ticketing for zoos

Online Ticketing Solution Implemented At Drusillas Park

Read our case study on how VisiSoft helped Drusillas Park expand on their existing VisiSoft EPOS solution and add an integrated online ticketing system to help manage online membership sales and improve visitor experience.

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Moving over to VisiTickets is probably the best decision I’ve made in my tenure at Drusillas. The administration, the time-saving and aesthetically pleasing model have all combined to create an excellent product. The development and roadmap is far superior to anything that I’ve seen and I recommend VisiSoft to anyone else in the market.

Ollie Smith, Managing Director at Drusillas Park

Read our case study to see how VisiSoft helped Drusillas Park to increase their online membership sales by 20% since its launch.

Drusillas already had VisiSoft’s EPOS solution at various outlets across their park. Since implementing the recently launched online ticketing system, they now boast one, connected solution to manage point of sale, ticket sales and memberships.

ticketing for zoos

About Drusillas Park

Drusillas was founded in 1925 and was opened as a tearoom to sell refreshments to passing motorists. To draw in more visitors the family began to add attractions and so the park grew. In 1997, the Smith family acquired the park and have spent the last 25 years or so investing heavily into the experience they offer families.

In January 2022 brother and sister, Ollie Smith and Cassandra Poland, took over the management of the park. Their plan is to continue to invest into their winning formula of ‘Zoo, Play, Ride’.

The park currently has a variety of rides, food & beverage outlets, gift shops, zoo enclosures and other interactive areas to help create an educational and immersive experience for children and families visiting the park. With plans to grow and uplift not only general ticket sales and footfall but memberships too, Drusillas turned to their existing EPOS provider, VisiSoft, to look at their newly launched online ticketing system.

ticketing for zoos

The Reason For Change

With their previous ticketing system being restrictive and clunky, key revenue drivers such as memberships and animal encounters were difficult to sell through online channels. Drusillas were after a ticketing solution that could work for them, providing a seamless customer journey and easy management for their staff.

“Sales of our close animal encounters were previously sold online, but not for long and we had to do it in a roundabout way with our previous supplier.” – Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

They also had a big focus on creating an immersive user journey online which is an extension of the same great visitor experience they offer visitors when they arrive at the park. Working with the MD’s, VisiSoft were able to bring this vision to life.

“User experience of buying tickets online is now so much better than it was before. The way that the tickets are laid out, to the configuration in the back end is so much easier from an administration perspective. The whole checkout journey I feel has been simplified massively by using the Shopify model. I like being able to merge the two worlds of retail and ticketing together to create that unique customer experience.”

– Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

The Solution

Drusillas needed a modern solution that could integrate with their existing EPOS solution and handle their predicted growth through investment in other areas of the park. The online ticketing solution provided a way for them to sell every type of ticket they required, from memberships and events to their close encounters and general admission sales. Throughout the scoping process with VisiSoft, the team ran through what was required and how tickets needed to be set out for visitors to achieve the best possible online experience.

ticketing for zoos

“A big impact for us was the structure and set up of the tickets. For us we sell by category, event, ticket type, item within VisiSoft. Having that structure enables the user journey to be so much more straight forward, there’s less mess on screen and it’s simplified as it’s just one page you flow through.” Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

Within VisiTickets, users have the ability to set up and manage how they want their system to display items and define content in certain fields. For Drusillas, this was a game changer.

“We are able to change the text in certain fields, add our own imagery etc. This has made it easier to change certain tickets, items and prices. It’s saved us so much time in the back end being able to change prices at the click of a button or update certain ticket offers and it’s been less restrictive in that sense. It makes us a bit more nimble and able to adapt to certain things.” – Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

Investing In Customer Experience

VisiSoft has allowed Drusillas Park to meet the demands of their growing customer and help support the sale of online memberships. Long term plans for the park include continued growth in all areas. Drusillas chose VisiSoft as a long term EPOS and Online Ticketing partner for their zoo and attraction because of the amazing results they could see from our other customers. If you’re thinking about updating your EPOS or Ticketing system, get started with a free no obligation demo from our team.

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ticketing for zoos

The Benefits

Since implementing the solution in early Jan 2022, Drusillas have seen massive success with the online sale of their memberships, increasing uptake a massive 20%. This has been huge for the park, who previously we’re unable to sell such memberships online. Another big focus for Drusillas was the online customer journey and how that buying process worked. With VisiTickets, visitors can simply and easily navigate through their displayed options and land on the required ticket for entry or event. Visitors can now buy tickets online for the same day under a new function for the park called “Today’s Tickets”.

“We added a feature with VisiSoft to have today’s tickets so visitors can buy their tickets on the day online, which we weren’t able to do previously, it really helps the checkout process and the admissions process at the gate. People can pre-check times or prices before they come and it just means that while they’re in the car on their way, they can buy their ticket and just get ahead of the curve.”Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

ticketing for zoos

VisiSoft also helps Drusillas manage membership and visitor information easily. During the migration to their new system, the team took the opportunity to sort through and update their visitor information. Undertaking this process meant that VisiSoft now stores key visitor information that is accessible by their front of house teams in seconds.

“Our visitor services team can extrapolate so much more information in a tenth of the time from our previous system. When they are at the till dealing with customers, being able to bring up their memberships and being able to action or process certain tasks is made so much easier for them.” – Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

Real Life Example:

VisiSoft helped Drusillas out during a natural disaster, saving hours of admin time.

A real-life example of how the adaptability and expert functionality that VisiTickets provides its users was needed during the February storms earlier this year. Drusillas is open 362 days a year, so the team there very rarely have to deal with closing their doors to visitors. The February 2022 storms meant there was no power to the park and it wasn’t safe for visitors to come, which lead to closing for three days. With visitors already booked to attend, it was over to the visitor management team to organise the change in people’s bookings. With VisiSoft, you can head into the calendar button, change their visit date and it will automatically email them out a new ticket.

“The question of ‘I want to move my date’ or ‘I want to change my booking’, before that was an incredibly difficult task for us to administer and it was very time-consuming. We had to get customers to re-book themselves, then refund their original booking and it was a bit of a headache and didn’t provide the best possible customer experience. The administration workload from a closure point of view has absolutely been minimized so much since moving over, which I would say is the biggest plus side from a visitor services perspective. Simply being able to change people’s bookings when they come forward and ask has been brilliant.” – Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

The Future

VisiSoft comes with extensive reporting capabilities and with the added bonus of having the EPOS system integrated into their ticketing system, Drusillas have lots of scope to enhance their reports and pull-out useful data for management across their park. So, over the coming months they plan to expand their current management reporting to help measure the park’s success and automate even more processes. After seeing figures increase by 20% for online membership sales, Drusillas expect this figure to continue to grow as they expand the park in the future.

ticketing for zoos

“Our team have saved at least an hour every day using the new system to manage memberships and ticket sales.” Ollie Smith, Managing Director, Drusillas Park.

The family are keen to continue investing in the park to make it an immersive, unique and engaging experience for children. Future plans for the park include expanding their ride infrastructure, opening new zoo enclosures and refurbishing their play areas. The work on creating an immersive space has begun with the opening of a new Coati enclosure that is packed full of interactive and educational features.

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Online group and school ticketing, cafes, gift shops, Gift Aid, memberships, donations, stock management and reporting all on one system, all backed up by award-winning support.

Your visitors deserve the best experience: VisiSoft empowers your team to delivery exactly that.

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