15 Key Requirements When Finding Your New Ticket Sales System
There are many options out there for selling tickets for your events. The market is filled with systems offering similar features with a few small differences but really, what do you actually need to be able to sell event tickets effectively? Obviously, requirements will differ depending on your own unique situation but after many years working in ticket sales, there are some key items you should keep in mind when deciding what system to work with.
1. Timed Promotional Tickets
Timing is everything, setting a price for your event is fine but to get the biggest impact, the timing of tickets will drive demand such as low priced tickets for early birds. It will incentivise your customers to put their money down sooner while increasing the time they have to talk about it and drive demand from their social circle. You can, of course, do this manually but finding a system that you can set and walk away allows for a cleaner process and significantly fewer chances of issues on the day.
2. Mobile Friendly
Though a few different numbers are thrown around, approx 60% of your customers will purchase through a mobile device and this is only increasing. This is a significant chunk of your sales revenue and you need to make sure that they can make that purchase quickly and effortlessly. Though ticket apps are available for some systems the mobile optimised website portal remains the key player in this area. We aren’t talking about a smaller version of the website, this should be a system designed and optimised for mobile phone interaction. If you put any blocks in the way of the purchase you are working against your efforts. The biggest issue in this area is the seat map for seated venues which though attempted by many companies can fall short of the requirement so be sure you are getting the right flow for your customers. On top of that, if you can replace your paper tickets with mobile-friendly tickets that can be used on the door you can save money and time for your customers. The possibilities are ever expanding so don’t get left behind.
3. Simple Sales Process
Much like the mobile process, the whole sales process on all devices should be confusion-free. The customer should know all they need to finalise and not have anything in the process to slow them down. This includes multiple page flows. If the customer feels they are filling out an essay the sale is at risk. The flow should be as few pages as possible while keeping the key information for the user to find in the most logical location. If they are in your help section, they aren’t finalising. One risk, however, is to sacrifice data for speed. The speed of internet connections has allowed for faster processing but to ask too many questions negates that gain. You still need to take some contact data for the purchase or the sale will go no further and you will have lost your biggest gain.
4. SEO System Pages
Though it isn’t something that is often considered by non-techs or marketing pros, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to your next customer finding you. At an increasing rate, customers find their next sale through a standard search engine search and tend to go no further than the 1st screen of suggestions. As a result, it is imperative that you appear on that page. If the system isn’t developed for SEO the marketing and sales efforts can often be wasted as a result so make sure that your whole sales funnel is working towards the same goal, more revenue and better visibility.
5. Pricing Options
Customers are a mixed bag and this is often reflected in the options you give them as part of a sale. Though often standard within event ticket sales systems, having the ability to sell different ticket types at different price levels can be messy. How the system handles the selection should allow for easy selection, changing and clarity in what the customer is paying up front. Nothing kills a sale better than the customer landing on the last screen and finding a price or selection that doesn’t match their expectation. The ability to report and add special offers at a ticket type level is also key to building a relationship with customers and driving their next sale.
6. Social Promotion
Great, your customer has made a purchase! Now you need them to let their social network know so they can join them. Having a one-click option to allow them to spread their good news is free organic marketing for you and is more weighted than any paid campaign. People are more likely to purchase if they see someone they know endorse it so make every sale a chance to reach that community and let the word spread. Any other outlets that the system might connect with to allow further promotion with little effort on your part is always welcome.
7. Visually Striking
Functionality is very important but if the system looks horrible the sale potential drops heavily. Make sure that the look and feel of the system work for your branding and website. Many systems will have some control over colours/images/fonts but if the underlying system looks like it comes straight out of the late 90s there is little you can do to improve it and it will heavily influence how your customers see your business as a result.
8. Advertise to Past Customers
This is a slight preach to the choir but indulge me. Marketing to the converted is much easier than the unknown. If you have customers who have already purchased they are much more likely to have connected with your message already. Build upon that relationship and don’t neglect it. It’s important to have the data you need to be able to find the right customers so mailing list building is a must have and as we will mention later, the proper use of analytics will allow you to get all data you will need for the next event, and the next after that, and so on. Make them feel part of the community and they will keep coming back and / or spread the message for you. If you’re selling into the EU, make sure that the system is set up correctly for compliance with GDPR (see our previous guide on this) as not all systems may be currently focused on that market.
If the customer is interested in one item, maybe they will also like something else you have on offer. If they are already making a purchase, a suggestion of another item or items to add to their cart will be an easier sell. A natural upselling process can turn an average sale to multiple the original price. Having a system that has included this into the sales process and allows for a natural flow to the sales process will increase your revenue potential significantly. Be careful, however, a system may indicate in their documentation that they offer upselling but there is a lot more psychology involved than just adding an item to the page. Review how it is done to make sure it feels right if you were your own customer.
10. Strong Connection to Your Brand
You are putting your time and effort to get your name out there and want to make sure when a customer is buying from you, they know they are buying from YOU. The ability to customise the system to match your style is important but the less the customer feels they are still on your website the more they will associate the whole experience with your brand so that next time they want to have that experience again it is your site they go to.
11. Tracking and Analytics
If you have done your work well then you should be getting in a lot of traffic from multiple locations. But where? What has worked the best? What isn’t working and needs adjusting? Without a strong focus on analytics and tracking of sales from various campaigns, you could be throwing away time and money on processes that aren’t working and losing out on those that are. Having a system with basic dashboards and details is better than none but in my opinion, the more data you have with a system that knows how to give you it in a clear format the better.
12. Selling on the Door
If you’re sold out, saying no at the door is great promotion but even so, you don’t want to be saying no just because you can’t handle it. A system that allows for online sales but is clunky or non-existent on the door is wasted effort. Find a system that is designed for face to face sales with an operator too. This will help your bottom line and your marketing efforts. If the system can’t keep up though, it can work against you so find one that is fast but gets the data you need at the same time. On top of that, as we have covered in a previous article, access control is an important feature and source of solid metrics for marketing as well as other parts of the business so don’t overlook it for printed or mobile phone ticket scanning.
13. Special Offers
With so much competition out there for the attention of the public, it’s important to offer more to stand out from the crowd. Special offers are more than just cheaper tickets. When done right they can be a campaign of their own. Special promotional codes for media outlets to promote to their viewers/listeners/readers is still a great marketing ploy but being able to offer situational discounts like packages or group ticket sales (if you buy x then get y) can really have an impact and allow you to direct your sales to those that you want to be made. The more options you get the more inventive you can be with it.
14. Reporting for Future Success
Once all is said and done, knowing what has happened, what has worked and what you expect in your bank are obvious parts of the system. Often, however, this can be overlooked or limited by many systems. Make sure the reports on offer suit your needs but the ability to create your own reports can be a game changer. It is worth the time to review these things as it will allow the rest of the process to run and can lead to headaches later if they don’t.
15. Solid Support
Things go wrong, it’s to be expected. When you get technology involved just added to the risk so having a good team to support you in giving your customers the best experience possible is invaluable. Nothing will harm a reputation like a 404 error screen when someone is trying to get tickets for you highly successfully publicised event. Don’t be caught out by gremlins and make sure the system has a solid reputation for excellent and attentive support staff, you’ll be glad you did.
Obviously, this just scratches the surface of what a system can do but if they aren’t covered by a system it’s a solid no from me. You need to make sure you aren’t tied down by a system that can’t handle the basic elements of running your business and instead raises your offering above that of the competition.
If you have any questions about anything covered, please contact us and we will be happy to help!
Do you have any suggestions on things we have missed?