Frequently Asked Questions About Dynamic Pricing and COVID-19

Dynamic Pricing and COVID-19As attractions throughout the world re-open with capacity constraints, there are a significant number of new operational practices that are being implemented. Before COVID-19 only a minority of attractions required their guests to make a reservation to visit. After COVID-19, however, most attractions are requiring their guests choose the date and time when they are planning to come.

But with capacity constraints, how can an attraction maintain sustainable revenue, achieve accessibility goals, and motivate guests to purchase in advance? Over the last five years a growing number of attractions have adopted dynamic pricing to align their admission prices with projected demand for a day or time of day. Since re-opening, these organizations have already found the flexibility and immediate data insights inherent in a dynamic pricing strategy to be highly useful in such a fluid environment.

How can your organization leverage dynamic pricing in conjunction with moving to timed ticketing and capacity management? Here are 3 common questions we’ve heard about the implementation of dynamic pricing:

  • We are opening under capacity constraints. How can we use dynamic pricing to support that?

    Because dynamic pricing uses the most recent data to determine admission price, pricing can be used to motivate visitors to come during times with more available capacity. For instance, we have seen that some of our clients have stronger demand in the morning than later in the day, which is reflected in our daily price recommendations. Suggesting higher prices in the morning will motivate some guests to voluntarily shift their visit from the morning to the afternoon.
  • How can we raise prices dynamically without appearing “tone deaf”?

    It’s easy to understand how a dynamic pricing strategy can significantly improve revenues by increasing prices during peak demand periods. But a well-designed dynamic pricing strategy also provides guests a significant amount of choice and control over what to pay and when to visit. The earlier a guest buys, the better the price they will receive compared with waiting to purchase on the day of their visit. By buying far enough in advance, price-sensitive guests—and also guests without flexibility as to their visit date–may find themselves paying even less than the attraction’s former, static price! And for guests who aren’t buying far in advance, choosing lower-demand dates and times still gives them an opportunity to save money.
  • We’re trying move sales online to avoid in-person “touch points.” Can dynamic pricing help with that?

    Even prior to COVID-19, our dynamic pricing clients often experienced a significant increase in advance ticket sales as guests responded to the opportunity to save money by buying early. Preliminary evidence is that online purchasing of admission tickets has further increased for those organizations that are now requiring their guests to choose a date and time due to COVID-19. Combined with required date and time reservations, dynamic pricing provides a powerful double incentive for advance purchases: buy early to get the best price *and* get the entry time you want before it sells out.

If your organization is re-opening to capacity constraints and timed ticketing, dynamic pricing is a data-driven, flexible solution to achieve post-COVID recovery goals, including capacity management, revenue maximization, and contactless online sales. And implementing dynamic pricing becomes even smoother once timed ticketing has conditioned your guests to purchase date-specific tickets.