Digital vouchers: the gift experience that keeps on giving
This article first appeared on Luxury Hospitality Magazine. You can see the original article here.
Most people can afford to buy themselves the material goods they want, so it can be difficult to find that perfect gift for someone. This is where experience gifts come in. The trend towards experience gifts can be seen in the success of companies such as Groupon or Red Letter Days and the fact that established brands like Virgin and Lastminute.com also have dedicated experience businesses.
The demand is there from consumers and hospitality businesses should capitalise on it. When done well, a gift voucher service can represent a valuable revenue stream. Millennials in particular are known to favour experiences over material things and those looking to attract this demographic do well by offering high quality experience packages.
Why vouchers matter
Many hospitality businesses such as hotels and restaurants offer vouchers for activities like afternoon tea, meals or spa treatments, but it is often an afterthought and the process might be time-intensive for staff and difficult to monetise. Those who offer experiences via an aggregator such as Groupon are also relinquishing control of important customer data that can be used to improve marketing and increase customer loyalty.
Having their own branded digital voucher service, through which customers can choose and buy vouchers on the company’s website will improve the customer purchasing experience and streamline how vouchers are produced and distributed.
When considering implementing a digital voucher system, there are three key elements it needs to include:
- A perfect fit with your brand – The customer experience should flow seamlessly from other areas of your website or app, to the voucher system.
- Light-touch input from your staff – An automated digital system will help you save time and money over one that requires significant manual interaction.
- Access to valuable customer data – The system should give you insight into the customers who are purchasing vouchers so that you can improve marketing and increase customer loyalty.
Why use Preoday
The Preoday voucher platform is white-label, so you can tailor it to the high-end look and feel of your brand. It can also adapt to any kind of experience you would like to offer – if you have multiple venues with different identities and offerings, the voucher service can be made bespoke for each one. The platform can be introduced and managed with little input from staff. Moreover, Preoday can help you evolve and grow your business by providing rich customer data.
Preoday offers a flat monthly subscription for the platform and full back-office support so that you can be secure in the knowledge that your customers have the best experience possible. If you would like to find out more about how you can open up or grow a revenue stream through vouchers, visit our website www.preoday.com or get in touch with Michael Palmiero at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Searcys story
Searcys was looking to develop its digital capabilities and identified digitising its voucher process as a way to grow the revenue stream. At that time, only one of its venues, Searcys Bath Pump Rooms, had an existing voucher system, but the process was manual, taking orders by phone or in-person. This made it inefficient and difficult to manage. The team therefore wanted to streamline the process. They were looking for a provider who could boost the Searcy’s brand by not only implementing an efficient online voucher process, increasing customer satisfaction, but also by tailoring it to each venue in order to fit seamlessly with the look and feel.
Preoday provided Searcys with an online voucher system for for nine venues including Gherkin and Blenheim Palace. The voucher offering was bespoke to each venue, including branding and a variety of experiences on offer, from postal vouchers for afternoon tea at the Bath Pump Rooms to e-vouchers for champagne experience at the Gherkin. It could be managed by each venue and the customer analytics were used to help improve the gift experience offering and its marketing.
The new system brought about a real benefit to Searcys’ business. In the first six months, the platform delivered a 147% increase in revenue in vouchers, 9% increase in average basket size and a 110% increase in order volume. It also helped position the Searcys venues as digitally astute and customer-focused.
In their own words
‘It was flexibility and ease-of-use which made Preoday’s platform a natural fit for Searcys. We were impressed by their ability to match up their platform seamlessly with our collection of iconic venues, and adapt to the diversity of our market. Preoday has responded swiftly and thoroughly to all requests; committed getting the end product just right for Searcys, and we are excited to share our vision with them for expanding our online shop even further.’
By Kerri Mcguinness, Marketing Manager at Searcys