"Ski resorts should focus on increasing online sales to keep as much information centralized as possible, keep customers satisfied, and stay ahead of the competition."
Why Ski Resorts Should Focus On Online Sales
If you are reading this it’s because you are aware that change is inevitable in order to maintain growth in the ski industry. Some of the biggest changes we have seen over the last decades have been in technology and the implementation of connected features across every ski resort department. When it comes to sales, the majority of the industry has made the transition to favoring online sales rather than in-person. However, although it was a big change, the transition is far from over. In this blog, we will lay out the greater benefits of increasing online sales for your customers and your business, as well as how we can help.
For Your Customers
Our businesses can thrive or die based on our customers’ satisfaction. Therefore, providing current and future guests with a superior customer experience from the moment they enter your website to when they leave your parking lot after a big ski day, is of the most importance.
People are getting busier and busier and are seeking convenience above all when shopping. When done right, this is how online sales can help today’s customers.
By providing an easy browsing experience
Having an online store that is easy to access and use will minimize the number of clients that visit your page and leave within a few seconds or minutes. Whether they are there to buy something or not, your website should be guiding them towards your popular items or promotions and to the checkout. It should not be a challenge for an interested customer to locate and purchase the products you are offering them.
By clearly presenting desired items and promotions
Effectively displaying and selling products online allows customers to understand the differences in the products and options. This is why it’s crucial to provide them with in-depth product descriptions and reviews so they’ll be satisfied with the purchase they make.
By reducing wait times and lineups
A skier’s dream on a powder day is to have their ticket all sorted out ahead of time and get right onto the lift, not have to go to guest services, wait in any lines, or even talk to a single employee. Having a fully integrated online store that is available 24/7, and offers direct-to-lift tickets and all other products/services, allows resorts to provide that.
By simplifying the checkout process
Say someone wants to buy a multi-day ski pass to one of their local resorts. They can easily browse through the websites of the 3 closest resorts to find the best combination of deals and online purchasing convenience.
For example, website 1 has no promotions and is a little expensive for their budget. Website 2 has a special multi-day pass promotion but the online store is down and purchases must be made in person. Then, website 3 has a big banner at the top announcing a new promotion. When clicked, a simple checkout page is presented and the customer is in and out within minutes.
As you can see in the image below, the online store of one of our clients has a clear purchasing format where you can make your profile and complete your purchase in as little as 3 minutes. All the information is registered in the system, and waivers and forms are “signed” by a simple check mark before adding the item to the cart. Then the checkout is simply payment information. This has been done using our MtnOS fully integrated mountain software system.
For your Business
Businesses are not only pursuing online sales for the sake of the customer experience but because it provides multiple advantages for them when it comes to optimizing increases in sales. Let’s walk through some of the benefits of various online sales-enhancing features.
Eliminate “business hours” and allow your customers to make purchases any hour of the day and 365 days a year. These purchases are then immediately integrated into the system. So even if someone decides to buy a ticket and rent equipment at 2 am for the next day, their ticket and information will be in the system and ready to go whenever they show up. This also helps relieve some of your hard-working staff from behind the service counters and allows them to live your resort's one-of-a-kind experience.
Automatic information exchange between the website and the rest of the resort
This integrated e-commerce platform feature also eliminates the manual entering of information from one software or database to another. Automating internal processes does not need to be a thing of the future, it is accessible right now. Linking every online purchase with an in-person product and unique customer profile will take away the risks of duplicate errors. This will also reduce the labor costs needed for managing customer and product information, inherently helping your resort manage the current labor shortage.
Modern customer service
The way customer service is executed has changed drastically over time. Automation has brought people from wanting everything to be done for them to now wanting to come in contact with as few people as possible. Hence the now common saying, “The best customer service is NO customer service”. However, this doesn’t mean leaving your customers alone. Here’s how you can still provide quality help as a resort:
Providing as much information as possible online
Being personable and inclusive with branding (tone, content, pictures, etc.)
Including the option for customers to talk to someone if needed (such as a virtual assistant, phone number, etc.).
Data gathering and usage
With the increase in traffic and sales now coming through websites, one of the greatest advantages available is the ability to collect data. From knowing where customers are coming from, what they are looking at, and how they spend their money, resorts are able to prioritize their time and efforts into the things that provide the greatest returns. A good dashboard and data collector are crucial to making better marketing and business decisions. This also includes the ability to better predict future skier traffic and therefore estimate future revenue, expenses, and staffing needs.
At Paradocs, we believe it is important that ski resorts are equipped with the necessary tools to run the most smooth and modern operations. When observing other tourism activities such as cruises and destination resorts, it is clear that the utility of online sales is ever-growing. This is where our desire to stay as innovative and ahead of the movement comes from.
How We Help
Our MtnOS system has been designed to help both resorts and their customers keep information centralized and processes streamlined throughout the entire resort. These traits are also evident when it comes to your online stores and sales.
When you partner with us, we walk you through the process of building and designing your online store. This allows you to organize and display your products in the manner of your choosing and maintain consistent branding with your colors and logos. We also provide the ability to leverage online sales to your advantage through means such as dynamic pricing and selling packages with other products such as rentals, lessons, food, etc. The ability to sell such a wide range of products from other departments is thanks to our e-commerce platform being 100% integrated with all of our other modules being used to manage the rest of the resort.
See the image below.
With all of your customer and sales information stored in one place, you won’t need to export data for reporting purposes. Our system currently offers 3 dashboards of automatically configured information to help you make better business and marketing decisions. We are also continuously developing more dashboards to help you better organize your data all from one location.
Finally, the way we help keep your customers satisfied is by using the same features that benefit your resort. By keeping all customer information stored in one system, a unique profile is created per person which can be used for future online purchases, as well as in other transactions made throughout the resort. No need to make separate accounts with snow school, ticketing, etc. Then, once they are all set up with your resort, why would they want to go anywhere else?
In summary, ski resorts should focus on increasing online sales to keep as much information centralized as possible, keep customers satisfied, and stay ahead of the competition. The modernization of the ski industry is far from over and with every step comes more ways for us to give you the tools you need to be successful.
To learn more about MtnOS, its features, and modules, click here.
Are you ready to transform your mountain?