps only tell part of the story. By diving deeper into metrics like commercial conversion rates and average order value, uncover valuable insights to improve commercial operations.
Auxiliary revenues from commercial business lines such as onsite retail or food and beverage provide an important revenue contribution and growth opportunity, even for attractions operating at capacity or market demand limits.
Per caps have become a widely used metric to measure how visitors spend onsite and the percentage contribution across commercial lines of business or even multiple commercial sites within a campus. However, per caps only provide a surface level of insight into visitor spending behavior. They’re also a sensitive Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to use when managing a commercial division, as commercial teams or third party revenue share operators don’t have control over how many visitors are onsite, or their demographic – and this metric alone lacks context.
In order to truly understand how visitors are interacting with commercial areas, attraction leaders should also look at other important metrics, such as:
- Commercial conversion rate
- In store transaction rate
- Average order value
Commercial conversion rate
By installing footfall counters in commercial areas and comparing back with visitation, attraction leaders can track what percentage of visitors enter the commercial space, how this compares between different sites on campus, how they change over time, how they’re influenced by what’s on or who’s visiting and how they correlate with other factors such as how busy the attraction is or time of day. Insights here can uncover problems such as whether crowding prevents visitors coming into the store at busy times, or whether certain demographics are less likely to shop. These data stories also support important conversations for the commercial team with other departments, for example how signage could improve visitor pathways towards commercial areas, or where pop up merchandise would be effective.
In store transaction rate
Comparing the footfall of the store to the numbers of transactions made instore then provides an interesting second level insight into what influences a visitor’s likelihood to spend, given the opportunity. A common problem that can be uncovered here is sub optimal staffing or the number of cashiers, leading to checkout queues when the store is busy that then result in lost revenue. This might be an obvious experience for the in store team – but the evidence of demonstrating this in data and the ability to quantitatively assess the opportunity cost of lost sales is a powerful tool to show the potential return of investing in higher staffing levels or other improvements.
Average order value
Lastly, by averaging the revenue against the number of transactions we understand how much visitors who are making purchases are spending. This is particularly interesting when looking at what merchandise a store is carrying, especially if this differs based on the attractions program (such as an exhibition), seasonal changes or even the weather. Again, this is an interesting one to compare back to who is visiting to see what target markets are higher spenders.
While per caps are still an important metric for measuring overall commercial performance, understanding the supporting metrics behind them is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and creating a more effective commercial strategy. In addition, by focusing on these metrics, attraction leaders can create a more comprehensive data story to share with commercial heads of department and other stakeholders, helping to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding visitor behavior and commercial performance.
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