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Regal Cinemas’ in-app ticket sales jump with loyalty integration

Regal Cinemas turned its mcommerce application into the highest volume driver of ticket sales after integrating the movie theater chain’s loyalty program.

The mobile app also became Regal’s most trafficked digital channel following its relaunch earlier this year, surpassing both the desktop and mobile sites for the first time. Selling tickets had always been a big focus of the app, but by enabling movies fans to easily earn and redeem rewards from their smartphone, Regal saw a jump in a number of key metrics.

“At launch, the Web site was still our most visited site and the mobile site was second,” said Chris Sylvia, vice president of media at Regal Cinemas. “Upon launch, the mobile app became the highest trafficked site.

“A month later, the app became the highest volume ticket driver for us,” he said. “Just by integrating the loyalty program, page views, return visits, time spent, everything went up as soon as launched that program.”

Opening credits
Regal launched its first app four years ago in partnership with Fandango. Two years, the chain developed its own app, putting the ability to purchase tickets on the opening screen, an industry first at the time.

The app also streamed relevant Twitter content and integrated this with movie pages.

Approximately 18 months ago, the company began working with app developer Willowtree and by February of this year, an updated app was unveiled that integrates loyalty so customers can engage with the program when they are in a theater. Previously, loyalty was only accessible from desktop.

The mobile app version of the loyalty program is a storefront where users can buy movie tickets, upgrades, snacks and movie-related merchandise.

Users can earn coupons for concessions, scan and store their Regal Crown Club loyalty card for quick use and check their balance.

Message center
The loyalty program is now mobile first, with the app the fastest way to activate an account and get an offer for free popcorn.

With users returning to the app more frequently to manage their loyalty rewards, they also started using the app more to purchase tickets.

When users open the app, the first thing they see is the top 10 movies based on box office sales. The app also finds the user’s location and posts the next available local show time and an option to buy tickets.

Users can navigate to several different tabs, including one for locating nearby theaters and another for the loyalty program.

Regal also built in a message center so it can send promotions and other messages to users without having to disturb them with push notifications.

On location
A key reason for the loyalty integration is to enable customers to engage with the brand while they are in the theater. Regal is currently exploring extending this strategy with geofencing and beacons.

Regal is also overhauling its mobile Web site, with the new version expected to launch in a few weeks. The new site takes some of the learnings from the new app and translate these for the Web, such as with a more streamlined purchasing process that brings the nearest available show time and nearest theater to landing page.

“We are being smarter about sniffing out your location or asking you for it up front to make the process easier and bring movies immediately to you,” Mr. Sylvia said.