This is how Rebel and Bird maximizes Sweden's amusement parks

How will Kolmården, Gröna Lund, Skara Sommarland and Furuvik benefit from new digital solutions?

How will Kolmården, Gröna Lund, Skara Sommarland and Furuvik benefit from new digital solutions?

Rebel and Bird's work to enhance the customer experience for Sweden's largest amusement parks is in full swing with the park's owner Parks and Resorts. We interviewed the park's digital manager Johanna Kjellser, who tells us more about the project.

Parks and Resorts want to extend the experience in their theme parks through digital solutions. Three million visitors will have more time for the experience in the parks and the hotels, by enhancing and simplifying the experience via the digital channels.

Did you miss Rebel & Birds and Parks and Resort's attraction on Webbdagarna Stockholm? Here you can see the entire presentation.

Why do Parks and Resorts take a digital whole? 

- All parks have previously had their websites with different systems but with links to the same business system. It has been challenging to understand, costly and ineffective. In the end, we had to ask ourselves the question, should we continue to build these systems better? Or should we start over from scratch and build something new that is customized to our business? It was merely time to gather power and start again on neutral ground. Now we want to create a common platform for all amusement park websites, where they can benefit from each other's features as we develop. If we find a suitable solution for something, it goes without saying that all parks should be able to use it. 

Are there any challenges with just the digital? 

- For Parks and Resorts, the experience and solutions in the amusement parks must work for everyone. Some things that you thought could be the right solution turn out to have other challenges when you start testing the idea in reality. 

- For example, we have tested how we can digitize the queue. Among other things, we discovered that people were prepared to queue much longer than a "regular standing queue" so that they could do otherwise in the meantime. But one challenge when visitors have digital queues is that the crowds move more out in the parks - which can be perceived to be narrower in the park than it is. Another challenge will also be when visitors arrive a few hours before closing. Then there may not be so many rides left. If all "queues" are occupied, then guests may not get the chance to do what they want. There you have to think about how it should work if you choose to introduce digital queuing systems.

What are the lessons learned for you so far in the project? 

- 85% of our visitors to Kolmården's website are mobile users. It means that we should not make "a website also customized for mobile," but a "website for mobile." All other units are secondary in this case. If you do not know how the websites are being used, you do not understand how the material will fit in best. 

- We have been too careful to say what our best products are, especially on Kolmården's website. We have many animals to visit and shows to see per day. In the past, we have chosen to show them as equals. But we have realized that we need to focus on a few parts and lift them properly. Our most satisfied customers are those who have seen our shows; they have had a wow experience. We have learned that we need to help our visitors by showing off and highlighting what activities we recommend even more. 

- Another thing is that we have always written our content for the target group "families with children." The target group of families with children is not a target group. There is the target group of children (who want to read about and meet the animals and see what attractions you can go). Then there are the target group of parents (who want to look at more practical things such as price, accommodation and opening hours.) We have to focus differently on these target groups to convince them to spend their free time with us.

- We have worked agile in this project, which was unusual and new for the organization and very educational. For example, I got the question, "but the backlog, how can it grow?" There, we responsible for the project have been patient. We have been given the reasons why this is a more effective way of working. It is a bit different to work in projects that will never really be completed. 

Do you have any tips for others who will kick off similar projects? 

- Yes, now that we have come a little way, it is easier to look back and know what we are could have done a bit better. Before we started the project with Rebel & Bird, as an organization, we would have taken more time actually to do some research. Find out more facts, have some ideas about sketches and flows. This is mostly for our own sake, so we know what it is we want to achieve. We didn't have that much data to look back on, in any case. We are looking to have that for future improvements. 

What is the next step? 

- We plan to launch all of the parks' websites in small, cruelly tight versions, with the highest priority features. Then we learn with the help of the data that comes in and continues to develop the websites with more features as well. Next in line to launch is Kolmården's website. 

What do the digital solutions of the future look like for amusement parks if you dream up? 

- A visit to our parks is about entertainment and experiences. Visitors should not have to queue for tedious administration in our parks. Buying food and tickets as well as queues for attractions - all this we can simplify in our digital systems. I want us to be able to influence traffic flows in the park. By streamlining the experience or sending out offers to the visitors on the site that makes them spread differently. I also want you to avoid having to make your wallet when you are at Skara Summerland. So you can smoothly run around the park with a swimsuit and buy ice cream!