By Steve Thomas, CTO, Omnico Group
When you run a theme park, is there ever a right time to upgrade your point-of-sale (POS) technology? The answer is a definite YES and the time is now.
There has never been a more pressing time for parks to upgrade their POS systems. A combination of powerful forces is putting POS technology at the centre of theme park and resort operations in a way never seen before. Firstly, competition is about to intensify as the number of parks increases and secondly, a new, more tech-savvy generation is flooding through the gates with a different set of expectations.
No longer is POS about fixed tills and long queues. Today’s visitor expects to have access to multiple channels (kiosks, online, mobile POS, apps, self-scan, etc), and they expect their transaction to seamlessly link to the rest of their interactions with your brand. As an operator, you need to stay ahead by ensuring your guest experience is as captivating and profitable as possible.
This expansion of choice for consumers, which includes a growing number of new destinations in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East particularly, is meeting the demand from growing middle classes who expect parks to make their visits almost completely hassle-free. These smartphone-addicted consumers want technology to bring them the same advantages inside the boundaries of a park as they enjoy outside in their daily lives.
In this new context, how can any park sustain success unless it has a solution that allows visitors to use their mobile devices (or any other channel they choose) for everything from booking rides, experiences and accommodation, to ordering and paying for food, beverages and merchandise?
Enabling mobile payments and engagement is essential. Right across the world, the uptake of personal devices being used to make payments is growing rapidly. Nearly 72% of all online sales in China, for example, are now made via a mobile device according to eMarketer, while payment app AliPay has 450 million users as of April 2017, and WeChat has more than 900 million users every month. Parks which are not able to take payment through these channels will struggle to address their audience.
Yet is not just about smartphones – other advances are entering the market and parks must have their systems prepared to integrate them and realise the rewards. Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) applications are becoming integrated in the customer experience at the point-of-sale. AI is also opening the door to dynamic, personalised pricing and smart engagement.
These significant developments mean your POS and guest engagement systems need to be streamlined and adaptable, ready to embrace new technologies and increase your share of the revenue. They need to be joined up across your destination so guests can interact in any way the choose and have a consistent experience every time.
To lead in your field, you must be ready to offer the latest in payment channels and technology, and to integrate every advance in digital solutions into your POS and customer engagement system seamlessly.
Omnico solutions support every aspect of the visitor’s experience, from a consistent interface no matter when or how or what they purchase, to revenue generating digital solutions such as self-scan, order ahead, kiosks, loyalty programs, personalised promotions, smart engagement and entitlements (e.g. pay ahead meal and drinks packages). We make the guest experience a seamless one, that offers operators multiple opportunities to boost revenues.
During these times of rapid technological development, it’s time to make sure your destination is ready to not only keep up, but get ahead and enjoy the revenue gains that these solutions offer.