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The Connected Tech Revolution Series
Episode 1: Unlocking new retail revenues

February saw Reuben Digital’s first event in our Connect Tech Revolution Series held at The Groucho Club, London.

The audience consisted of experienced Marketers who were looking at new innovative ways to unlock retail revenues and we were delighted to be joined by brands such as Arsenal FC, Kate Spade, Pip and Nut, Benugo, Searcys, and Dixons Carphone.

We were thrilled to welcome our guest speaker and client, Nathan Naylor, Head of Theatre Tokens at Society of London Theatre to talk through their journey and thoughts.

Theatre Tokens

Theatre Tokens is a non-profit organisation that drives people to buy theatre tickets across over 260 theatres across the UK. Founded in 1984, they offer a truly pioneering nationwide gift card scheme in the UK.

Over 350,000 tickets are purchased each year, and in 2019, over £10m worth of theatre tokens were sold. Theatre Tokens are available in over 2,000 high street and supermarket locations, however recently they have offered the option of purchasing e-gift cards, and have seen the average e-gift value has risen in recent years.

In March 2019, West End theatres began accepting theatre tokens online through officiallondontheatre.com and it only took 10 months to reach £1m of theatre tokens transactions through this channel.

The Gift Card Industry

Nathan told our audience that the estimated value of the gift card industry in the UK is in excess of £6bn, with leisure operators seeing the most successful growth in 2019 with an uplift of 24% in this sector. The gift card industry also has a unique opportunity with B2B, currently showing a growth of 10.3%.

Customers are 10% more likely to buy a gift card if it can be used online, therefore companies who don’t offer e-gift cards are losing out on revenue if they are unable to offer this. E-gift cards also allow customers to purchase them on the day that they give them as a gift - with the busiest day for Theatre Tokens being the 24th December. All those Christmas shoppers who ran out of time!

Theatre Tokens and Reuben

We worked with Theatre Tokens to create their digital landscape www.theatretokens.com Each member has its own ‘what’s on’ and ‘special offers’ listing, and can look at their map to see what’s going on so they can redeem their theatre tokens or buy theatre tokens.

Theatre tokens send geotargeted emails, and have a very healthy open rate, showing their customers are engaged which our audience were impressed with.

In 2019, we won a Hall of Fame award in the ‘most innovative technology’ category, for bringing online redemption to the Theatre Tokens website. We built a payment gateway similar to PayPal, where users can add their theatre tokens and get change sent directly in their inbox with no expiry date, currently Theatre Tokens are the only company in the UK to send change directly to people’s inbox’s.

Conversations Around The Table  

The conversations around the table focussed around the common challenges with setting up e-gift cards, as well as how to unify and diversify revenue streams.

The attendees talked about the perceived value of gift cards – real v digital and gift cards being better than cash, and them being much more preferable than being giving a fixed date and time for the theatre that isn’t changeable.

Customer experience was discussed, with everyone agreeing that online transactions such as purchasing e-gift cards needs to be a smooth, frictionless purchase path so that the customer completes the transaction and leaves with a good experience.

Some attendees voiced that there was a lack of understanding around the opportunity of e-gift cards was raised, and stakeholders within their companies as well as their customers being scared of moving away from a ‘physical card’ to an e-gift card. Not knowing where to start in implementing e-gift cards was something that was raised, as well as the concern about the time involved in devising and delivering a long IT roadmap and process, and the security and data management that is involved.

The attendees stated that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to setting up e-gift cards is legacy systems and needing to be able to see when they’ve been redeemed. Legacy data was also discussed as being a big consideration when it comes to setting up e-gift cards, as well how to collect data, analyse it and achieve a single view of the customer.

Overall, the consensus was that there is money to be made from offering and implementing e-gift cards to customers,  but there is a lot of consideration when it comes to data, and getting buy in from stakeholders.

If you want to find out more about Theatre Tokens’ experience of implementing e-gift cards, or to be invited to our next event in The Connected Tech Revolution Series, please contact:

Ray Stephens, Founder and Digital Solutions Expert.

01793 861443 / ray@reubendigital.co.uk