Using Analytics to maximise online ticketing revenues

Did you know that 67.75% of shopping carts are abandoned on the first screen?  Think about that for a second.  7 out of 10 people that click “Buy Tickets” don’t progress beyond the start line.  How depressing.  But thankfully, there is a solution....

There are many reasons why a website visitor might decide not to complete a transaction online after clicking your ‘Buy Tickets’ link.  These will vary from the obvious and harder to combat, through to less obvious purchasing obstacles that are easy to remedy with the right tools.

Identifying and removing reasons why users are abandoning a purchase will have a direct and immediate impact on your revenues – what would the £ value be to you if you improved the online conversion rate from 5% to 15% for instance?  How many more people could you get an advance commitment from to visit your attraction or event?

It’s true that ‘information is power’ so arm yourself with the necessary data to make informed choices and really maximise the ROI from your online ticketing.  Google Analytics ( is a free tool that will give you an array of data about how your online ticketing solution is performing.

However, the biggest mistake that most people make is to install analytics without customising it to get at the information that they really need.  Maybe you know how many people start the buying process – great – but do you know where the booking bottlenecks are?  Do you know if something is confusing your customers and damaging your conversion rate?  Do you know which websites that you advertise with are sending you the most qualified traffic and converting into the highest % of ticket purchasers?  If you’re spending a fortune on Pay Per Click (PPC), do you know which keywords are resulting in ticket sales and which keywords are draining your bank account for no return?  If you don’t know, you should - and Analytics is your fastest way to finding the answers you need.

The graphic below shows a sample goal funnel from Analytics, with a four step booking process: -

-    Choosing Tickets
-    Entering Customer Details
-    Entering Payment Details
-    Completing the Transaction!

By identifying where users are leaving your ticketing process, you can take steps to minimise them, improve the % of users completing the transaction, and ultimately generate more money.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) should be an ongoing process of testing, implementation and review.  Any good ticketing software company should consider CRO as a key part of their activity.  We can only speak from our own perspective, but pay a visit to the DigiTickets HQ and you’ll find a team absolutely addicted to squeezing that extra 1% of conversions / bookings for our clients from sunrise to sunset and beyond!  Don’t worry though, our techies get a regular supply of caffeine and we even let them out at weekends!

Let’s look at some useful tips that you can apply to your ticketing to facilitate better results.

Users leaving on the ‘Ticket Selection’ screen.

The most common reasons for this one are design-led.  If your ticketing purchase process / shopping cart looks different to your website you’re already on a back foot.  Users won’t trust this and you’ll see loads of “back” buttons getting clicked.

Another common reason is not showing users pricing up front – don’t make people go through 7 screens before they can see the price of tickets.  It simply won’t work.   Are you showing the visitor the options in their own language?  We detect the location of the user then serve up the system in their local language.  They’re always grateful and it works wonders.

Finally, be aware of the power of a breadcrumb trail.  This is a simple graphic that shows users how many steps are in the purchase process of which stage they are on.  A well thought out and well placed breadcrumb trail can improve conversion rates by 1-2% in its own right.

In a nutshell, make sure the design is an exact match of your website, include a prominent breadcrumb trail and display the information that the users want up front.

Users leaving on the ‘Customer Details’ screen.

Customer laziness plays a surprising role here.  We’ve done considerable testing on this one and when you include a tool for users to enter their postcode and the address auto-completes, the conversion rate is much higher than if you force the customer to type in their whole address.  Make it easy for customers and not only will they love you, but they’ll reward you by buying lots of tickets!

Secondly, please (please!) don’t force users to ‘Register for an account’ to buy a ticket.  People planning a day out at the weekend won’t want to fill out form after form for an account and they’ll leave.  Should you give users an option for an account to streamline the purchasing process for them next time around?  Yes, absolutely, but don’t stop people without an account from buying tickets.

Users leaving on the ‘Payment’ screen.

You’re using PayPal aren’t you?  The fastest way to kill a transaction is to send a user off to a completely separate website to make their payment.  Integrate your payment gateway into your design and embed the card details screen within your own booking process and you’ll see a far better conversion rate.

PS, Just to confirm, we have nothing against PayPal – we would just strongly recommend PayPal Pro over PayPal standard if you want to see the best conversion rates.

There’s a lot more to conversion rate optimisation and we could happily write 100 blog posts on the topic – if this whet your appetite though and you would like to find out how we can help you to improve the performance of your ticketing, please get in touch.  We’re a friendly bunch and always keen to meet new people.

Thanks for reading.  We would welcome your comments and would love to hear from you if you have any feedback.  Unless of course you’re another ticketing software company reading this for some free ideas and advice...naughty!

Other News

We would love to show you what we do and how we do it. Let's discuss your aspirations and how we can help you get there.

We would really welcome the opportunity to show you how great a relationship with your software suppliers can be!