July 26th, 2022 - Posted in Uncategorized
7 Ways to Sell More Merch at Your Haunted House
With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to start gearing up your haunted house plans. These fun and fright-filled attractions draw hundreds of attendees every year, and they require a thousand details to engineer. In addition to marketing, hiring and training, decorating, event ticketing, and the myriad of other matters to attend to, it’s easy to let merchandising and your gift shop fall to the bottom of the list. But this is an important revenue stream often already supported by your event registration tool. By leveraging these systems and following the tips below, you can sell more merch at your haunted house attraction this autumn.
Haunted House Gift Shops and Merchandising
Across the nation, haunted houses are major fall destinations, and there’s a reason that nearly every haunted house attraction has a gift shop or a merchandising stand. Once your attendees are on-site at the haunted house event site, this is the perfect opportunity to level up their experience and sell them some merchandise. Once they’re in the attraction, having a great time, and with cash in hand and ready to spend, allow them to purchase commemorative merchandise. Not only does a souvenir t-shirt or beverage cup help them recall their event experience in horrific detail, it provides a high-visibility and long-lasting marketing opportunity for your future haunted house events.
While event ticketing to your haunted house may be your primary revenue source, it shouldn’t be the only opportunity you focus on. Concessions and refreshments (maybe even some spooky-themed) often bring in the majority of a themed event’s revenue, but a much greater source of income comes from selling merchandise to the captive audience at your attraction. And all three of these revenue streams can be tied to the same platform, negating the hassles of redundant systems. SimpleTix, a ticketing solution and event registration tool that has a partnership with Square, is the best way to accomplish just that. Simplifying this revenue process allows staff to execute all types of sales quickly and seamlessly from one intuitive platform.
1. Make sure your attendees exit through the gift shop.
While your initial impulse might be to situate your gift shop at or near the entrance of your haunted house, don’t do it. It may be high-visibility to customers starting your attraction, but when they exit your haunted house, they’re unlikely to trek back to the beginning to pick up some merch. Their focus is on the parking lot. Show them the creepy, must-have souvenirs on their way to the car, while the shivers are still running down their spines..
2. Design your gift shop as a walk-thru affair.
Instead of creating another labyrinth, lay out the flow of the guests in such a way that they have every opportunity possible to interact with your merchandise. The more your attendees can look at, touch, pick up, or try on, the more likely they’ll be to make an impulsive purchase. A wall of merch along an exit path or a table of goods is a close second, but your sales will surely increase with more points of contact.
3. Offer plenty of merch options for customers to choose from.
A wall of t-shirts has a certain curb appeal, but perhaps your prospective customer already has drawers of horror b-movie t-shirts back home. Maybe the ideal souvenir for them would be a water bottle or a pint glass with your bloody logo screened upon it. Don’t just limit your guests to $40 commemorative t-shirts, either. Have a few $1 and $2 options (buttons, badges, key chains, etc.) available to choose from. Some guests might just have a few dollars left after concessions and the like, or if you display the inexpensive options besides the register, guests might pick up a few “cheap gifts” for friends unable to attend the haunted house that evening. Give your happy guests plenty of chances to spend at your attraction, and remember to have some snacks, chips, and cold drinks on hand for easy impulse purchases.
4. Make it easy to pay.
Expecting guests to spend $20 – $30 per person on merch means not everyone will come to your haunted house with a bucket of cash. Make a variety of credit cards and other electronic payment options accessible. SimpleTix partners with Square, enabling your staff to execute all types of sales quickly and seamlessly from one intuitive, user-friendly platform. It also pays out instantly, all into the same account, to give you a constant source of cash flow.
5. Stay on top of your inventory.
If all of your 2XL t-shirts are selling out, don’t find yourself in a nightmare of lost sales. Especially in our current era of supply chain issues, some reordered shirts or designs can take weeks to arrive at your facility. Another advantage to proper inventory management is access to historical data about your business, year after year—an advantage when ordering next season’s merchandise for the next season. Leverage modern technology, including inventory apps in your point-of-sale and event ticketing platforms, to keep a close eye on what’s moving and what isn’t.
6. Consider placing some high-priced items in a more upscale gift shop at your haunted house.
Some of your attendees may be quite affluent. Once you have a solid grasp of your market, you may find your guests willing to splurge on more expensive, unique artisan gifts. Make connections with local artists specializing in horror, oddity, gothic, and other dark themes, and see if they would be interested in wholesaling their works to you. They may even be open to a commission arrangement. The idea is to offer some truly unique, gifty items that your attendees can’t find anywhere else.
7. Set up an online store and share it with your market through social media and email messaging.
As an event producer, make your branded merchandise available to customers who might have passed on an item as they left your gift shop. Give them another chance to purchase that t-shirt or commemorative mug when they get home. Sites like Etsy and eBay can be great options for hosting your online store and require little investment of time or money to set up. Inventory options, tied into your Square systems will be available to you. Retailing your merchandise through these platforms can bring some off-season revenue, too. Your sales system should consolidate ticketing, merch, and concessions in-person and online.
Keep it all in one place with the right event registration tool.
Make your guests scream in terrible delight with these event ticketing, sales, and marketing elements in place, and they’ll spread the tales of your haunted house and the dark delights of its eldritch gift shop far and wide! *maniacal laughter*
But seriously, creating a frictionless experience for your guests results in more ticket revenue, more merch sales, and more word of mouth. And it all starts with your event registration too. From buying a ticket to exiting through the gift shop, SimpleTix takes the complication out of running your event. No other event registration tool boasts a true Square partnership, and no other ticketing platform integrates as widely with other tools and apps you use in your operation.
Getting started with SimpleTix is free. Try creating your own event page, and you won’t pay a thing until you sell your first ticket.
SimpleTix has offered an affordable, premium event ticketing platform that outperforms Eventbrite and similar apps for over 12 years. Compared to the competition, SimpleTix offers better options at a better price point. To learn more, call us at +1 (855) 550-3670 or email us here.
All of this for just $0.79 + 2% per attendee
Zero up-front cost, with a low rate fee of $0.79 + 2% per ticket. Seamless integration with Square, Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and more. And instant payment means no waiting for payouts by check.
Yes, ticketing can be this simple… With SimpleTix.