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StubHub rolls out new features to streamline ticket-buying process

An executive at the Media Tech Summit 2012 conference, an executive said that the company has 20 percent of traffic coming from handsets, showing how the company is steadily ramping up its mobile presence. The new seating feature is being rolled out across the company’s mobile site and iPhone and Android app.

“With the limited screen real estate space on mobile, using maps to search for tickets becomes a first-class citizen, as opposed to scrolling through hundreds or thousands of listings,” said Mehdi Ghazizadeh, senior director of engineering at StubHub, San Francisco.

“With an interactive map, fans can simply select the sections they would want to sit and see only those listings,” he said. “Adding to this we are providing further visual aids such as view from section so that fans know exactly what the approximate view would be for where they want to sit.”

EBay-owned StubHub claims to be the world’s largest ticket marketplace.

Mobile seats
The new feature shows StubHub users where tickets are available using an interactive map feature.

Users can view a map of the venue’s layout and zoom in on specific sections. From there, consumers can click on sections to view available tickets by section.

In addition to browsing by section, fans can also search by price range and view photos to get a better in-venue perspective.

Users can then learn more about the tickets in the section and can check-out with a StubHub user name.

At launch, all events with NFL teams on the company’s mobile site are equipped with the feature.

The feature will be supported on devices running Android 4 and iOS 4 and above.

Mobile storage
StubHub has been ramping up its efforts recently to focus more on mobile.

For example, StubHub was one of the first brands to take advantage of Apple’s new Passbook feature last month.

Consumers with the StubHub iPhone or iPod touch app downloaded can now store virtual tickets to select events inside Passbook. Purdue University and the University of Texas were the first StubHub clients to begin testing the technology, which loads the ticket as a QR code that can be scanned at the venue. Additionally, the tickets are time and location-triggered so that they will pop up when consumers are nearby the stadium.

As trust continues to grow from consumers to buy from their handsets, mobile is also expected to play an increased role for StubHub in sales.

In fact, an executive from StubHub at the eTail Boston Mobile Shopping Summit recently said that the company expects mobile to generate 30 – 50 percent of sales in the next five or six years (see story).

“With interactive maps on mobile we are the first company in our industry to enable fans  to use maps for search and see the approximate views from each section,” Mr. Ghazizadeh said.

“This is a vast improvement over scrolling through hundreds of listing without having much of an idea of what their surrounding and views would be once they purchase tickets,” he said.

“We were the first company to introduce interactive seat maps on the desktop and we are now the first company to also roll interactive touch seat maps across all mobile platforms.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York