Attraction Wins 5: Unlock Extra Revenue with Upsells

July 8, 2024

It’s a constant challenge to keep revenues growing amidst the cost-of-living crisis, while also maintaining profit levels with ever-increasing costs. However, with strategic upsells, you can unlock additional revenue and make this season your most successful yet.

Fundamentally, customers decide whether to purchase based on perceived value. This perception is linked to their prior experiences and how much they paid for similar experiences.

For instance, if you have an open-air film screening event, customers might compare your price with that of a typical cinema ticket. If your event is more special, you need to showcase compelling content, reasons, and proof to justify the extra money.

Upsells give you a way to start the core ticket price at a lower level, then bolt on extras. It’s like the low-cost airline model. Customers have both emotional and rational triggers. Emotional factors include perceived luxury, fear of missing out, or an enhanced experience. Rational triggers are related to value for money, products that save time, money, or deliver a specific service.

Pricing Techniques to Consider:

  • Anchoring: Customers tend to compare all subsequent prices to the first price they see, so be careful when deciding your headline prices.
  • Decoy Pricing: Introduce a higher value third pricing option so that the two lower-priced options look better by comparison. This ties in with anchoring and helps adjust a customer’s perception of value.
  • Pricing Ladder: Have products that appeal to different budgets, with upgrades always costing 'slightly more.' Apple excels at this with their iPhone and iPad pricing strategies, encouraging upgrades to larger storage, more recent models, or larger screens in a carefully structured pricing ladder.

Identifying Upsell Opportunities

Upsells can be applied throughout the visitor journey:

  • Pre-visit
  • During their visit
  • After their visit

Since we’re mainly considering the website, the pre-visit flow is most important. Here are the top three areas to focus on:

1. Optimise Your Sitewide Call-to-Actions and Lead Prices

Test running with the lowest price or a price more representative of a typical visit. Highlight relevant upsells in the overall site navigation and call-to-actions. Rather than a single button for tickets, consider an expander or dropdown to showcase more of the attraction's products. Use relevant packages and upsells on ad campaigns or SEO landing pages to boost conversion rates and make the pages more relevant.

2. Effective Ticket Page Layouts

Add VIP experiences or high-value tickets. Even if they only appeal to a minority, the decoy effect will make your normal prices look better by comparison. Aim for three pricing levels.

3. Value-Add Offers

A fantastic way to increase footfall and secondary spend is an upsell to a ‘Return Ticket’, or multi-visit ticket.  These are similar to Annual Passes but limit the number of visits to a particular time period or number of visits.  Customers think they’re getting a bargain plus you’d benefit from extra engagement and secondary spend.

Also, adjust pricing for your memberships to align with the demand at your attraction. An off-peak, standard, or premium model is great for generating more membership income and filling more off-peak days.

Best Practices for Implementing Upsells

5 Golden Rules for Upselling:

  1. Tie upsells to each type of product so they are relevant.
  2. Keep pricing jumps realistic and in line with typical customer budgets (a 2:3:5 ratio is generally a good rule of thumb).
  3. Broaden the number of ticket types you offer to target different customer types and fill off-peak periods.
  4. Insert upsells at logical points in the purchase journey without confusing customers.
  5. Consider having an ‘impulse’ no-brainer upsell available at the gate, like a £3 per person Kids Trail with a small prize—an easy way to generate additional revenue with minimal extra work.

Things to Avoid:

  • Avoid upselling something totally unrelated.
  • Avoid having jumps that are too big between upsell levels.
  • Avoid distracting or annoying customers with too many upsells.
  • Make sure any decoy or price changes aren’t hidden or confusing.
  • Avoid auto-opting people into upsells as that’s a sure-fire way to annoy them.

Looking for more help?

Get in touch or book a free discovery call, and we’ll be happy to discuss ideas for upsells or other ways you can optimise your website in the run-up to the summer and beyond. 

We’re always happy to help, plus why not check out our free LOOP Website Optimisation Canvas - it’s really useful to assess where you are, and work with your team to map out goals and opportunities for the future.


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