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Ticketmaster eliminates CAPTCHA, biggest pain point for mobile ticket purchases

Ticketmaster has re-engineered its feature set across iOS 7 to optimize ticket purchases, including swipe-to-buy, fewer steps and no need to type in a CAPTCHA.

While other sites and apps have tickets for resale, Ticketmaster has integrated the tickets for sale by the venue with the tickets for sale by fans and other resellers. This gives fans a larger selection of tickets, with Ticketmaster promising that all offerings are guaranteed real and authentic.

“We built the new Ticketmaster app to give fans a safe and convenient place to buy 100 percent verified tickets. To this end, we were relentless in our drive to get out of the customer’s way, simplify, and make buying tickets easier than ever before,” said Mike Lane, vice president of mobile products for Ticketmaster, West Hollywood, CA.

“We leveraged a key interaction in iOS 7 to create a very efficient new purchase feature we call swipe-to-buy. We simplified the purchase flow and reduced the number of steps necessary to complete a purchase. We also removed the biggest pain point in purchasing tickets on a mobile device, CAPTCHA.”

“We developed a unique way to validate the app making the purchase, and alleviated the need for type-in CAPTCHA. This means no more squiggly, frustrating, hard to read letters,” he said.

Events leadership
During a time of digital transition, where the days of waiting in line to get a good ticket are nearing an end, there is a new network of highly organized ticket brokers, and the ubiquity of online sales means face-to-face representation and verification are being nixed, presenting the average consumer with many more obstacles to buying tickets than in the past.

The new Ticketmaster app includes features that it claims are entertainment industry firsts, including: Sell/Transfer to send or sell tickets directly to friends and other fans; an anti-fraud animated watermark so venues know what mobile tickets are authentic; Swipe to Buy: swipe left to quickly buy tickets; and access to both primary and resale tickets providing a more comprehensive selection of available tickets for live events.

The app also has great personalization features that will make sure fans never miss a presale or an onsale opportunity.

The redesigned ‘Favorites’ will help fans keep track of the artists, events and venues they care most about and there are an increased number of easy-to-use filters.

Mobile moments
A top Forrester Research analyst who spoke in March during a Mobile Marketer webinar said that marketers need to shift from the basic mobile-first strategy to one that proactively services consumers based on their specific context and the particular moment.

According to Forrester, this is now the age of the customer. In the early twentieth century, it was the age of manufacturing, then in the ’60s it shifted to the age of distribution, and in the ’90s it was the age of information.

Now success stems from satisfying the customer. Marketers need to meet the demands of the empowered buyer in the moment to have a comparative advantage.

This age of the customer requires getting to know the customer and figuring how to best serve him or her. It is about building relationships with consumers and providing them enhanced service from analytics and metrics.

Driving mobile engagement?
Personalization plays a big role in the relaunch of an app, especially for an industry synonymous with impulse buys.

The matriarch of Ticketmaster, Live Nation revamped its mobile app this past holiday season with new features that pull in recommendations to create personalized, curated event suggestions, while also tightly integrating social media components.

Heavily relying on search, keywords for events, artists and venues can be typed in to filter down search results.

Additionally, the app is sectioned into three areas: “your shows”, “all shows” and “nearby shows” to declutter the screen.

The “your shows” section aggregates all of the events that a user bought tickets for so that consumers can quickly browse through events.

Live Nation’s app also integrates Facebook so that consumers can share their favorite artists and concerts with friends and family.

For example, before an event consumers can RSVP to the event, which can then be published on a Facebook account. Music fans can also post videos and photos after an event.

Both revamps are the latest example of how marketers have completely rethought their iOS apps this year with the launch of Apple’s iOS 7 in terms of personalization and discovery.

Often cited as the most powerful platform around, Apple’s ability to drive customer adoption of the platform so quickly is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Ticketmaster has leveraged everything iOS 7 has to offer in terms of design, performance, and user engagement.

“84 percent of live event attendees have smartphones, and fans that purchase tickets using their mobile device attend more show and purchase more tickets per year as compared to all purchasers,” Mr. Lane said.

“As we continue to develop ways to make buying tickets easier it is clear that our fans want to use their phone to find and purchase tickets. When fans start using the new Ticketmaster app we’re sure they will love the sell and transfer features the we are delivering in this version as well as the convenience of their phone becoming their ticket into the even.”

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York