The American Zoo association shares:
- 183 million annual visitors (in the US)
- 50 million annual children visitors (with families)
- Two out of three adults bring children
- 12 million annual students on educational trips
- Average visit is 4 hours
Zoos and aquariums enjoy a plethora of visitors each year. In particular, families make up the majority.
- 93% agree their family enjoys seeing animals up close at zoos and aquariums
- Taking this into account can help us incorporate more opportunities for families to be close and personal with animals from the convenience of our application.
- 94% feel that zoos and aquariums teach children about how people can protect animals and the habitats they depend on
- We can continue to feed into that information by providing fun, educational concepts within our mobile app for children specifically.
- 79% feel better about companies that support wildlife conservation at zoos and aquariums
- By transforming the Zoo into a more digitally-savvy attraction, we can ensure our conservation efforts are seen and heard through the mobile-sphere. We want our visitors to know and understand that the Zoo is more than just an attraction, but the premiere home for curiosity. Our mission is to protect the creatures that share our home, and our app is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness and entice community efforts from visitors, members and donors.
- 66% are more likely to buy products and services from those companies
- We can bring this percentage up by providing more incentives and experiences to make our membership worthwhile.
- The Philadelphia Zoo is predominantly geared towards families with kids ages 2-14, but also attracts visitors who are sightseeing in Philadelphia.
- 35% of adult zoo visitors are between the ages of 30-39.
- The overall breakdown of adult visitors:
Income Level: 28% of adult visitors make between 35-74k/year, with 22% between 100-149k/year.
Education: 31% of adult visitors have received a bachelor’s degree. Generally speaking, most adult visitors have received some sort of higher education (high-school to PHD)
*Image Source: philadelphiazoo.org
- Metro area: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
- Lifestyle – family-oriented, city folk, culture-oriented
- Interests – loves animals, likes nature, likes to create memories, enjoys learning, likes to make their children happy
- Personality – outgoing, adventurous, curious
- Attitudes and Values –
- Stephen Keller’s national survey of 3,107 American adults offered great insight into the attitudes and values of adult visitors.
- Through the study we discovered that adults under the age of 25 appeared more appreciative and affectionate towards animals and were more concerned about their protection. They attained the highest scores for a humane orientation compared to other age groups – people over age 76 scored lowest in the category.
- Females appear to be more oriented to animals than males – including both female children and female adults. Males more likely have a detached and pragmatic view of animals.
- Priorities and Motivations – Visitors are motivated to spend time with loved ones and make one-of-a-kind memories. For parents, motivation to attend the zoo is due to either finding something that will entertain the kids or the parent’s own personal nostalgia from attending the Zoo as a child.
- On average, zoo visitors stay around 2 ½ hours at the park, and come at peak times on Saturdays & Sundays around noon. The most popular visiting season is the summer season.
- Park visitors enjoy visiting animal attractions and often purchase a souvenir at the gift shop towards the end of their visit.
- Families are more attracted to interactive exhibits while they neglect the noninteractive ones, but they only spend ⅓ of their time at the zoo watching animals.
- In a study conducted by Sherman Rosenfeld for the Weizmann Institute of Science – families spend the rest of their time walking, using the playground, eating, and riding the zoo train during their visit. In general, families often view less than half of the Zoo’s map – which is likely attributed to spending more time at food concessions than animal exhibits.
Visitor Persona: Ava & Max
Ava and Max are parents to an 8 year old girl and 5 year old boy. The family of four lives within the Philadelphia region, and their totaled household income is less than 100k. On weekends, the family likes to venture out to create one-of-a-kind memories in their city. Most importantly, the adults enjoy learning moments for their children to reinforce school concepts. Ava also has a personal connection to the Zoo as she attended the Zoo often with her grandparents. The family likes animals, but Ava and her children certainly have a closer relationship to them.
Pain-Points for Ava & Max: The couple wants to attend the Zoo more often as their children always enjoy going, but they’re looking for more “bang for their buck” especially in a COVID world. Ava also wants to ensure she hits all boxes for her kids when they visit the Zoo, but she has a tough time navigating where exhibits are – or even the restroom. The family’s son loves tigers, but he has a tough time seeing them as close as he’s hoped for.
- Camden Adventure Aquarium
- Elmwood Zoo
- Please Touch Museum
- Sesame Place
Market: Kids with Family Experiences/Activities, Zoo & Aquarium Industry, Tourist Attractions
SWOT Analysis for the Proposed Philly Zoo App
- Information about Zoo and animals
- Gives more value to memberships
- Ability to use app at both the zoo and at home, continuing to engage visitors
- Saving time for families looking to visit, park, order food or plan to attend events
- Essentially eliminate the paper map which members are asked to take pictures of
- Need for strong Wi-Fi in large proximity
- Families missing out on quality time while they’re constantly looking at phones
- Older crowd may have a tough time with this digital upgrade due to the overwhelming amount of information or lack of technology capabilities
- Offer additional benefits via an app
- Collaborations and Partnerships within the local community
- The need for apps in this industry
- Increased expectations
- COVID cultural shift: replacements for outdoor activities
- More memberships can encourage the zoo to invest more into app
- Technology and software updates
- Cyber Hacking/Device security/Personal information
- App maintenance
- Other family activities/places/parks
- Zoo’s financial statements are worrying; losses were greater than profit (2019); Zoo can be hesitant to invest in the app
- Taylor, S. M.. “Understanding processes of informal education: a naturalistic study of visitors to a public aquarium.” (1987).
- Nichols, S.K. (Ed.). (2008). Patterns in Practice: Selections from the Journal of Museum Education (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315422893