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The next frontier for venues: IoT as a commerce engine

Anyone who has been to a sports or other entertainment venue recently knows that the trend in arenas and other venues is to move things to digital platforms. Some sports teams don’t want fans to use paper tickets at all. And as consumers become more and more used to electronic ticketing, they are accepting other digital processes at these arenas, like mobile ordering and mobile wallets.

As a result of these consumer behaviors, arenas and other venues are using IoT technology to redefine themselves as smart spaces — and encourage frictionless commerce within their walls. What does this mean? And how will these developments drive mobile commerce?

Smart spaces engage guests in new and unique ways, allowing them to personalize and experience their surroundings on their own terms. Part of that experience is simplifying the way visitors order and pay for experiences within the space. For many brands, this might include special offers and incentives for using a mobile wallet within the venue app.

Source: Miami Dophins/Venuetize

For one great example, we can turn to the Miami Dolphins, a worldwide brand that is using technology to personalize visits to Hard Rock Stadium and drive transactions in the space. During the 2017 – 2018 season, the Dolphins introduced a new feature that allows any fan attending a game to order tailgating supplies right from the team app. During the first season offering this new feature, mobile wallet usage increased 150%.

This approach has enormous benefits to both the consumer and the team. From the consumer perspective, the planning is done for them. They no longer need to run around in the days before the game, purchasing supplies and packing up their vehicle. The team and the venue also benefit by capturing the fans’ behaviors and preferences, and encouraging transactions on their platform.

The District Detroit app is another great example of sports and entertainment brands turning venues into smart spaces via IoT and mobile engagement technologies. People visiting a game at Little Caesars Arena, or a performance at The Fox Theater, or just out for the night can find the closest parking lot, purchase their parking and get turn-by-turn directions to the lot and then from the lot to their final destination. A single unified mobile wallet also improves the consumer experience. Using The District Detroit app, visitors can use one mobile wallet to pay for purchases, gain loyalty points and get back rewards.

These brands are not only benefitting from upsell opportunities in the moment, but also gaining valuable insight into guests’ behavior. This, in turn, allows them to stay engaged with visitors even when they are not in the venue, offer incentives to bring them back, and then serve up offers that drive additional commerce when they return. IoT and presence are now linked with predictive analytics to anticipate what guests might want to do, eat, drink or buy when they return.

Expect to see the use of IoT technologies continue to explode as entertainment brands see the value in both personalizing the guest experience and understanding what their guests like to do, when they do it, with who and how often, among other measures. The possibilities for engaging fans, guests and visitors with this knowledge are unlimited. And in turn, the opportunities for driving new revenue streams and commerce models look pretty exciting. We are only just getting started!

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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