After chatting about online ticketing in the arts in our last blog, today we're looking at the effect responsive design and mobile devices has, and is likely to have on ticket sales in 2016.

Mobile is driving the customer journey and ties the online and offline worlds together. It has completely altered the way we consume information on a daily basis and interact with peers and organisations.

Lyric Theatre Responsive Design

In a recent survey carried out by a leading ticketing website, customers stated that they want more mobile / in-app tickets than are currently available. Less than 5% had received mobile or in-app tickets for the last event they attended whilst almost 20% indicated they would rather have tickets delivered to them in this way - a clear incentive for the arts to develop this offering.

When it comes to keeping your customers satisfied, it’s all about being there, being useful and being quick. We have to eliminate unnecessary steps (think one click functionality, pre-filled forms and guest checkout) and anticipate customers’ needs. It’s been said you have 10 seconds to leave a positive impression on your audience and 40% of people will choose a different provider if your website is not mobile friendly.

Back in April 2015, mobilegeddon happened and Google began using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal - meaning your website’s position in search engines is now directly impacted by whether or not your site is responsive. Providing customers are satisfied with the experience, around 70% of searches on a mobile device lead to action within the hour. What’s more the case for mobile is growing with consumer confidence on the up - mobile purchases reached £8.2 billion last year, accounting for 18% of total UK ecommerce. So, if you have been thinking about what the benefits of a responsive website might be, the picture is getting ever clearer.

In years gone by, customers were reluctant to purchase online, with concerns around data protection and security. However, new advertising formats (i.e. Amazon’s one-click purchase path), increased security measures, customer information policies and familiarity have meant that nowadays users have more confidence in purchasing online and on mobile. Purchase of airline tickets online is expected to account for 62% of all airline sales by 2019, online retail sales are expected to reach 44% by 2019 with the rising popularity of smartphones driving much of this retail success in the UK.

Client Results

Mobile works. The results speak for themselves. As well as increasing online revenue by 37% and online profits by 25% in the last year for our client Illuminated Mirrors, 32% of sales have been from mobile devices. Similarly, despite 33% of London Philharmonic Orchestra’s (LPO) traffic coming from mobile devices, a larger proportion (36%) of all ticket sales were made on mobile. With an older audience, it is particularly encouraging to see the LPO’s mobile ticket sales continue to grow year-on-year and revenues in general continue to increase since responsive site launch (168% growth in year one).

Following the launch of the new responsive Royal Exchange Theatre website in November 2014, overall ticket sales increased. What’s more, 20% of all online sales came from a mobile device and, based on trends and trajectory, this is expected to grow in 2016.

With mobile use rising and more and more arts organisations incorporating digital elements into their strategy, it’s critical that you create consistency online for your audiences. Gone are the days of pinching and zooming to select seats for performances - it’s time to say hello to streamlined seating plans and simple purchase paths - after all, ticket sales are at the epicentre of all arts and culture organisations’ ongoing success.

Arts organisations who create a mobile-friendly online experience and ticketing journey will reduce barriers for their customers and therefore increase conversions.

If you want to find out more about some of the ticketing trends for 2016, read all about it in our blog here.