Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Mobile ticketing will include more devices in year ahead: report

While the rise in mobile and tablet usage drove retailers to invest in responsive Web sites in the just-concluded year, ticketing in the weeks and months to come will be driven by an outreach to consumers on as many devices as possible.

“This year will be the reminder that while it’s important to cater for mobile customers, it shouldn’t be at the risk of compromising other device usage,” said Rob Williams, operations director for the Ticket Factory, a British primary ticket sales and distribution company formerly known as NEC Box Office.

“Responsive design has traditionally been about the transition from desktop to mobile. We will now see this shift, towards a model that caters for watches, through to television, and possibly even cinema screen,” he said. “We need to give customers the ability to choose what’s right for them at any given moment.”

Avoiding sell-outs
Speed is more important to customers than ever before. Customers want to get their tickets quickly ahead of a sell-out. For promoters, a speedy sale shows shows strong demand for an artist – it is the ultimate popularity contest.

Las Vegas show ticketing app.

The importance of speed gives ticket-driven entertainment brands an incentive to institute changes and improvements quickly.

That imperature dovetails with consumers’ accelerated expectation for convenience and ease of service, spurred by mobile-technology advances.

“The opportunity to make purchases in the same way is now starting to follow suit,” Mr. Williams said. “From an online retailers’ perspective, mobile has gone from being offered to customers as a nice-to-have piece of added value, to an absolute must.

“Over a third of The Ticket Factory’s customers now visit our website on their mobiles,” he said. “Therefore, we need to … make sure that the mobile shopping experience is one that allows customers to buy with ease, in a safe and secure manner.”

Entertainment commodities have geared their efforts toward mobile ticketing to attract mobile device users, knowing that consumers are becoming more willing to make purchases via mobile.

In July, a company that bundles pre-paid admission tickets for top attractions in several cities around the country made plans to go mobile.

CityPass, a family-owned company based in Victor, ID, launched a test in Chicago through which customers can pick up their physical booklet of tickets using a voucher on their mobile phone. The plan was to eventually digitize the whole coupon booklet for mobile use, the company said.

In September, Disneyland initiated a trek towards mobile ticketing with a new option to buy tickets via mobile devices for its Halloween celebrations.

Game-changing shift
The increasing number of available mobile payment methods is continually improving speed of sale online and convenience for customers. ApplePay’s launch will make the trend more accessible to a larger volume of consumers.

Buying tickets for Las Vegas events via mobile.

“If the technology works and banks get on board quickly, it has the potential to be a game changing shift in the world of retail,” Mr. Williams said.

As mobile payment technology improves, consumer confidence and trust in making mobile purchases will grow.

“When this happens, we expect to see a big shift in e-commerce conversion rates, which are currently still flagging behind those of the more traditional desktop rates,” Mr. Williams said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York