The Ultimate Checklist for Evaluating Online Ticketing Services
With the online ticketing industry’s total revenue expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% through 2022 to 2029, it’s clear what channel eventgoers want to buy their tickets from. Gone are the days of lining up in person to buy event tickets.
And rightfully so, the convenience that online ticketing services can’t be matched by traditional methods of buying tickets, like going to the box office in person.
As an event host, it’s your safest bet to partner up with an online ticketing platform if you’re looking for consistent sales and higher revenue.
But with so many ticketing solutions, what are the criteria for selecting the one that’s right for you? How do you know what features to look out for?
In this article, we’ll set the standards that an online ticketing service needs to meet to give your business the best chance of success.
After all, your goal is to make more sales, so you need a platform proven to streamline the ticket sales process.
The Criteria The Best Online Ticketing Service Needs To Meet
To provide your ticket buyers with the seamless experience they expect from online ticketing platforms, you need to choose a ticketing service with features that focus on convenience, speed, accessibility, and security.
To help you choose the best online ticketing solution available in the market, we’ve outlined the most important questions you should ask when assessing which ticketing platform to choose.
1. Is The Ticketing Platform User-Friendly?
This question is important for both you, as the event host, and your customers. As you would likely spend a lot of time on the backend of the chosen ticketing platform managing sales, you want a user-friendly interface. Try a platform out before committing to it, and see how easy it is to use for you as an event planner.
See what its workflow process is like and ensure that it’s not going to require a long learning curve – every minute spent learning the ropes and troubleshooting complexities is a minute lost marketing your event and making sales.
It should be effortless to create events and embed the ticketing widget on your website with just a few clicks. Also, they should accept a payment method that’s convenient for you (look out for different payment options as a green flag).
Also, you need to think about the end user—your ticket buyer. Your aim should be to provide them with as seamless an experience as possible. Why? Because your bottom line depends on it. The longer it takes for them to checkout, the less sales you’ll make. People’s attention spans online are only becoming shorter.
Consider the loading speed of the platform’s website and widget, as it’s a major factor affecting the customer experience.
An excellent user interface can increase the conversion rate by 200%, and a better user experience can boost it by 400%.
What to look out for when seeking user-friendly ticketing systems:
- Page loading times (this depends on how well the ticketing platform has been developed and coded).
- Intuitive navigation for both you on the backend and your customers in front-end purchasing.
- Easy buttons, simple design, non-crowded pages.
- Accessible payment options.
2. Will They Help You Market The Tickets?
Put simply, you want your event booked out, and online marketing is the best tool to help you achieve that.
Some of the top ticketing services in the market don’t do much in terms of helping you with marketing. Often, you can expect just to have your event listed on their site.
The right ticketing solution will provide comprehensive services like sharing your event on their socials and sending out newsletters to a hyper-targeted audience already interested in your event.
Take TicketsCandy, for example. They’ll share your event to their media channels and assist with other marketing strategies suited to your event type and needs.
At the very least, a good ticketing platform should enable you to carry out your marketing efforts by letting you embed a ticketing widget on your website, in emails, and in social media posts, for example.
3. Are You Able To Create Premium Ticket Levels?
Your online ticketing service should recognize that every ticket is unique. Opt for a platform that lets you craft Early Bird tickets with distinct pricing from the regular ones.
If you’re keen on selling exclusive VIP tickets with extra perks, like a meet-and-greet with the band or dinner included, you should be able to do so.
Don’t forget about press or guest tickets either—they deserve special identifiers and ticketing levels. Your audience is diverse, and so should your ticketing options. Find a partner that effortlessly caters to the unique ticket desires of your attendees.
4. Is The Ticketing System Platform Mobile Friendly?
Consumers rely heavily on mobile devices to search for information and to make purchases daily. Additionally, as a host, you’ll likely want to check in on purchases on your mobile device.
Choose an online ticketing platform that’s highly mobile-friendly. In fact, 58.33% of total internet traffic is from mobile devices, and you can’t ignore such a big chunk of the market.
Your dashboard should be easily accessible via your mobile device. Plus, ticket buyers should have no issues accessing their tickets on their own devices.
Test their platform on various mobile devices with different operating systems when evaluating potential ticketing partners.
Assess the user experience in adding tickets to the cart, completing purchases, and ensuring that guests can seamlessly use their mobile tickets at the event entrance.
Make sure that the ticketing partner you choose provides a smooth and hassle-free mobile experience across multiple devices, guaranteeing convenience for both you and your attendees.
5. Do They Have White Label Ticketing & Customization Options?
White Label Ticketing allows you to slap your logo on the event page, providing complete control over your tickets, brand, and customers. White-label ticketing is worth considering if you have an established brand and a loyal customer base.
