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Ticketcorner – Dynamic Pricing Increases Market Share 5X

June 11, 2019

Tolu Oke /

Pricefx

Tolu Oke (pronounced “OK”) is indeed OK. Thanks for asking. She takes care of the content at Pricefx. Her hobbies include avoiding writing in the 3rd person and unearthing the insights and passions that drive pricing professionals at Pricefx and around the world. When she’s not doing that you will usually find her trying to answer one of life’s most pressing questions: “Is the price right?” Turns out, at Pricefx, it usually is.

By now, you have probably heard about dynamic pricing for e-commerce businesses like Amazon or even the airline industry. But have you ever given much thought to dynamic pricing and how it applies to the skiing industry? In a lot of ways, the skiing industry is prime for dynamic pricing measures because, like the airline industry, prices can vary depending on a mixture of time of purchase and seasonality. Applying dynamic pricing to their industry paid off for Ticketcorner with a 5X increase in market share.

For years now, ski resorts have been struggling with unpredictable ticket sales due to climate change and competition with other pastimes. Ski operators knew that they were fighting a losing battle, but no one was brave enough to take the leap and offset the changes. In comes TicketCorner, a ticket-selling organization and leader in the event ticket business. They knew that in order to stem the tide, they would need to bring ski resorts into the future with dynamic pricing software.

As a matter of fact, Enrico Karg, Manager of Business Development at TicketCorner, and his team were ready to start from scratch with their own pricing software. However, as he soon found out himself, “[pricing] is a very complex topic, it’s a better idea to hire a company [that] are experts in this”.

Passion for Dynamic Pricing. Excellent Results.

And hire us he did. In the initial meeting with Patrick Adams and Jochen Schmidt from Pricefx, there was an innate understanding of the need for a dynamic pricing model. The project was something that hadn’t been done before, which was a compelling challenge for both Pricefx and TicketCorner.

Prices would be based on multiple factors such as weather parameters like visibility, snowfall, temperature and more. The project started two winter seasons ago and the result was an increase in online share from 2% to 10% in the first season. The second season doubled on the previous year’s results.

Pascal Zürcher, CMO at Ticketcorner AG, says that “More and more winter sports enthusiasts are recognizing and using the advantages of online ticketing, as confirmed by a population survey conducted by the market research institute Demoscope. The advantages include, in particular, the avoidance of queues at the box office and lower prices thanks to early-booking discounts. The latter was particularly popular for multi-day ski tickets”.

Skiers & Pricers Après-ciate Ticket Pricing

In the past, skiers would have to contend with paying higher prices during the high season when conditions were expected to be optimal. However, changes in climate meant that even in the high season, customers could not be guaranteed good weather. By implementing dynamic pricing, avid skiers have the option of booking in advance to get lower prices. TicketCorner customers like SkiArena Andermatt Sedrun also have a lot to be happy about because their online market share has increased and they get better visibility into the activity of their customers in order to better serve them.

“We started with an online share of 2% in the first winter and increased it to 10%. So we multiplied our share by five. In the second winter, we are now almost at 20%.” – Michael Meier, SkiArena Andermatt Sedrun

Those aren’t the only numbers that Ticketcorner can boast about thanks to dynamic pricing with Pricefx, “over 160,000 skier days were sold via their ski platform in the 2018/19 winter season (as of 25 April 2019)”. This is a growth of 60% compared to last year. In addition, according to Ticketcorner’s numbers, “Ski resorts with dynamic prices again recorded above-average profits.” As a matter of fact, SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun more than doubled the number of ski tickets sold online.

Pascal Zürcher, CMO at Ticketcorner AG had this to add about the reception of online ticketing by skiiers, “More and more winter sports enthusiasts are recognizing and using the advantages of online ticketing, as confirmed by a population survey conducted by the market research institute Demoscope. The advantages include, in particular, the avoidance of queues at the box office and lower prices thanks to early-booking discounts. The latter was particularly popular for multi-day ski tickets”.

Watch the video that covers this success story or read along with transcript below.

Transcript:

Patrick Adams – Pricefx:

Ski Resorts lately have suffered a lot due to different weather performance issues. For example, two years ago, we had rather weak amounts of snow in the mountains in Switzerland and the impact on the ski resorts was intense in terms of irregular business during the season.

Michael Meier – SkiArena Andermatt Sedrun:

Dynamic pricing has been a topic for a couple of years in Switzerland with the lift operators. However, nobody really took the risk to start and as pioneers in this key arena, which we started two years ago, we are almost at the end of our second winter and have had some good experiences.

Lukas Nusbaumer – TicketCorner:

Our calculation of prices is based on different parameters such as the weather, the season, how much snow is in the ski resort. These different factors all affect the final price.

Michael Meier – SkiArena Andermatt Sedrun:

For a certain time, you get lower prices if you book early, if you plan your trip, and if the demand is high, such as when we have perfect conditions on a Saturday. In the high season, we need to get the highest price possible in the market.

Enrico Karg – TicketCorner:

We have 70 ski resorts working with us for online ski ticketing. We’ve now convinced five ski resorts to opt for dynamic pricing.

Michael Meier – TicketCorner:

We started with an online share of 2% during the first winter and increased it to 10%. So we multiplied our share by five. In the second winter, we are now almost at 20%.

Patrick Adams – Pricefx:

We love the initiative which TicketCorner is driving forward with this innovative concept. They created a win-win situation, on the one hand, skiers have the ability to buy ski tickets for an attractive price, if they are willing to book a bit in advance and if they’re willing to take more risk on how the weather will be in a month and issues like that. At the same time, TicketCorner enables many different ski resorts to have a more predictable business, a better revenue stream, and more utilization across the entire winter season.

Enrico Karg – TicketCorner:

At first, we thought about building the whole system on our own. Soon after this decision, we found out that it’s a very complex topic and it’s a better idea to hire a company [that] are experts in this.

Patrick Adams – Pricefx:

TicketCorner approached us with this idea as they really came in with a very new concept of dynamic pricing in the ski-ticketing model. And when I heard of that, it was a topic which really fascinated us right away.

Enrico Karg – TicketCorner:

One of the first tasks [in the pricing project] to do was the comparison between different vendors. And the first email was with Pricefx with Patrick Adams and Johann Schmidt and it was very convincing.

Patrick Adams – Pricefx:

I have a lot of passion about the initiative and that’s why I got so engaged in it.

Enrico Karg – TicketCorner:

We were the first mover in this market and we didn’t know in the first place if we could convince enough customers or if the end consumers would accept the new pricing system. With the Pricing as a Service [PaaS] solution, we were able to decrease our investment significantly.

In the end, I didn’t have to ask our advisory board, which was a huge advantage. We then compared [Pricefx] with three other vendors and then decided within the team that Pricefx would be the best option for us in terms of technical capabilities and their approach to pricing.

Lukas Nusbaumer – TicketCorner:

From requirements on our side until the implementation, the time was really short -– bug fixing or new features were implemented very quickly. So, that was a great benefit for us. I never met a company with a software that is so flexible, but also where we have the possibility to improve the system by our own.

Patrick Adams – Pricefx:

I really think what they’re doing in the market is really a game changer. I think this is going to be a benchmark of dynamic pricing model ideas in the future in many other different business areas.

Dynamic pricing software can be the difference between allowing external factors to shape your business and placing control back where it belongs – in your hands. Despite the changes that the skiing industry was experiencing, companies like TicketCorner and their customer SkiArena were able to set prices that improved their revenue stream and gave them the ability to plan long term -– despite external market forces.

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