A bride and groom smiling and standing arm-in-arm on a paved path outside.
BUSINESS

Payments Are The Ultimate Customer Conversion Tool 

BY C&C EDITORS / 11 16 22
Photo by LA76 Photography

Flip the script

Getting a customer to convert in the special events industry has a long history of being a kludgy experience on the property side and for customers: send a PDF contract, follow up on it 3x, send over a credit card authorization form, follow up on that 3x, finally receive a deposit, and lock in a date, just in time to send the next invoice and start the cycle again. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone in the industry as there has never been a solution purpose-built for your needs. ​​​

Brand is everything

The IRL experiences the property provides are unparalleled, so operationally, having control (even with a slower / harder customer experience) has long been better than risking the brand by using a tech platform that didn’t really understand the broader corporate goals. This is what we learned over ten years of building marketing and sales solutions specifically for the events industry with a focus on the properties that make up so much of a given event’s spend (60+%).

Digitally branded contracts and invoicing (mobile and on the web)

As we’ve launched new solutions on our platform, we’ve heard loud and clear that branded, digital contracts that can be executed with a single click meaninfully shorten the time to conversion. Providing digital payment capabilities on mobile and web, along with flexible payment options from pay-in-full by ACH to pay-over-time by credit card (or any other variation) means that venues using Carats & Cake are seeing over 80% of invoices paid early or on-time. These results are immediate, measurable, and align with the overall business necessity of not competing on price. Everyone loses in a race to the bottom on cost alone—the couple and the property—and yet the way invoices and deposits are structured in the industry often forces negative tradeoffs. 

Carats & Cake’s revenue optimization platform was purpose-built to work with the schedules of the industry. Yes, we’re delivering the first end-to-end platform for properties. We know that timelines for invoicing and payments are ingrained in how properties do business, realize revenue, and report out to their asset owners.

carats & cake invoice detail screenshot

When we looked at how properties invoice and realize revenue today, we knew there were ways to improve the biggest sticking points in that timeline—first, getting a date locked in. So many of the incredible catering sales managers that use our platform are personally encouraged based on the percentage of available event dates they can book as quickly as possible. If that’s the desired outcome - where was the pain? The pain was in securing wet ink signatures or in figuring out how to edit a PDF. Plus, no matter how much couples put aside for their big event, they often don’t have the funds in one account to send over a 30-40% deposit which is often more than they planned for upfront. What are they to do? Start selling off their unwanted handbags? Send a wire transfer? Increase their credit card limit? Not to mention figuring out how to send that deposit along with the signed contract. No one is having fun by creating friction at the most basic contract signing level AND at the first deposit moment. That process becomes a lot less painful when they have the option to sign their contract with one click on mobile or the web. And with a payment solution that allows customers to pay-in-full or divvy up deposits into more manageable chunks before their date. That’s where Carats & Cake comes in—we built it. We offer properties and catering sales managers the ease of sending contracts with invoices all digitally and branded, leaving customers to feel a level of consistency from properties never before possible. And we’re seeing dates getting locked in faster than ever. 

view of the customer payment portal

Better results, faster

Our internal data shows that 75% of customers pay properties in full—and faster—with Carats & Cake due to the straightforward and easy payment process. And 25% choose to pay over time. Either way, venues receive the full deposit from Carats & Cake immediately and can invest that revenue to ensure the event goes perfectly. On average, we’re seeing event margin improvements with properties using Carats & Cake for revenue optimization of ~13-15%. This is huge for our industry, and we believe every property owner should consider if the solutions they use are purpose-built for special events' unique qualities.  

If you’re interested in learning more about our platform and its impact on property owners, reach out to us at business@caratsandcake.com

More about Carats & Cake

Carats & Cake delivers the revenue optimization platform for property groups, transforming the $100 billion annual events industry. As a rapidly evolving proptech platform, Carats & Cakes drives greater value for properties across events, small group sales, and other areas of business that have lacked purpose-built digital solutions. Built by industry leaders, Carats & Cake has cultivated nearly a decade of trust with best-in-class businesses. Founded in 2013 and backed by 1Sharpe Ventures, Founders Fund, Acrew Capital, Moore Specialty Credit, Correlation Ventures, SilverCircle, GMO VenturePartners, and others, Carats & Cake enables forward-thinking businesses in the hospitality industry to provide a modern customer experience while optimizing sales operations and increasing revenue.

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80%

Invoices Paid On-Time
 

15%

Average increase in event spend
 

4.5x

return on investment