Increase adoption of your mobile app with our quick tips

Mobile apps are proven to increase guest spend and visitor satisfaction – all you need to do is encourage guests to download yours ahead of their visit to maximise its potential.
Ellen Wilkinson
March 2022

A recurring theme in our conversations with parks of all shapes and sizes revolves around the most important metric of them all when it comes to any digital platform - adoption rate. It’s all well and good to have a fully loaded, feature rich smartphone app that generates additional revenue and enhances your guests' experience. But its success still depends on your guests wanting to adopt the platform that you’ve provided for them.

Let’s take a look at some quick wins that you can implement, to ensure that every person who visits your attraction knows you have a guest-facing app, and more importantly, understands the value of using it.

Benefits of actively driving adoption

Every time a guest downloads and uses your app, two things happen - they spend more money, and they’re more likely to leave with a smile on their faces. Our research has shown that using a guest-facing app can increase average transaction values by as much as 42%, and on average our customers see an 11% increase in their NPS after launch.

It’s not just about the revenue potential. Guests don’t want to spend time queueing, or wandering around trying to figure out what to eat and what to do - they want to enjoy memorable experiences and squeeze every last drop of fun out of their visit. Take Butlin's for example. Before launching their app, guests used to spend the first day of their holiday waiting in line to book activities. Now, 98% of activities are pre-booked via the app, giving them even more time to make cherished memories with their loved ones. 

Digital touchpoints

Driving app adoption at my attraction

If you want to maximise the chances of a guest downloading your app, it all starts the moment you start communicating with them.

Attractions need to view their app as an intrinsic part of the booking process, and place it front and centre across all your touchpoints:

  • Website Banners and/ or a dedicated homepage - Get early buy-in with attractive banner ads and a bespoke landing page that articulates the main benefits of using your mobile app. We love this landing page from Chester Zoo!
  • Online checkouts - Embed download buttons in your checkout touchpoints, once guests have purchased a ticket.
  • Booking confirmation emails - Place banner links in confirmation emails and pre-visit comms to help guests get their visit off to a flying start.
  • Guest service interactions - Ask your guest services team (whether their on-park, or communicating via chat, phone and email) to promote the app whenever they field questions. They're ideally placed to position your app as a solution to guests problems.
  • Social media - Use social media to shout from the rooftops about how much value your app can add to your guests' visit. Consider using influencers and targeted ads to drive engagement. and showcase how your app helps guests pack more adventure into their day.

It’s not a hard sell by any means; guest facing apps provide a world of opportunity for both guests and attractions alike and UK consumers are already well accustomed to interacting with the world around them through a mobile phone. Butlins’ new mobile app was downloaded over 360,00 times in just over 6 months!

All it takes is a visual prompt outlining the main benefits, like wayfinding, convenient FastPass purchases, food ordering and exclusive in-app promotions, and they’ll be happy to take advantage of what’s on offer.

Pre-entry promotion

If your guests haven’t taken the hint by the time they reach your attraction, then it’s time to ramp up your efforts. You don’t need to bombard your visitors with garish signs that splash your app over every available surface. Place signage at strategic points throughout your entry roads and car park, to inform guests of the benefits of your digital experience. Even better, if your attraction offers express parking, ask guests to download your app before they’re able to book it.

Turnstiles are another key touchpoint. As people are queuing to get in, you’ve got a captive audience that are (usually!) bored, restless and looking around for something to read. Your guest services team play a key role in forming a great first impression, and part of that should be checking whether or not a guest is using your app, and fielding questions about it. They don’t need to reel off a sales pitch, all that’s required is a casual, informative conversation about the benefits.

Internal signage

Live ride times board with mobile app

When it comes to promoting your app within your attraction, the most effective strategy is to publicise it alongside potential pain points, at key areas throughout your park. Have a think about where your guests experience the most difficulty, and present your app as a ready-made solution that solves all of their problems:

  • Queues for rides: Nobody likes queueing. Extolling the benefits of in-app fast pass purchases at the start of ride queues will massively increase your download rates. And help guests avoid the jog to guest services if they decide to pay to skip the line. Even if they don’t decide to follow up with a purchase, they’ll still benefit from realtime queue updates and easily can take advantage of rides with short wait times.
  • Food ordering: Through fast, efficient pre-ordering and direct-to-table ordering, guests are free to explore the park and enjoy their day whilst their meals are prepared for them. NPS scores are increased by avoiding annoying lunchtime quests, and face-to-contact is minimised in the post-COVID world.
  • Wayfinding: If a guest is looking at a map board, the chances are that they either don’t know where they are, or they don’t know how to get somewhere. Our interactive wayfinding solves both of those problems in one foul swoop. All it takes is a QR code next to a map board, with a corresponding link to download your app, and guests can spend the rest of their day having fun, rather than worrying about missing activities or getting lost.

Key Takeaways

Smartphone technology offers new and exciting ways for people to interact with the world around them and today, 88% of consumers spend time in mobile apps, compared to just 12% in mobile websites.

Operators get out of their app what they put into it in terms of promotion and integration. The platform has the power to fundamentally change the relationship you enjoy with your guests for the better. All it takes is some creative marketing, and an acknowledgment that the digital experience should be placed at the forefront of your visitors’ day.

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Ellen Wilkinson

Head of Marketing
March 2022
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