There is a great implementation of dynamic prices in skiing. On Monday, January 27, no less than 12 French and Swiss stations responded to the invitation of Liftopia company, in the new facilities of Val Cenis ski area, in Haute Maurienne, for a day of exchange between mountain enthusiasts
Is flexible pricing the next revolution in the sale of ski passes?
While almost 14% of forfaits are currently purchased on the Internet according to the G2A * study on the methods of purchasing forfaits, the resorts are putting all their thoughts in satisfying their customers as much as possible, implementing a real marketing strategy, in particular through the concept of dynamic prices.
Yves Dimier, the station director, was there to welcome a group of enthusiasts and help them discover the ski area under a beautiful sun. After an excellent morning of skiing and a lunch at altitude, the afternoon was dedicated exclusively to sharing the first observations after 6 months of sales at dynamic prices on www.valcenis.ski.
Being the first French station to adopt a complete flexible pricing strategy for its online sales, Val Cenis wanted to share the first results and strong trends of this new strategy without taboos. It was important to analyze the impact on the final figures, consumption habits as well as the reactions of skiers, elected officials or local skiers.
Jérôme Estienne, the sales manager, began by explaining what led the management team to adopt that change.
“THE IMPORTANT WORK OF ANALYSIS AND RATIONALIZATION OF OUR COMMERCIAL OFFERS ALLOWED US TO CONSIDER THE CHANGE AT DYNAMIC PRICES”
A model that generated surprises
After a review of the pricing approach and the results, Val Cenis analyzed the surprising aspects of this model:
- More ski consumption. For example, a 25% increase for 7-day passes.
- More people earlier in the season. According to the observation of the accommodation providers, the establishments have tended to fill up during the summer.
- A more accurate analysis of consumption habits data is obtained. The geographical origin of the buyers is obtained, a younger clientele is reached and more frequent purchases are obtained from mobile phones and tablets.
These surprises are particularly promising, especially with regard to the sale of 7-day ski passes, which allow extending the length of stay of the most adept skiers.
This type of package, commonly called “weekly package”, represents almost a quarter of the sales of ski passes sold in France, according to the G2A * study conducted on the different types of ski passes purchased. The weekly package is a particularly strategic one for ski resorts such as Val Cenis, as it allows them to:
- Consolidate their rotation by being less sensitive to weather conditions
- Stimulate the advance purchase of packages.
- Consolidate the profitability of real estate investments in the mountains.
Flexible ski pricing: a model designed for the customer
Evan Reece, CEO of Liftopia, was able to explain the origin of dynamic ski prices 15 years ago in the United States, and how the model has grown as the centers regained control of their pricing strategy.
Tony André, Liftopia’s representative in Europe, listed the opportunities and objectives of this strategy, as well as the obstacles that exist in France and in Europe. This model can be scary because it implies a change of mentality in the ski lift operators.
Val Cenis confirms this: “For this model to be implemented, we had to make concessions and abandon certain ways of understanding our strategy. On the buyer side, it was very easy to understand this change since the model is consumer oriented. With a few clicks, a skier should be able to find a price for a certain date and buy his ski pass simply and fluently. The online sales site interface, used by more than 120 stations worldwide, is developed with maximum conversion in mind. “
Dynamic Lab: a large-scale laboratory, at the service of the stations
Many French and foreign stations had gathered in Val Cenis to learn and understand the mechanisms necessary to implement dynamic ski prices. The benefits are unanimously positive
Laurent Mermet Husson, director of Marketing at Sogestar at the Rousses station, states that the goal is:
“SHARING THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NEW COMMERCIAL AND MARKETING APPROACHES BETWEEN SWISS, AMERICAN AND FRENCH STATIONS”
After an intense afternoon where everyone could exchange experience with the teams of Val Cenis and Liftopia, Jérôme concludes: “Our goal is to open sales for next winter from June 1 to generate reservations even before and encourage our professional resellers to do the same in order to sell Packages 12 months a year. “
The day ended with an après-ski at the St Charles Hotel Bar, where discussions continued while having a drink. Participants were able to share their impressions and promised to repeat the experience more frequently.
Laurie Benoit-Gonin, Communication and Marketing Officer of Risoul Labellemontagne, said after the day that it was “a beautiful day, in a friendly environment, which allowed us to exchange between stations. Thanks to Val Cenis who shared with us his thoughts on this new method of pricing and answered our questions in a concrete way without taboos. A true exchange of experiences! “
* Study G2A – Historical panel for 8 consecutive years:
- Online survey
- 2 studies every winter
- Around 1,000 respondents per winter
- Samples representing French people aged 18 or over who have spent at least one stay, with a minimum of one night, in winter sports venues
- Selection of quotas: gender, age, region and income.
- No analysis on foreign clients