Getting Creative with Pass Sales in Light of Consumer Spending Fears during COVID-19
May 27th, 2020
Chances are your resort is rethinking how it’s going to approach season pass sales this year given COVID-19. Consumer spending may be tight, and creative strategies to both summer and winter business may be necessary to entice customer commitment.
In our conversations with resorts and industry leaders, the following strategies have emerged as themes to enable pass sales despite consumer uncertainty. We want to provide practical steps and clear up any questions around what is and isn’t available to your resort on the Aspenware Commerce platform.
Creative Pass Sales Strategies
Offer flexible payment options for passes.
Allow guests to lock in early discounts and defer payments while still committing through payment plans or subscription options.
- Allow guests to pay $50 down and pay the rest later for their season pass.
- Offer a single lump sum payment plan payment or defer them over many months.
- Offer subscription-based products, allowing guests to pay month-to-month, possibly requiring a minimum number of months before they can cancel.
Aspenware Capabilities: RTP Payment Plan Integration, Siriusware Payment Plan Integration, Aspenware Commerce Payment Plan Plugin, Aspenware Commerce Subscription Plugin.
Reward loyal pass/pack holders.
Provide special pass deals or added incentives to 19/20 pass/pack holders.
- Allow previous 4 pack holders to get a bonus 5th day for the same price as a standard 4 pack,
- Offer complimentary transferrable tickets 19/20 pass holders can redeem online next season.
- Offer any pass sold to 19/20 pass holders at $X or X% off.
Aspenware Capabilities: Linked Products (Pass Renewal), Customer Validation Procedures, Discount Codes, Hidden Categories
Provide incentives to guests whose seasons were cut short.
- Give previous pass holders whose season was cut short access to free or steeply discounted products.
- Instead of refunds to 19/20 pass holders, automatically generate vouchers for $X value that can be redeemed for 20/21 season passes. Vouchers can be viewed and printed in My Account.
- Offer 20/21 passes discounted amounts for 19/20 season pass holders who skied less than 10 days in 19/20.
- Offer discounted lessons or programs to previous pass holders
Aspenware Capabilities: Linked Products (Pass Renewal), Customer Validation Procedures, View/Print Vouchers in My Account, Pay with Payment Value Vouchers
Reward guests who complete payment plan payments on time.
- Offer free or discount lift ticket vouchers upon on-time payment plan completion.
- Enable bigger rewards for guests who pay early using Aspenware Payment Plans “Pay Now” option.
Aspenware Capabilities: Aspenware Payment Plan Plugin
Provide creative pass/frequency card models for guests who may not want to commit to a pass.
- Offer a frequency product where guests commit to and pay for one to several days of skiing during the initial pass sales period, then enable them to later unlock discounted lift tickets for additional days during the 20/21 season. Optional Direct to Lift or redeem discounted days online.
- Offer scaled back, cheaper versions of passes where high demand days are excluded
Aspenware Capabilities: Customer Validation Procedures, Linked Products (Pass Renewal), Reload, Add-ons, Dynamic Packaging
Added benefits to Pass Holders who buy early.
- Offer free or discounted pass protection/flexibility for pass holders who buy early and possibly extend insurance policy to include loss of job scenarios.
- Offer pass add-on products at a lower rate for pass holders, allow pass holders to upgrade their passes at a later date if they choose to buy a more restrictive/cheaper pass earlier.
Aspenware Capabilities: Add Ons, Dynamic Packaging, Linked Products (Pass Renewal), Customer Validation Procedures
The Aspenware Commerce platform has tools and features to help enable the strategies above and likely other ideas already being discussed at your resort. Some capabilities depend on the combination of 1) the credit provider in Aspenware 2) your POS system, and 3) the credit provider in the POS system, so within each capability, there may be restrictions, but if one of these capabilities is especially interesting to you please talk to your Aspenware service representative soon. Below is a quick summary of all of the Aspenware Capabilities that could be especially helpful during this time:
RTP Payment Plans – Credit card data synced from Aspenware Commerce to RTP. Guest enrolled in RTP Payment Plan that will be charged and managed with RTP|ONE.
Siruisware Payment Plans – Credit card data synced from Aspenware Commerce to Siriusware. Guest enrolled in Siriusware Payment Plan that will be charged and managed with Siriusware.
Aspenware Payment Plan Plugin – Payment plan administered, schedule managed, and payments executed in Aspenware Commerce. My Account section where guests can view, change credit cards, and “Pay Now”. Credit data does not need to be synced to RTP. Supported with RTP|ONE.
Customer Validation Procedures – Aspenware Commerce can leverage RTP Customer Validation Procedures to enable offering special products only to guests who meet certain criteria (products purchased, access profiles, age, days skied, years loyal… short to say there’s a ton of opportunity here). Guests do not have to enter codes as these are validated on Customer Assignment in checkout. Aspenware can help and quickly turn around such validation procedures.
Aspenware Subscriptions Plugin – Popular for year-round products, subscriptions, a newly released feature, enables charging guests an ongoing monthly subscription fee for each month that they are enrolled. RTP access can be automatically adjusted based on enrollment status. Aspenware Commerce handles monthly charges, removes and adds hotlists automatically, sends guests notifications of their monthly payment success or failure, and enables guests to update their credit cards in My Account. Supported with RTP|ONE.
Linked Products (Pass Renewal) – Linked products enable RTP resorts to offer “special” and restricted products to only guests who have a specific access profile(s) on their account. This is most commonly used to sell pass holders from a previous year this year’s passes at a cheaper rate or with added benefits. Utilized RTP|ONE Product Component Link functionality.
Add Ons – Sell additional products alongside season passes for discounted prices compared to when they are purchased alone. Add-ons can be set up to be cheaper and only available if a guest packages it with a bigger ticket item, like a pass. Add ons can even be free of charge if you want to better highlight the fact that add ons are included with the pass purchase, set up added benefit products as pre-selected add on that sell separate products.
Dynamic Packaging – The ability to use attributes to allow more variations and selections of pass products allows resorts to offer guests more customized pass options, so they can find one that best fits their needs and desires without getting lost thumbing through various product pages.
Vouchers in My Account – If you issue vouchers to specific guests, or include vouchers as an added benefit of pass purchases, these can be immediately viewed in the My Account section of the shop. RTP Payment Value vouchers can be used for payment and RTP Product Vouchers can be redeemed in checkout.
Alternate RTP Payments (Gift Cards, Stored Value, Payment Value Vouchers) – RTP Payment Value Vouchers, Stored Value, and Gift Cards can be used as payment. Gift cards can be bought through the shop and also can be used to pay for products online.
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