BackgroundThe largest family farm and seasonal event destination in Northern Virginia, Cox Farms has been in operation for over 40 years. Each year, Cox Farms presents a wide range of fun, family events and experiences on the farm including its Fall Festival--the largest and most popular seasonal event destination in the Washington, D.C. area., a Fields of Fear Halloween attraction, and Corner Markets during the fall, Christmas, spring, and summer seasons.
Like other venues of its kind, Cox Farms relies almost exclusively on its website for ticket sales and as a communication vehicle for its various offerings. While the operation was successful and continued to grow each year, so did the company’s ticketing errors and manual processing requirements. The Cox Farms team faced a logistical nightmare--with serious financial implications--because their existing website was not integrated with their POS system.
Objectives & ChallengesFocused on continually providing the best possible customer experience at the farm and beyond, the Cox Farms team set out to develop a stronger online presence. They wanted a new website with a fun, vibrant interface that was easy to navigate and maintain, without being too content-heavy. Second, and equally as important, they needed a POS system that could seamlessly tie-in with their new website.
SolutionHexaGroup stepped in as an IT consultant to first review the current website and systems at Cox Farms, and develop a POS and IT solution that would sustain their business. After evaluating available POS systems that could closely integrate with a new website, the HexaGroup team selected Gatemaster as its recommendation.
ImplementationHexaGroup’s graphic artists developed the best look and feel for the new Cox Farms website. And, because 50 percent of Cox Farms’ sales were conducted on mobile devices, the project became one of HexaGroup’s first responsive design efforts.
For the new website, the team implemented a CMS, created a member portal and linked it with an intuitive eCommerce platform designed to stimulate higher sales and return visits. Members were given dashboard, shopping cart, and checkout access to all event bookings, ticket purchases, and accessory buying, along with special access to print offers, promotions, and special events. Through a push component, members are proactively kept informed through email campaigns.
To completely integrate the POS and new website, HexaGroup performed custom programming on top of Gatemaster. HexaGroup also provided ongoing web support.
ResultsSince its new website went live in 2012, the Cox Farms business and related maintenance has been running much more smoothly. The new site is stable, easy to maintain, requires very little maintenance, and conveys up-to-date content. Complete integration between the POS and new website has resulted in flawless ticketing transactions and redemptions, and virtually eliminated the need for manual processing.