I have been looking at agency line business for newsagents – lottery tickets, phone recharge, transport tickets, event tickets. Transport are the least efficient from what I can see. By least efficient, I mean in terms of other items purchased with them.
85% of transport ticket sales are the tickets and nothing else.
While it could be argued that this is the fault of newsagents, it could also be argued that the nature of the product is that it does ot lend itself to efficiency with other items being purchased at the same time.
It could also be argued that selling a ticket positions you to get the magazine, newspaper or card sale when that shopper wants any of those. I’d disagree with this based on my observations of transport ticket shoppers. They want the ticket and are unlikely to think of you for anything other than the ticket.
There is a time management conflict newsagents need to consider as they evolve their businesses. Card, gift, toy and plush shoppers need more shop floor help than a bus or train ticket customer. One is about retail while the other is about being a counter based shop keeper.
Attracting a shopper because of your gift range is more likely to result in them remembering you than attracting someone to buy a transport ticket. It all comes down to how much you focus on and control your own future.
The question is whether newsagents are prepared to ditch tickets. This is a question about margin focused retail versus slim margin public service operation. It’s about focusing on what you bring to the business versus slim margin volume.
Successive Liberal and Labor state governments have shafted small business newsagents by cutting margin while allowing other contractors to reap huge financial rewards with new ticketing systems. So much for small business policy. Delivering fair compensation for offering what is a public service could have reinforced their small business credentials. What they have done is the opposite.
But back to the data. Currently, transport tickets are the least efficient products / services sold by newsagents.
My personal view is that volume for between 2% and 4% margin is not acceptable. I do not sell tickets in two of my three newsagencies.