Games arcades are booming again - this is how one company is using data to capitalise on the trend

Picture: mustafagull, iStock.

They say that eventually, everything old is new again, and right now, demand for retro, family-friendly experiences is rising.

Entertainment and amusement centres business Timezone is well-placed to benefit from the shift in consumer behaviour towards more out of home entertainment experiences.

Founded in Perth in 1978, Timezone has 23 stores across Australia and more than 200 globally.

In the last 18 months alone Timezone has opened seven new locations.

General Manager Kane Fong says the recent boom in growth is thanks to consumers jumping on the experiences trend, the rise in shopping centre owners seeking entertainment attractions, as well as the company’s focus on data in decision-making.

“We’ve seen in more recent times a real shift back towards out of home,” Fong said.

“What we’re also finding now is a huge trend where [people] who were brought in by their parents 20 years ago, are now having their own children and they’re bringing them into our centres.

“It’s almost like passing on the baton kind of situation; this is what I did as a kid and I want to pass this experience onto you because this is what me and my mom or my dad did back in the day.

“It’s fantastic to see.”

Timezone’s use of data to drive decisions around new locations has also been beneficial in the company’s scale.

Fong told Business Insider that Timezone uses Daily IQ, CommBank’s online business insights tool, to see who their customers are, what they’re spending, and where they’re coming from.

“We have found the Daily IQ demographic data extremely interesting, [especially] the locational data and the heat mapping data.”

Fong said they would usually draw a 5-10 kilometre radius around a store, and focus on this as their marketing region, assuming this was where the majority of their customers were coming from.

Daily IQ data showed, however, that for some locations, proximity to the store itself wasn’t the important – it was how accessible the store was from major transport.

“So, what that tells us is that we need to be focusing on accessibility to the centre rather than just drawing a simple circle around it to say that’s our catchment.

“What that allows us to do is target and localise marketing spend.”

Timezone. Image: Supplied.

The data collected by Daily IQ also revealed the return of families to Timezone.

“We see the family spending a lot of money and the reason we know it’s a family is it tends to be actually older customers [rather] than younger because obviously the people who are spending the money, the people paying and being captured by the Daily IQ are the parents, not the children.”

As this growth spurt continues, Fong says the location specific customer demographic data will be their most valuable tool, as it informs the decision-making on both where to open new stores, and how to market to new customers.

“For the actual location planning side of things, the secondary usage would definitely be in the marketing side of things in identifying who are our customers and how can we target those customers with the most relevant campaign possible,” Fong said.

“And we’re able to compare that week for week and determine how successful was this campaign increasing average spend or increasing customer visitation numbers week to week and determine whether or not it was a successful campaign.

“We wish that this system was available internationally for all of our markets because the other markets don’t have access to this kind of powerful information that we do here.”

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