How the ticket shop is helping support the business

  • Andrea Ziörjen

Full of excitement, you arrive at the zoo eager to start your day out, but instead, you find yourself stuck in a queue at the payment desks for the first half an hour. That’s what happened in the past.

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With the new online ticket shop, you can purchase your tickets for Zoo Zurich from home with just a few clicks. The numbers speak for themselves: over 100,000 tickets have been bought via the ticket shop in six months.

Paid off in just a few months

Buying tickets online is nothing new, but the solutions used to provide this service are often outdated. Furthermore, ticket shops are usually expensive and can only be integrated into other IT systems and sales processes to a certain extent. This was also the case at Zoo Zurich. The zoo used a third-party ticket shop until it was replaced in June 2020 by a Drupal commerce solution. And of course, this is fully integrated into the Drupal 8 CMS used for the website. It was also impressive to see how quickly the costs were recouped: it took just three months for the investments to be amortised. Previously, the zoo would pay a fee for each ticket sold, but this is now no longer the case. The number of online ticket purchases has increased by 50% compared to purchases made at the payment desks. In six months, over 100,000 tickets have been sold via the online ticket shop.

Tickets exactly how I want them

There are many shops around, but the customer experience often leaves room for improvement. This is not the case at Zoo Zurich. Perfectly tailored to the clients, this ticket shop helps users achieve their goal in the simplest way possible and is also based on a technically innovative foundation, making it a benchmark for digital sales. Its success is possibly also linked to the fact that customers can now purchase tickets in advance more intuitively and easily. The purchase of tickets is simple: you can buy tickets on the website without login; you then receive a QR code that will give you direct entry to the zoo. The new system offers a fast, self-explanatory way to purchase tickets, even on a busy day at the zoo. Visitors who create a zoo account can buy tickets online or in the zoo app and always have access to their tickets.

For those who might not have access to the internet while out and about, you can also buy your tickets online and print the email you receive, which also serves as your ticket.

An optimised value-added chain and simple implementation of COVID-19 measures

It is not just the customers who can reap the benefits of this new process; it makes zoo employees’ lives easier too. The promotion module enables special promotions to be organised. The number of available tickets or the number of visitors allowed can be controlled using the Drupal ticket module. This is how the zoo can control visitor flow, something that is particularly helpful when implementing COVID-19 measures. For each date, the number of visitors allowed can be entered. As each ticket has a unique QR code, the precise number of visitors can be determined at all time.
Integrating the shop into the existing Drupal CMS means that all zoo products and ticket management can be controlled using a single tool.

Dynamic pricing benefits everyone

Dynamic pricing has been integrated into the new online ticket shop. Are the tickets more expensive in the summer than in the winter? No problem. The ticket prices can be entered and planned for the course of a year. Different ticket categories, such as single and family tickets, and special offers like cheaper tickets on Mondays are also possible. Those who buy their tickets online can save money. Thanks to the expanded commerce promotion module, it is now also possible to customise tickets. For example, linking a promotion with its sponsors and have the sponsor’s logo and adverts on the tickets. This is great for both the zoo and the sponsors who offer their customers discounts on tickets.

Productivity is also an issue for zoos

Almost no one wants to visit the zoo when it is raining or stormy. But it is a completely different story when it is Easter Monday and the sun is out. The peaks and troughs the weather causes for Zoo Zurich are not just an organisational challenge, but also a challenge for IT solutions like the new online ticket shop. The new shop proves its worth by showing how its simplicity and performance can even withstand a big influx of customers.


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