To help event organizers distribute tickets, online platforms are creating environments that efficiently work for buyers and sellers. “Our focus is all about enabling the best experience for both the event organizer and the attendee,” Ticketbud CEO Kayhan Ahmadi told PYMNTS in an interview. The Austin, Texas-based company provides software to organizers of large and small events.
This year, the company is looking to enhance the way that customers interact with its platform through mobile devices. “We want to roll out an experience that really optimizes around mobile,” Ahmadi said. And, since every ticket buyer has to check out, Ahmadi decided to identify that as a particular area of focus. (At the same time, Ticketbud noted in a press release that mobile is expected to reach 54 percent of eCommerce by 2021, per BigCommerce.)
With the company’s old mobile checkout experience, customers had to manually enter their payment information, such as credit card numbers and zip codes. “It wasn’t necessarily a clunky experience,” Ahmadi said, but he noted that it wasn’t a “slick, one-click payment experience,” and equated the mobile experience to checking out on a desktop. “It wasn’t leveraging the latest and greatest.” With the new checkout experience, that’s exactly what he wanted to do.
Ticket Buying Innovation
Through the new ticket purchasing process, customers visit an event page and choose a ticket option among multiple tiers set by event organizers. Those choices can range from general admission (GA) tickets to enhanced early tickets and VIP packages. With the setup provided by Ahmadi’s platform, the customer views these different kinds of options and selects one of the choices presented by the event organizer.
After customers make those decisions, they arrive at the Ticketbud checkout cart. Those using mobile experiences tap to pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay. “We’re trying to reduce as much friction for the user as possible,” Ahmadi said, adding that the information seamlessly goes through a payment processor.
The experience is done through the web, as Ahmadi is seeing fatigue in the app space, despite the fact that apps have come a long way. (App fatigue is commonly described as the state where consumers don’t want to download new apps.) When customers go through the web, they aren’t asked to download an app at the start of the funnel. As Ahmadi noted, “we’re trying to make it as seamless as possible.”
Ticket buying platforms don’t only focus on helping event organizers sell tickets to, say, a music festival. These companies also work with restaurants on in-store events. And, while Ahmadi said that restaurants do a great job with mobile ordering, they still face challenges with creating in-store experiences.
Restaurants can have diners buy tickets to an in-store event designed around a big televised fight, game or race. The ticket buyer, in turn, may get some sort of complimentary food item. But one of the challenges with the audience researching events on mobile is making the sale and actually bringing diners into the store.
In Ahmadi’s eyes, the answer is to deliver a mobile experience from the event. Ticketbud created a one-click payment option through digital wallets to help drive conversions. While Ahmadi said that credit cards generally have a higher conversion than cash, he noted that mobile-optimized, one-click checkout enjoys even higher conversion rates.
The aim for online ticket platforms is to leverage the latest in digital wallets to help drive sales for event organizers of events large and small – whether they are music festivals or in-store events.