Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park launches mobile visitor app to transform their experience.
Popular, nationally recognised visitor attractions like Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park are turning to mobile app technology to transform their digital visitor experience.
Most leading visitor attractions recognise they cannot stand still and must constantly develop and innovate to maintain and enhance customer interest and the overall experience.
The Suffolk-based attraction, owned by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty, was keen to enhance the visitor experience. Recognised as one of South East England’s leading attractions, Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park is celebrating its 21st anniversary.
Mobile Visitor App and Attraction Management Software
Following a short initial consultation last summer, n-gage.io was engaged to develop and implement a digital strategy to enhance the visitor experience and gain valuable insights into audience behaviour. The company has been working alongside Stevie Sheppard, Park Director at Jimmy’s Farm, along with his team to develop and deploy the attraction management software and mobile visitor app across the site.
Led by entrepreneur Bryan Hoare and incubated by GCV Labs – n-gage.io aims to transform audience experiences through a customisable, data insight driven SaaS platform with an integrated mobile-web application. Within a couple of months n-gage.io helped launch the highly customisable n-gage.io platform and mobile visitor app to help transform the park’s approach to digital visitor engagement.
With more than 4,000 app downloads during the first few weeks of launch, the attraction is now benefitting from new ways to engage its audience both on and off site, while better understanding how people spend their time during a visit.
Stevie Sheppard explains: “We’d been looking for a solution to re-introduce mobile technology to our visitors for some time, but we found it increasingly difficult to identify software in the industry that gave us the flexibility and control that we wanted. We’d had an app previously, but like many other attractions, found that with more recent technology advancements, and the changing expectations of our visitors, it was no longer fit for purpose.
Highly Customisable Solution
“What attracted us to the n-gage.io solution was the highly customisable nature of the base app, and the feature rich operator platform behind the scenes that powers it. While the app itself has so many engaging features, it’s also what we can do with the platform to understand more about our visitors' on-site behaviour that’s been truly eye opening.”
Incorporating low energy bluetooth beacons on-site, that communicate directly with the app and platform, has meant the attraction is now able to gain valuable insights data into visitor dwell time and other useful metrics. It also provides a more engaging and immersive experience, with triggered in-app content and notifications.
Enhancing the Experience
Stevie added: “The fact that we can now manage our visitor’s interactive digital experience day to day, means we’ve been able to be far more personalised in our approach, based on the data the platform and app is generating. And from an operational perspective, we’re able to help our visitors plan and manage their day more effectively, from integrating with digital ticketing through to interactive mapping and wayfinding.
“It’s really important for us to ensure that when we introduce visitor technology it doesn’t detract from the physical enjoyment of being with us, but enhances the overall experience, and with the new platform and app we feel we’re getting that balance just right.”
This digital approach and the site’s drive for sustainability has also helped to reduce the need for as much signage and be less reliant on things like paper maps and other printed information.
“We’re also seeing a benefit from a marketing perspective, with the ability to issue offers and special discounts in the form of in-app digital vouchers, not just for our attraction, but as we partner with other attractions in the area, for them too,” said Stevie.
The software app is also helping the team with education and spreading the conservation message. “With most of the younger generation being mobile first, what better way of helping reinforce our messaging than through the digital medium they use the most,” said Stevie.
Bryan Hoare, founder and CEO of n-gage.io added: “We’ve been delighted to work with the team at Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park and see how our technology is beginning to make a difference, not just operationally, but the positive impact it’s also making across their whole visitor journey."
“We’ve also got some exciting plans to support more of their work later this year as we launch a second app for their KEEPERFEST event, the UK’s first dedicated festival for every professional keeper of animals.”
Software and mobile apps developed by n-gage.io are already in use at Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park (AWCP), in Gibraltar, and Northumberland Zoo, in North East England.