German software company SAP believes a new feature combining the offerings of its Customer Checkout and Event Ticketing platforms will allow stadia and arenas to enhance the fan experience as thoughts turn towards reopening amid COVID-19.

Customer Checkout provides point-of-sale technology, while Event Ticketing helps manage and control all ticket sales and ticketing processes for events and matches.

SAP is now offering clubs, stadia and brands the ability to integrate their ticket sales in Event Ticketing into their merchandise processes in Customer Checkout. This integration is designed to allow a faster experience at point-of-sale while combining both systems in one common basket.

The integration is already available out-of-the box for clubs as well as venues and Fadi Naoum, senior vice-president of the Intelligent Enterprise Group and head of development for sports and entertainment at SAP, told TheStadiumBusiness.com that the company is currently in “close co-operation” with one of its strategic customers to implement it soon in their venue.

He added: “In terms of an ultimate fan experience we’re always searching for solutions to improve and optimise the processes within the stadium. One example might be long waiting queues to purchase tickets and food and beverage in the stadium.

“With the integration of SAP Customer Checkout and SAP Event Ticketing, we managed to combine the ticket, merchandise and catering sales and with this feature, the speed of service can be improved, as we have one common basket.

“In detail, this means that fans only wait in one queue, and they have one payment process. In general, the ‘shopping process’ for fans within the stadium is simplified.”

Venues and sports clubs are currently looking to adapt to reopening in the COVID-19 world. SAP believes its technology can help ease this adaptation through increased digitisation.

Naoum said: “As SVP of the sports and entertainment industry at SAP, I am in close co-operation with our customers and get a lot of insight on the current situation. It’s a challenging time for most of the clubs and venues as essential income streams from usual match or event days, e.g. from ticketing, merchandising or hospitality, are now completely missing.

“There are a lot of challenges to deal with when stadiums re-open, but I think it is also of high importance to have the right technology behind them. Let’s stay with the above mentioned example of the processes in ticketing and catering.

“Clubs and venues can offer their fans and customers the option to purchase tickets online. It’s easier and might be one possibility to minimise the spread of the virus rather than standing in the queue with several other fans to purchase tickets, interacting with cashiers at the ticketing shop, or similar.

“Another example could be to offer mobile, contactless and cashless payment options at kiosks, or in merchandise shops. With our point-of-sale software SAP Customer Checkout this is by default included.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shown us how important digitisation is and the SAP Sports and Entertainment product portfolio provides our customers the right technology to help them run at their best, especially in this time of crisis.”

Images: SAP