27/08/2015

By Peter Brunings-Hansen, COO, Billetto

Clunky payment process, high admin fees; the legacy of incumbent ticketing players is a serious disconnect between artist and audience in the ticketing industry. But the live industry can still rescue the pre-event relationship with audiences. The focus needs to shift from transactions to content and customer experience.

Buying a ticket is a key part of any event experience. It can build emotional momentum and create anticipation. For us, achieving this has meant engaging niche communities first. For example, in the UK we started out by ticketing pop-up food and drink events before expanding to fashion, music, art, and sports.

This content model shouldn’t be restricted to live events alone. Whatever the transaction, it should be viewed as a chance to engage consumers, adding to the experience as a whole.

Too many businesses create friction in a bid to monetise a simple transaction. RyanAir is a classic example. Hidden costs and endless add-ons quickly dampen pre-trip buzz. This is a missed opportunity for both parties. Buying your flight is the first exciting step to a holiday, and it should feel like it.

Dig deeper and you’ll find another layer of disruption happening within payments. Even PayPal, an early leader, has become too expensive for savvy marketplaces. The likes of Stripe, Apple Pay and Google’s new one-click-payment are gaining ground.

It’s a frictionless experience that will keep consumers coming back. Soon, buying a ticket will be as simple as clicking the Facebook connect button. Wallet technology is on the horizon. Apple, Google and Amazon will be our new banks while Amex, Visa/MasterCard and will struggle to keep up.

For a business to be truly effective and stand the test of time in this new era of frictionless online experience, it’s not about reaching out to a database of millions. It’s about finding a niche and being really, really good at enhancing the experience.