Many different factors go into marina operations - everything from fuel management to organizing slip reservations to running a gift or tackle shop, and more.
With so many areas to focus on, marina owners need comprehensive marina management solutions that help them keep things running efficiently.
Commerce enablement tools for marinas
Independent software vendors (ISVs) who specialize in marina management software cater to a clientele with very specific technology needs.
To help their marina clients provide a good customer experience and improve revenue, there are several commerce enablement tools ISVs should ensure they provide within their software solution. Below, we take a look at just a few.
With online reservations, customers can quickly and easily book what they need - whether that’s a slip rental or a fishing or transportation charter. This functionality frees up marina staff from having to handle reservations via phone, allowing them to focus on in-person customer service. Online reservations can also be used for scheduling marine service and repair technicians.
Point of sale
Many marinas have a tackle shop or a gift/souvenir shop on premises, necessitating point-of-sale equipment. In these locations, marina managers should ensure they’re offering versatile payments functionality for all the ways customers want to pay - credit card, debit card, contactless, and more. They should also ensure they have a good inventory tracking system in place to keep up with their current stock of goods and know when they need to re-order.
Rather than mailing paper bills, marinas can request credit card payments from their customers with a simple link sent via text or email, allowing customers to pay via an online bill pay system. Marinas can send outstanding balance notices anytime or automate the process to remind the customer of unpaid balances by sending another statement on a configurable schedule.
For longer-term customers, marinas may charge slip rental fees by the month. Recurring billing functionality can help automate this process and help ensure that monthly payments are made on time.
Recurring billing is also a great tool for use in boatyard management. Vessels need to be dry-docked for maintenance and repairs, and sometimes also held in dry storage. For example, boatyards can allow customers to reserve a spot in dry storage for an off-season, and can charge them monthly.
Online reputation management
In today’s digital world, a majority of customers interact with businesses online, no matter what industry. A good marina management tool will enable marina managers to see how customers are rating them on social media, as well as respond to online reviews and social media comments, all from one tool.
Robust analytics is a must for marinas. They need to keep track of the demographics and behavior of both new and returning customers. They also need to monitor and analyze seasonal sales volume in gift and tackle shops, and more. A reporting platform that can provide these details can help marina owners and managers adjust their business plan as needed.
Marina managers can benefit in numerous ways from using a software solution that includes digital commerce enablement tools. Each of the benefits listed below further provides a combined benefit of increased profitability.
The right marina management software solution provides a robust suite of tools that help increase efficiency. These tools can help automate paperwork and processes, freeing up employees and managers for other important tasks and reducing operating costs.
Increased marketing options
Including reputation management tools in marina management software gives marina managers additional points of contact with their customers, enabling them to engage with customers on various social media platforms and review sites from one dedicated tool.
Improved customer experience
Today’s customers want their transactions with businesses to be quick and frictionless. Many even prefer conducting business online rather than interacting with an employee. By offering user-friendly digital options such as online booking, marinas can keep their customers satisfied and returning.
Marina managers need a variety of specific technology tools to keep their marina running at its peak. If they went to a different vendor for each of those tools, that would be an overwhelming number of vendor relationships to manage, which would take time away from running their marina.
ISVs who partner with a payments provider who also provides these commerce enablement tools can offer their marina clients one vendor relationship - thereby adding value to their own software as well. Contact us today to see how we can help.