One of the special things about the baby & toddler sector is that there is a wide range of ways classes can be priced!
A big advantage of using an online booking system is that you can offer more complex pricing options with less admin, and give your customers choice. It gives you more visibility over how busy your classes are likely to be, and you can decide how much to market them accordingly.
'Drop-ins' vs block bookings and term tickets
Drop-ins these days don't really mean 'drop-in', as many parents expect to book in advance online, even if that's at the last minute! On Happity, we name these 'Single session' tickets by default (though you can rename them if you prefer) - and they are marked in the checkout pages with a single session icon.
Drop-ins are perfect for giving parents maximum flexibility, and allowing you to fill in ad-hoc spaces. However, running your business completely on single sessions can make it difficult to grow, as it's means there's a lot of uncertainty from week to week, and you can never be sure as to whether your class will cover it's costs. It also means you have to do a lot of marketing every single week, to ensure people continue coming back to classes.
Block bookings and term tickets can help you to grow longer term and they give you greater security, especially if there are upfront costs and venue fees to be paid.
A term ticket books the customer in for the whole series, and on Happity, the price of these tickets will automatically pro-rate - reducing week by week as each class takes place.
A 'block' ticket allows you to set a price for customers that are prepared to commit to your class over a series of weeks. You can set this at any number you like, although we find smaller numbers like 3 or 4 tend to work well. These are offered on a rolling basis, so people can book these at any time and commit to your class for a few consecutive weeks at a manageable price.
Typically the price of a block or term booking should be cheaper than booking single sessions individually. If you've never used these ticket types before though and are introducing them for the first time, then it's best to keep these closely matched to your current prices, and increase the cost of single session tickets instead. If they are successful and become the main way that customers book your classes, then you don't want to have reduced your margins(!).
Trial offers are great for getting new customers through the door initially, to launch new classes or to establish your brand. When you offer a trial, the most important thing to consider is how likely they are to become a repeat customer, and how long they'll stay with you.
If you're already offering classes on a single session basis, then there generally isn't really a need to have a trial offer as customers can already try out your class on a low-risk basis.
Happity allows you to construct different types of trial offer - so you could create a discounted offer for their first 3 sessions, rather than just for the first class.
It's common to offer a reduced price for siblings to help make your class more affordable for families and widens your potential customer base. However, it's a bit of a trade off - if your class is already running at capacity, then sibling discounts could mean you're losing out on much needed revenue, particularly right now as classes are at smaller sizes.
You can easily mark spaces as 'sibling' tickets on Happity, which will only be available when the customer has bought a ticket for the first child.
Managing headcount in covid times!
One of the big difficulties is around managing headcounts, as some venues will set a limit for the venue counting every person - no matter what their age, some won't count babies and others will count by family.
If you need help with working out how to set up your tickets, please get in touch. In general, we've found the best approach is to set up a ticket that covers 1 adult + 1 child, and have separate tickets for extra siblings or extra adults (if you are allowing them). This gives you the most control and oversight of how many families are attending and how many people are in each party.
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