Friends Arena Case Study

What: Friends Arena, The National Football Stadium of Sweden

Location: Solna, Stockholm

Transactions: Up to 40,000 transactions/event

Capacity: 65,000 visitors

The Challenge

As part of their vision of providing an unforgettable experience and creating closer relations with fans, Friends Arena were looking for a new, digital, and integrated solution for their POS system.

Friends Arena desired to simplify their processes, increase the reliability of their POS environment through synchronized data communication, and find a system that was intuitive enough to reduce staff training, yet sophisticated enough to provide the basis for increasing spend per head and providing speedy transactions.

For the partnership, 300 POS terminals were deployed and fully integrated so that the configuration, administration, and reporting could be done from a single place.

“Shopbox is so easy to use it frees up our employees to spend more time with the customer and deliver better service.”

The goals of the direct improvements are:

25% faster credit card transactions

45% faster employee
training

5-10% higher revenue per event

8% less time spent on administration

10% more sales
Do you want to hear more about the results and our arena solution?

Q&A with the CEO of Friends Arena, Jens Petter Stenseth

Why did you need a new POS solution?

It was time for a change. We believe in digitalization and in using data to provide improved experiences. We did a lot of manual work before that can be automated with the new cloud-based systems. It seemed like an obvious thing to do.

What did you take into consideration when making the decision?

The POS system had to address two groups – our customers and us. Customers at football games or concerts demand fast encounters. They are not there to wait in line.

Transaction speed and stability is crucial for us, especially during football games because most guests want something to drink during the break – so the pressure is extremely high during those 15 minutes. Faster transactions allow us to get more guests through the system, to reduce waiting times, and in the end increase our bottom line.

The flexibility of the system was also a factor. Quick setup, easy reporting, and taking advantage of data were all things we required.

What are the greatest advantages about your new POS?

Our guests should spend less time waiting in line and more time at the concert or football game, which is why they come here in the first place. So the goal of 25% faster transactions make a big difference for us.

The ability to monitor and analyze data in real-time also gives us a range of possibilities – we can move counters and address the parts of the arena that are under pressure, and we can set up last-minute offers based on our inventory numbers.

We will also need less time training our staff how to use the system, with the aim to reduce around 45% of our training cost. It’s simple to operate so that our staff can focus on delivering a service, not just a Coke.

My favourite thing about Shopbox is that we can add and remove counters as they are needed on the night – we’ve once spontaneously set up three new counters in a crowded area in less than 15 minutes. With the old system, this would not have been possible.

How do you see the future of your POS?

We share a lot of visions with Shopbox. The future of hospitality involves an increasingly strong omnichannel approach, where we as an arena have better opportunities to connect with our guests before, during, and after an event. It is important for us to keep evolving in this direction to take advantage of the opportunities that the new technologies are offering us.

How come the transactions are faster with Shopbox than with other solutions?

Together with Shopbox we established a team to go deep into understanding how we could make transactions faster in any possible way. They did a few things. First they overlooked personnel using the system and took away all unnecessary steps in making a checkout so it became as much one-click as possible. Second thing was to make the credit card transactions faster. For this Shopbox, together with our payment processor, optimised the system technically so that all smaller transactions were approved without even making a request to the server. This saves 2-5 seconds on each transaction, which means a lot when you have a full arena for a national football game and only 15 minutes to serve 40,000 people.

How can the setup go so fast?

Shopbox is a so-called mPOS (mobile point of sale) solution. The only hardware used is a tablet, a terminal, a cash drawer, and a printer (often integrated). All hardware is easy to move, and when the software runs, it can easily be installed on an additional tablet – or ten tablets, for that matter.

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