Those who attend live performances at the theater or the opera strive to get the most out of their experience — especially in a culture-rich city such as New York City. They want the best seats and seek out the ideal souvenirs, whether it’s simply a program or something more costly such as a DVD or limited-edition collectible.
Although the Metropolitan Opera Shop sees most of its sales derive from its store in Lincoln Center, New York City, a mobile sales team takes product information to the aisles using an mPOS system combined with a data warehousing solution from Celerant. The retailer also has a web site that helps power its special order and international business, and offers products for sale during live performances.
Offering a wide variety of merchandise and gifts, the Metropolitan Opera Shop sees sales fluctuate based on performance schedules and event attendance.
“Because of the unique nature of our business, many customers prepare for their trip by reviewing the web site,” said Hope Van Winkle, Director of Merchandising of the Metropolitan Opera Shop, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our store sales rise and fall so our challenge is to continue to improve and capture greatest average sale per attendee.”
The retailer uses the data warehousing tool from Celerant to dive deeply into the business. Because the solution can tap into all selling channels, the Metropolitan Opera Shop can quickly retrieve analytical data and create custom reports.
“We reviewed a number of software providers, spoke with their customers and previewed the technology,” Van Winkle noted. “It was vetted by our IT team and other reviewers, along with our store team.”
Employees can tap into the Celerant system via tablet devices, which are used in the brick-and-mortar location, in the aisles of the theater and at the merch table area during the Met Opera’s Live In HD festival in New York City.
Using the mobile devices “helps build awareness and adds incremental sales,” Van Winkle said. “The handhelds also make it possible to track and better evaluate sales” that are being processed across all touch points.
The mobile POS solution helps the Metropolitan Opera Shop meet customers where they are. So if customers don’t want to leave their seat during a show intermission, they still have the ability to purchase a souvenir. Additionally, if a customer wants a product that is not in stock at the brick-and-mortar location, the sales associate can easily process an online order.
Due to the success of the mobile POS initiative, Van Winkle explained that the retailer plans to add more handhelds to the store, as well as “expand international sales and open new or expanding channels (e.g. Amazon).”