Liftopia Launches Complete Online Distribution Platform for Mountain Resorts to Increase Ticket Yield and Revenue
April 30, 2012
Liftopia, the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other ancillary mountain activities, today officially launched Cloud Store by Liftopia, a performance-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) e-commerce platform and revenue management tool for mountain resorts. Cloud Store helps resorts sell their own variably priced, date-specific products in advance through their existing websites and on mobile devices.
This past ski season, Liftopia piloted Cloud Store with 15 mountain resorts in North America, including Park City Mountain Resort, Whiteface, Crystal Mountain (Mich.), Mad River Glen and Bretton Woods. Even during one of the toughest ski seasons in recent history, resorts piloting Cloud Store processed as much as 24 percent of total skier visits this season online in advance of customers’ arrival. As a result, participating resorts were able to recognize revenue in advance and sales through the Liftopia platform grew by as much as 12 times year-over-year.
"We started using Cloud Store in late February and were able to add an incremental 5,700 skier visits at yields equal to our seasonal averages," said Geoff Buchheister, director of finance at Park City Mountain Resort.
“Liftopia’s Cloud Store is the next step in helping our resort partners drive advance sales of their ticket products. The technology that has driven Liftopia’s growth has now proven to be successful within resorts’ own channels. The success of this new distribution tool is especially compelling in light of the worst ski season in 40 years,” said Evan Reece, CEO of Liftopia. “As more skiers and riders shift their buying habits online, resorts that have effective advance purchase strategies and tools in place substantially outperform competitors and grow their businesses overall.”
Cloud Store by Liftopia is powered by the same revenue management, analytics and e-commerce platform that has allowed Liftopia to become the largest seller of advance-purchase lift tickets online.
With no upfront costs, Cloud Store can be fully integrated into the resort’s website in just minutes to create a complete e-commerce platform that is resort branded. The user experience is simple and intuitive, taking shoppers from consideration to purchase in just a few clicks. Some of the other benefits of Cloud Store by Liftopia for resorts include:
- Mobile Integration: Every Cloud Store on the Liftopia Platform includes a mobile site that is built specifically to drive mobile sales. With no additional effort, resorts automatically sell to customers on any mobile device.
- Social Integration: Cloud Store allows resorts to leverage their social marketing reach through dynamic pricing changes and social sharing tools.
- Product Merchandising: Resorts can now effectively sell all of their products online and in advance with real-time pricing and inventory controls.
- Data and Analytics: Cloud Store’s advanced analytics dashboard helps resorts drive marketing and pricing decisions with insight into search volume and demand, customer origination location, day of week patterns, individual product performance, and more.
- Ongoing Optimization: Since Cloud Stores are a fully integrated part of the Liftopia platform, they continuously improve, based on Liftopia’s optimization with zero work from resort partners.
“Committing to advance purchase as a fundamental strategy was key to our success this season,” Rick Shmitt at Crystal Mountain commented. “In our first year using Cloud Store, we were able to increase our online revenue from one percent of skier visits to more than 10 percent, which ultimately enabled us to increase season pass and window rates for the 2012-2013 season.”
Some additional examples of Cloud Store pilot resorts’ success:
- The first pilot resort, a small regional resort, sold more than $240,000 in season passes in October, even before the first sign of snowfall.
- Another resort booked $25,000 in net revenue in the first day of implementing the Cloud Store and more than $11,000 in daily net revenue through the end of the season.
- A small New England drive resort with 8,000 e-mail subscribers sold $15,000 worth of lift tickets in the first two hours following an e-mail blast leading users to purchase through their Cloud Store.
The 2012-2013 ski season is the first year Cloud Store by Liftopia will be available for all resorts throughout North America, with plans to expand to Europe in the future.