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« Event Marketing Ideas for Advertising on the Radio | Main | How to Market Your Event with PPC & Online Advertising »

Selling Tickets for Your Event and Shopping Cart Abandonment

Selling_tickets_to_an_event What to sell even more tickets to your event?

As you know, humans have incredibly short attention spans. Once you get online, attention spans get even worse. Here's the problem for event organizers and promoters - short online attention spans have a direct impact your ticket sales. When thinking of how to sell tickets to an event online - Beware of shopping cart abandonment! At it's simplest level, shopping cart abandonment is when people don't complete their online ticket orders. Abandonment happens in the time frame AFTER someone clicks your buy ticket link and before they complete their order.

Most event organizers NEVER consider the online ticket check out process and how it impacts their bottom line. Are you losing a ton of potential event revenue to shopping cart abandonment and don't event know it?


Consider the following:

"Despite improvements in site design and increased consumer comfort with online purchasing, 88% of Web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction."

Source: Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment, Forrester Research, May 20, 2010

Always Think About Event Ticket Sales From the Buyer's Perspective
It's pretty simple - If your ticket checkout process is difficult for the USER to understand, people won't complete their order. Other contributing factors to shopping cart abandonment include service charges and people not being ready to make a purchase.  You must always look at the checkout process from the user's perspective.

Shopping Cart Woes - Case Study
Last year, a client experienced a huge problem with shopping cart abandonment. A few days before their event, 14 tickets were left in a block of reserved tickets. In order to close out the block . . .  An email was sent to over 11,000 people in the event database. The messaging of the email was pretty straightforward - "There are only 14 reserved tickets left for Saturday, hurry up and buy them - click here." After the email was sent out, the tickets SUPPOSEDLY sold out in just a few minutes. Why "supposedly sold" out?  People clicked the "BUY NOW" button and proceeded to check out. The specific number of tickets selected were held by the ticketing system for 20 minutes or until the transaction is complete. This is done to prevent overselling tickets. Unfortunately the system worked against selling out the ticket block.

Here's what happened . . . People would put tickets in their cart, therefore making them unavailable for purchase and abandon their order. Other people who wanted to buy the reserve seat tickets would see that tickets were SOLD OUT. By the time the system released the tickets, the interested buyer already left the web site. It was a vicious cycle. Who's going to come back and try to buy tickets if the ticketing system says they're sold out? Probably nobody. (Scalpers aren't included in this example.)

Take a Serious Look at Shopping Cart Abandonment
I would encourage you to ask the ticketing company you're either looking at or working with questions about shopping cart abandonment. To date, I have yet to see any ticketing company position themselves as serious about shopping cart abandonment. (That isn't to say they don't exist!) There seems to be more emphasis on the bells and whistles of various ticketing systems. Being able to buy a ticket online and then scan that ticket form an iPhone is pretty cool. But, if a someone can't complete their ticket order, does it really matter? By taking the time to look every aspect of your ticket sales, you'll figure how to sell even more tickets to your event.

Check out the link below for specific recommendations to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

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