You can sell event tickets online while maintaining your branding using white-label ticketing software. You can customize the ticket-selling process to fit your event website.
The branded box office is seamlessly integrated into your site, allowing you to sell tickets without redirecting customers to external websites.
This helps you avoid exposing your customers to competitor events on third-party sites.
Events are all about building up a story and selling it to your ticket buyers. And on your event page, you should be able to share your story while keeping your branding consistent so your brand becomes more recognizable to your customers.
Key features to look for in an online ticketing service include adding your brand, a custom event page builder, website integration, and flexible customization options.
6. How Stable Is The Ticketing System?
Working with an online ticketing solution, you are entrusting them with your business’s lifeline (your revenue). They are handling your customers at the most crucial moment of their journey—buying tickets. That’s the backbone of your business, as it will keep it up and running.
So you can’t afford downtime at such a critical stage, as your business’s survival depends on it.
Unfortunately, there have been some incidents with online ticketing services where their platform crashed because they couldn’t handle heavy traffic.
To ensure that something like that doesn’t happen to your business, leverage a site like CurrentlyDown to see if the specific ticketing platform is reliable. And if they had any downtime issues in the past, how recurrent were they?
You shouldn’t lose so many attendees ready to buy your tickets just because your ticketing solution couldn’t handle a wave of last-minute ticket buyers.
7. What Level Of Customer Support Do They Provide?
When selecting a platform to sell tickets for your event, there are two crucial aspects of support you seek.
You want a seamless experience for your ticket buyers, starting from the checkout process to receiving their tickets via email. Additionally, the ticketing platform should be capable of resolving any issues promptly, with different contact options for customers to contact the support team.
A happy customer is more likely to become a returning customer. In fact, an exceptional customer service experience can potentially convert 86% of one-time clients into long-term, devoted fans.
When it comes to your experience as an event organizer, you may likely require assistance navigating the intricacies of an entirely new platform. Whether setting up events, comprehending reports, or managing ticket sales, having a reliable customer care team on the chosen online ticketing platform is crucial.
Here are some customer support elements that the a solid ticketing service must have:
24/7 Service (Responsive Communication)
24/7 support is a huge investment for ticketing platforms, so some cut corners in this area. What they fail to grasp is the immense value it brings—providing seamless service and catering to your desires. The constant availability ensures the platform meets your lofty expectations, as you can reach out whenever you want.
A 24/7 support team tackles your questions promptly. Plus, if you’re hosting international events, round-the-clock assistance becomes even more crucial. If confined to a 9-to-5 routine, buyers in different time zones would be left to fend for themselves when encountering issues.
From the get-go, choose a platform that understands the importance of 24/7 support so you don’t have to wait hours, if not days, to resolve your issue.
Low Customer Effort
You can’t deny the convenience of self-service, where you can resolve problems without contacting an agent. Your ticket buyers crave the same seamless experience, avoiding long waits and explanations when they can find solutions independently.
Your chosen ticketing solution should have a comprehensive help center with an updated FAQ page addressing common questions. They should also leverage advanced support technologies like Satisfaction Prediction, analyzing touchpoints to predict negative outcomes.
Answer Bot and AI-powered systems are becoming more popular in the ticketing industry, providing instant and relevant responses for faster resolutions and enhanced self-service. Look out for a ticketing platform that uses innovative tech like this.
Knowledgeable Support Staff
A ticketing platform serves as the virtual gateway to your event, and creating a positive experience for your buyers is crucial, as first impressions leave a lasting impact.
The representatives of the ticketing company should have comprehensive knowledge of the platform and show confidence in their interactions. These qualities directly translate into higher satisfaction levels and increased sales.
When the customer support team is well-versed in the platform, it shows. Their expertise inspires trust and assurance in your ticket buyers, assuring them that they are in capable hands. As they represent your brand, buyers perceive you as an event company that knows its trade, further strengthening their confidence in your brand.
Plus, as an entrepreneur, your time holds immense value. You cannot afford to have someone waste it by explaining things they don’t understand. You require a ticketing platform with knowledgeable staff to also assist you in setting up your event for success.
8. Is Their Payment Process Secure?
Your online ticketing platform must secure payment processing to protect your brand image and boost ticket sales.
The security of transactions is one of the major concerns of your potential ticket buyers. The trustworthiness of a platform with valuable credit card details significantly influences their purchase decision.
A staggering 18% of potential buyers abandon a transaction when they have doubts about entrusting their sensitive information to a website.
