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  • Isabella Jiao
    Isabella JiaoWritter Sep 9, 2019 4 min read
    Isabella Jiao
    Isabella JiaoWritter
    Sep 9, 2019 4 min

    FanFood Study Reveals 6 Fan Purchase Behaviors You May Not Know

    At FanFood, we’re on a constant quest to understand fans attending live events. Insights derived from our data serve as guidance for both our venue partners and our team, as we pursue today’s ultimate fan experience together.

    Fans making purchases on the FanFood app at Bert Ogden Arena, the largest indoor arena in south Texas.
    Fans making purchases on the FanFood app at Bert Ogden Arena, the largest indoor arena in south Texas.

    At FanFood, we’re on a constant quest to understand fans attending live events. Insights derived from our data serve as guidance for both our venue partners and our team, as we pursue today’s ultimate fan experience together.

    In this blog, we reveal 6 key insights summarized by our in-house research team. Hopefully we can contribute to the discussion about what fans truly want when it comes to fan experience.

     

    1. Fans who order on their phones spend more per order
     

     

    Growth in Average Order Size

    This graph shows how, over the past two years, as the adoption rate of FanFood app increases at our partner venues, the average concession order size (i.e., the average amount of money fans spend per order) has been increasing at a faster rate.

     

    This finding has consistently come up in our interviews with our venue partners, and now we have sufficient data to corroborate it. When using FanFood, fans know that they don’t have to wait for long even if they purchase multiple items per order. Especially where in-seat delivery is offered, fans don’t even need to grab the food themselves and wouldn’t even think twice before adding more items to the cart.

     

    Wouldn’t you order more too if the same kind of service is available?😉

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    2. People prefer meals over snacks at live games

     

     

    Top Selling Products

    A quick look at the top selling items on the FanFood platform reveals that sales of main courses outperforms that of any other category — including drinks and snacks. Soft drinks category ranks second, followed by alcoholic drinks and snacks.

     

     

     

     

    Here’s a breakdown of the 5 top selling main course items across all venues using FanFood. If you need some inspiration on what items to include on your menu, this could be a great reference point:

    Top 5 main course items sold

     

    By the way, are you surprised the sales of vodka is nearly the same as that of water?

     

    3. Items most frequently sold together: Salted pretzel with a side of cheese
     

    We may all have our own opinions about what the best concession food pairing is, but data has shown a clear winner — salted pretzel with a side of cheese.

     

    Here’s a list of items frequently sold together, ranked by popularity.

    Items that are Frequently Sold Together

    What does this mean for your concession stand? Well, maybe start considering offering these item pairs as combos on your menu. We’ve discovered that when single items are packaged together and sold as combo meals, buyers tend to perceive them as a greater deal and are more tempted to buy.

     

    4. No. of orders grow at a faster forecasted rate at venues with mobile ordering

     

    Forecast for Order Growth

    This graph shows that if two venues both start with the same no. of concession orders per year — yet one with mobile ordering service offered and the other without — a year later the venue with mobile ordering would already be seeing their no. of orders higher than the other venue.

     

    One key factor that explains this is that fans are placing more orders per game when mobile ordering is available. We’ve heard this from pretty much all venue partners we’ve talked to — people are ordering multiple times throughout the game because the act of ordering is just so simple (no more than a few clicks of a button!) You can read more about the experience of Durham Bulls Ballpark, where concession revenue per capita has tripled since the adoption of FanFood.

     

    5. The convenience of technology keeps your fans coming back
     

    We’ve repeatedly found that people are willing to pay for that extra convenience. It’s just the way it is. And that’s been apparent over and over again at our partner venues (people never seem to blink an eye at the extra charge for in-seat delivery, for example.)

     

    We all know that convenience is a huge factor for a better fan experience. And what does a better fan experience lead to? More returning fans.

     

    This bar chart shows how user growth rate has been rising overall amongst our venue partners (the growth rates are seasonal, of course, since sports games are seasonal). As you can see, not only has the total user growth rate been increasing, the growth rate of returning users has also been increasing.

    New and Returning User Growth Rate  

    Nowadays with the onset of live streaming, attendance at live sports games has been declining. As a result, fan retention has been a huge challenge faced by many of our venue partners (with the exception of schools perhaps, since fans are probably there for a different reason: cheering their children on.)

     

    Sports technology might be a cure for the decline in live sports attendance. With more tech services incorporating better human-centered design, live games still have advantages that sitting on a couch in front of a widescreen simply cannot provide. And the key, without a doubt, lies in creating the ultimate fan experience that fans just cannot pass up on.

     

    6. Mobile ordering helps venues increase revenue at a faster rate
    Revenue Growth Rate

    For many concessionnaires and stadium managers, this last point is probably top of mind — revenue. We’ve predicted the revenue growth rate of our partner venues till 2020 based on their historical data, and the growth rate has shown to be not only increasing, but also increasing at a faster rate.

     

    As fan adoption of the mobile ordering app increases at partner venues, not only are fans ordering multiple times throughout the game, but also they are placing larger orders. And if you’ve been following our blogs and have subscribed to our newsletter, you’d also be receiving tips and strategies on how you can increase your concession revenue in various ways.

     

    Overall, what we’ve observed is that technology is making both the fans and the concessionnaires’ gameday experience more convenient, satisfactory and beneficial. Whether you are involved in the operations of venues or concessions, the earlier you adopt technological solutions to engage and retain fans, the more likely you’d be taking a lead in the race towards digitalization in the sports / live event industry. And what we know for a fact is: now is a better time than ever.

    Shorter Lines Zero Chaos