CLICK TO BUY
How to Create a Wildly Successful eCommerce Platform
Over the last two decades, the business of selling tickets has changed dramatically. Less than two decades ago, most ticket sales occurred either over the phone through call centers or face-to-face at the point-of-sale. Today, the world is online and in the leisure services industry, everything from aquariums to zoos is available for purchase. Whether future visitors access a facility’s website from a tablet, smartphone, or a traditional PC, eCommerce ticketing has the potential to perform BIG. So why is it that some online ticket stores produce only tepid sales?
The answer is simple–successful eCommerce platforms are intuitive and engaging. They effectively do the job of connecting future visitors with fantastic and memorable experiences. And they do it in a hassle-free, convenient, and secure way. Here are 7 steps to create a wildly successful eCommerce platform:
- MAKE ‘CLICK TO BUY’ EASY TO SEE. The ‘BUY TICKETS’ button must be easy to spot. Placement is best when this button is situated near the top-right corner of the webpage. Never bury it near the bottom of the page where the user must scroll down to see it. The button must be prominent, regardless of the platform–tablet, smartphone, or PC– so that it is as easy as possible to click to buy.
- DO WHAT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY DOES–FILTER. Airlines and hotels have been doing this for some time–you never see all of the flights out of your airport or each of the rooms available when you book travel. Filters help to identify the user’s specific needs and then present a shorter subset of products. eCommerce platforms have the ability to accomplish something similar. And with the right data collected, they can filter out what is not applicable and present the user with the most appropriate subset of options. When we profile online, we can obtain important information including number of adults/children in party, date of visit, length of stay (all day, half-day, multiple days), what they are excited to see, and whether they are local or from out-of-town.
- COMMUNICATE AN EFFECTIVE AND CLEAR MESSAGE. With each product, its name, associated imagery, and description must communicate an engaging message. Less is more–focus on a clear and concise messages with each product and embrace emotional imagery that demonstrates use. Whenever possible, images should feature visitors actively participating in the experience. Products presented in the online store must effectively connect on emotion!
- PRICING MUST BE VISIBLE BUT NOT THE FOCAL POINT. When the user is focused on the value of the experience, price becomes a secondary focus. Product pricing should always be locatable but that doesn’t mean that it must be front and center. CELEBRATE THE VALUE…and present price.
- THE EXPERIENCE IS INTUITIVE AND HASSLE-FREE. Navigation must be easy to understand. For example, moving from one product to another, watching a brief video, selecting Adult, Child, and Senior rates should be easy to navigate, always allowing the quick ability to finish the purchase with a few simple clicks.. You’ve seen the car insurance commercial that touts ‘So easy a caveman can do it.” That is what the online ticket purchase process must be.
- PAYMENT IS QUICK, EFFICIENT, AND RELIABLE. Payment should appear easy and hassle-free. Oftentimes, modern browsers are formatted to auto-populate with payment information that is stored locally on the guest’s machine. ApplePay and PayPal can even be integrated into online payment. It is important for leisure service operators to stay current with eCommerce trends and to vocally express their desire to remain competitive with online payment option as well as other features.
- TICKET ORDERS ARE FULFILLED IN A MODERN AND CONVENIENT MANNER. When it comes time for online tickets to be provided to the user, how this is accomplished can make all the difference, especially if the intent is to encourage repeat usership. In the past, tickets were most often sent via email, arriving as a PDF or JPG file. Today, users prefer an even more integrated experience whereby they receive a text with an active link as soon as the transaction has processed. The link is to a file that can be added to their digital wallet on their smartphone.
Whenever an eCommerce site can be focused on these seven best practices–and the products that they focus on are a good value–an elevated level of performance will not be far behind. Guests will respond positively to a better online experience–and as a result, they will purchase more packages, annual passes, memberships, and other ancillaries. But it all comes down to the quality of the online experience. And taking the time to do it right will yield maximum reward.