Here are some security features you should look for in an online ticketing service:
PCI DSS Compliance
The selected ticketing service should follow PCI DSS standards to ensure a secure payment process.
The ticketing platform needs to fulfill 12 requirements, which are classified into six control objectives to comply with PCI DSS:
- Build a secure network: Utilize a customized firewall configuration and refrain from default vendor settings for passwords and security parameters.
- Protect cardholder data: Encrypt data transmission over public networks and secure stored cardholder information.
- Maintain vulnerability management: Regularly update antivirus software, develop secure systems, and keep applications up to date.
- Implement strong access controls: Limit access to cardholder data on a need-to-know basis, assign unique IDs for computer access, and control physical access to data.
- Monitor and test networks: Track all network and data access, and conduct routine security tests.
- Establish information security policies: Create and enforce policies for employees and contractors to ensure information security.
Opt for an event ticketing platform that places a high emphasis on transaction security. It should employ SSL/TLS protocols to encrypt payment details, including credit card information. That guarantees the safe transmission of sensitive data to the payment gateway for processing.
By implementing these encryption technologies, the platform effectively safeguards against unauthorized interception and tampering, ensuring a trustworthy and secure transaction process.
Integration With Trusted Payment Gateways
The online ticketing platform must integrate with trusted and reputable payment gateways to ensure the secure handling of payment data.
These gateways act as intermediaries between the ticketing platform and financial institutions, providing inherent security features.
That way, the platform guarantees secure payment transactions and effectively protects sensitive payment data during transmission and storage.
9. What’s Their Pricing Structure?
At the end of the day, your bottom line matters most. To maximize your profits, you should pay attention to the fee structure of an online ticketing solution.
The ticket platform fee covers expenses for developers, customer support, marketing, and all other platform-related aspects. It can range anywhere from being free – currently, the only platform that offers this is TicketsCandy – to as high as 10% or even 50%.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of pricing structures you might encounter:
- Flat fee per ticket: This pricing structure is ideal for higher ticket prices. With this model, the platform charges you a fixed amount per ticket, regardless of the price. So, no matter how expensive your ticket is, you’ll pay the same fee.
- Percentage per ticket: This pricing model is simple to understand. You pay a certain percentage of the ticket price as the fee. If your ticket price is on the lower end, look for a platform with a percentage per-ticket pricing structure. This way, you’ll only have to pay a minimal amount per ticket to the platform.
- Flat fee plus percentage: An example of this hybrid pricing model is Eventbrite‘s US 3.7% + $1.59. Unfortunately, more often than not, it benefits the ticketing platform more than the event organizers.
No doubt, choosing the right ticketing platform can significantly impact the success of your event. With a robust ticketing system, you can efficiently handle various tasks, from email marketing to event promotion, and effortlessly track ticket sales and attendee information.
The event ticketing system is a centralized hub, ensuring everything is well-organized and streamlined for a seamless experience.
For a platform that meets all the criteria mentioned in this article that’s also friendly to your pockets, TicketsCandy beats the competitors.
Since you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out, consider signing up with TicketsCandy for free today.
The key aspects to consider include functionality, ease of use, customizability, scalability, integrations, marketing tools, data analytics, level of customer support, security of the payment process, and pricing structure.
Customizable features allow event organizers to tailor their ticket sales platform to match their brand’s image, add desired features, and modify the platform’s layout and design to enhance the buyer’s experience.
A scalable platform ensures that as your event grows in size and complexity, the platform can accommodate the increased traffic and complexity, without compromising performance or functionality.
Integrations allow your ticketing platform to connect with other software tools like email marketing software, CRM systems, or social media platforms, thereby enhancing its functionality and providing a more streamlined workflow.
Data analytics provides valuable insights into your audience, ticket sales trends, and the overall performance of your events, allowing you to make informed decisions and improve your strategies.
Customer support is crucial as it ensures a seamless experience for your ticket buyers and helps you navigate the intricacies of the platform. It includes 24/7 service, low customer effort, and knowledgeable support staff.
The platform should be PCI DSS compliant, secure transactions using SSL/TLS protocols, and integrate with trusted payment gateways to ensure the secure handling of payment data.
The pricing structures can be a flat fee per ticket, a percentage per ticket, or a combination of both. The choice depends on the price of your tickets and the fee structure that benefits you the most.
TicketsCandy is recommended because it meets all the key criteria mentioned in the article, including functionality, customizability, scalability, integrations, data analytics, high-level customer support, secure payment process, and an affordable pricing structure. Plus, it offers free registration.
A 24/7 support service ensures that you can reach out for help whenever needed, providing a seamless service and catering to your requirements. This becomes especially important if you’re hosting international events across different time zones.