How Data can Help Cinemas Drive More Footfall

SAP S/4HANA for Cinemas


The smell of butter popcorn and soda made for many a memorable weekend a few years back. Movies are a chance for people to have some fun together, outside of home. But very often, the prices are the biggest deterrent. Ticket sales are at an all time low, 6.3% down from last year.

Being able to microwave popcorn in our house and stream what we want on Netflix from the comfort of our homes has led to studios rapidly pushing to make the online release closer to theatrical, bringing it down to weeks instead of months.

The summer box office in the US is usually the biggest draw, with the highest returns. However, with cinema attendance in a steady decline 2017 was the the first time since 2006 that the summer box office didn’t clear $4 billion. With the global revenue expected to grow at a muted 1.3 percent through 2021, cinemas need to become smart and increase occupancy, and the best place to start is with their customers.

Leverage data

Existing in a digital ecosystem is not limited to sending mail with your customer’s names. Customers today expect personalization and look for authenticity to connect with a brand. The best way to reach customers is through their data. Using intelligent systems like SAP S/4HANA allow greater insight into customer buying behaviour and preferences.

Knowing the kind of genre they prefer, the seats they always choose, and their favourite concession stand snacks would go a long way in driving loyalty and getting repeat customers. This would enable targeted marketing with a higher response than a flood of unopened mail.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs need to be simple and easy to sign up for. 26% of customers reported that brands ask for too much information or the enrollment process takes too long. Millennials today are digitally aware, tech savvy and know what they want. They are a large portion of the target audience and need to be shown value in signing up.

Offering special packages and experiences inclusive of food and drinks at the concession will make the cinema experience much more memorable. For instance, say a client is a fan of movies within the horror genre and there is a release around the corner. A targeted campaign offering a discount inclusive of their preferred kind of soda and popcorn would create a very special movie experience for them that they would want to repeat.

Targeted marketing campaigns using data sources both on-premise and/or in the cloud can be done using the SAP Predictive analysis. Offering discounts for birthdays and anniversaries through exclusive promotion codes, price reductions, and memberships help build lasting relationships. A report from last year, shows that 82% of millennials belong to at least one loyalty program which they redeem regularly.

Push surveys, questionnaires and polls on social media is a great way to start gathering data, to find out customer preferences, expectations and kind of rewards that they would enjoy.

However, the best way to forge loyalty is through queue management. Offer online booking services and valet parking. These are small touches, but in the overall movie going experience, they mean a lot more as there is no hassle to get to the multiplex 20 minutes early to find a parking spot or have to wait in line to collect physical copies of the tickets. This makes the experience, less harried and more comfortable.

Attracting New Audiences

Another way to increase occupancy is using AI and ML to predict potential audience, performance of films to be released and further differentiate their screens. Screening varied content, will relieve blockbusters from being the sole saviour of decreasing occupancy and box office revenues.

Because not everyone will have a taste for the for the more popular movies, PVR [India] has partnered with BookMyShow to offer a novel experience targeted at attracting new audience: On demand movie programming. Vkaao by PVR, lets you create a screening for a movie of your choice, at a theatre of your choice, for the time and date of your choice.

It was started in January 2017, and has seen a jump of over 100% in the last two years. With over 4500 shows of 210 movies across various genres and languages, PVR is currently working towards expanding their repertoire of movies across genres. Studies showed, there is a rising demand for Hollywood content in tier II and III cities, whereas the demand for regional films is more in metropolitan cities. These stats are being put to use as Vkaao works on expanding their directory.

Data Analytics

Personalization extends beyond knowing the names of your customers. It should give them value in a movie watching experience they can’t access by scrolling through their phone or sitting at home.

This is delivered by connecting the front and back-end through data analytics with intelligent ERPs such as SAP S/4HANA to create a seamless experience and satisfying customers while expanding the company’s reach.

At Savantis, we work to identify opportunities of improvement in operations and customer experience for cinemas. Understanding the unique business needs of cinemas, we help theatre owners implement and adopt latest technological solutions to meet their business goals.

Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts to learn more or if you have any questions.

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