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It was no simple eCommerce project. It was a system wide data transfer and integration project.

The Perth Zoo is one of Perth’s most iconic and popular places to visit - they promote conservation, while offering guests a unique experience to get up close and personal to some seriously amazing animals – a wonderful weekend experience for both children and adults alike. 

The Zoo had been operating for over 100 years, and with their reputation. it was no surprise the website was struggling to keep up! When we started visitors could not buy a ticket on their mobile and walk in, they had to line up. This meant on a Saturday morning all spare hands were selling tickets, instead of being with the animals, plus long queue times for visitors.

The solution? Dapth. 

We were tasked to address the cause of the issue with an effective eCommerce solution, that would seamlessly connect to the point-of-sale system, ensuring data was accurate at all times. With a plethora of events, various session types, and complex ticket discounting scenarios, our team had to be careful to keep business as usual while making the changes.

Perth Zoo was aware that their issues were deep and complex and that would require an expert team to assist. The project meant that the foundation (technology) on which the website was built had to be completely reconstructed. 

Our team were awarded the project through a stringent tender process, being substantially, feasible from a cost perspective compared to many other options. That was the start of partnering with the Zoo on their digital strategies for over 5 years.

“What Dapth did with the Kentico platform has transformed Perth Zoo from a 9 to 5 business to a 24 hour business. Comparing the first month of general admission sales to the previous year there has been a significant increase in online sales and an increase in total sales, indicating it’s not just a transfer from onsite to online sales sales have increased efficiency for all patrons (less queue time) and administrative staff.

Our Close Encounter sales increased 77% from the same month in the previous year, with the biggest growth seen in products featured for an upsell with admission tickets. Online Membership sales in the first month increased 49% compared to the same month in the previous year, again without cannibalising onsite sales..” 


Claire Wright, Perth Zoo

The challenge was not to simply sell tickets, but to successfully integrate into a 20-year-old point of sale system.

The Perth Zoo ticketing and booking system remains the most active our team has ever seen! The number of users and data transfer taking place is considerable. Our challenge was not just to keep this data accurate as it moves between systems, but to keep it fast too. 

The current system lacked in performance and didn’t encourage users to purchase tickets and book events online, instead opting to either call the Zoo or purchase at the front counter. This meant that the Zoo needed additional staff at the front counters to manage all the on-the-day sales. 

We wanted a visitor standing at the gates to be able to purchase a ticket on their mobile, and then within minutes be able to walk in.  Or even better, make the decision to book tickets the night before, while sitting on the couch watching a documentary on animals. 

At the same time, staff needed instantaneous updates if that same guest booked into one of the optional sessions available throughout the day. Perth Zoo also relied heavily upon InTouch, a point-of-sale ticketing system used at their front counters all year round. Our team needed to integrate the website with the ticketing system so all purchasing information was instantly reflected on their main database.

The website needed to meet a typical user’s expectation, and convert viewers to attendees.

It was clear that the new website needed to be built in a way that staff internally could fully rely on the system and manage all the content and data with ease themselves, and the user experience (UX) was one that supported an intuitive purchasing journey that catered for all the possible ways a user may like to purchase a ticket or book an event (or both).

Our team wanted to remove the daily reliance of developers and empower the staff at Perth Zoo to fully own and manage their own website. This would reduce on-going management costs and increase the ability to make content updates on the site so that visitors had the latest information as soon as it was available.

The website features that created a revolution.

Our team forged an intuitive solution that enabled people to have the opportunity to experience the zoo, by developing a robust ticket management system, easy to book events system with and a live calendar for simple purchasing and dynamic reservation functionality.

  • Live ticket & stock management synced with point of sale software. Synced with an API to connect purchases online to InTouch, a visitor can now purchase a ticket anywhere at any time and instantaneously get access to the Zoo.
  • Session holding shopping cart. The new website can temporarily hold items in the cart while the user is checking out, so someone else doesn’t purchase the last spot while they are still browsing.
  • Interaction for a better visitor experience. Using an interactive map, visitors can plan their day plus view additional information about exhibits and animals.
  • Memberships and account management. Customers can track their past purchases and to manage their upcoming booked events. 
  • Marketing automation for winners. Automated reminder emails to guests when bookings are coming up, new exhibitions, or renewal of membership.
  • Kentico CMS to manage website content. A secure and stable platform that is highly cost effective with world leading features.

Even though Kentico is an enterprise level content management system that comes with a yearly fee, it still becomes the most cost-effective web platform to use, whilst being highly secure and handling a large amount of user data.

The concept of eCommerce was simple, Perth Zoo sells tickets, eCommerce is built for that. We used Kentico’s eCommerce capabilities to deliver the same experience, however the challenge was in the data integration side of the project. The eCommerce system had to connect with InTouch, in order to have these systems work together we had to do some hardcore development magic.

The website was integrated with BPoint as the payment gateway. BPoint payment gateway is offered by the Commonwealth Bank, using this kept payments secure, quick and integrated. Transactions were linked to user sessions/IDs which then enabled Perth Zoo link each transaction back to a specific individual as it happened.

The website was integrated with BPoint as the payment gateway. BPoint payment gateway is offered by the Commonwealth Bank, using this kept payments secure, quick and integrated. Transactions were linked to user sessions/IDs which then enabled Perth Zoo link each transaction back to a specific individual as it happened.

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