Consumers often want to know exactly what they are paying for and whether or not they take ownership in their purchases. How does the ordering process and miscellaneous ticketing fees affect their decisions to follow through and make that purchase? Is there a higher percentage of “abandoned carts” due to user experience flaws and or the unforeseen fees associated with their orders?
From a consumer’s perspective, when it comes to ordering tickets it can be, in most cases, a daunting process filled with numerous, unforeseen surprises along with astronomical costs. Is it me, or does purchasing a ticket for the latest show, event, or for that matter a vacation becoming a white-knuckling, expensive thrill ride that makes you cringe at the mere thought of booking?
Recently, I booked tickets to a concert along with my honeymoon package. Although two completely different topics the experience was quite the same. I began to research pricing on the concert tickets. Asking someone smart like Google, led me to several of the major players within the ticketing industry. As a poked around some of these carefully crafted websites, I noticed that the sites became overwhelmingly busy, filled with things that really weren’t relevant to me or my purchase such as: ads from UPS, contests and the ability to download songs from iTunes. Feeling as if I was about to crest over the wall of a rollercoaster from the onslaught of information initially presented to me, I continued my search, using the simple, yet subtle search box provided.
Two minutes of my life has gone by, in which I will never get back and I’ve finally found the event I’ve been searching for. After selecting the venue and date, I have the option to non-intuitively find seats using a virtual map, or by having the seats found for me. Becoming slightly moved by this already laborious process, I selected the option to “find seats for me” and entered a quantity. To my surprise and after all of the steps I had gone through to get to this point, I had to verify that I was NOT a robot to reveal pricing for my seats… really? And that’s not all…
My palms already sweaty from the workout I just endured, happy that I was able to confirm that I am NOT a robot, my pricing was revealed. Doh! Why so much? I can understand the fact that this is entertainment and supply and demand have a role in this, but wow. I had noticed a faint “details” option next to the pricing of my tickets and was floored when I saw all of the fees associated with the actual tickets:
- Ticket Price – Check! As to be expected.
- Taxes – Check! As to be expected.
- Delivery fees – Check! In most cases, unless picking up the tickets, to be expected.
- Service Fees – Huh? Did I miss something? Is this a part of my order process?
- Facility Charge – What? Wouldn’t the purchase of memorabilia, and beverages contribute towards this fee?
- Convenience Fees – Where? How is it convenient if I have lawn seats on a 90 degree day standing behind someone 7’2? There is really no convenience in that for sure!
- Additional Taxes – Yikes! So are these taxes taxed on what’s already taxed?
- “Process order fees in some cases” – Really? After all the hoops I’ve jumped through to get to this point. C’mon! They should rename this to “Order Forgiveness fee”, and knock 10% off the entire purchase just to make up for all of the other silly fees.
Not to mention, I’m now being upsold during this order process to “add-on” to my purchase. I get it, venues, entertainers, and the big conglomerate ticketing agencies need to make money and everyone needs to get paid. But what’s the REAL face value of that ticket? We dive a little deeper on face value in our Ticket Wars post. From a consumer prospective this is nonsense. Now Imagine taking a family of 5 to see One Direction, even without Zane (yes, I have kids) those tickets are more than likely running 200-300 dollars a pop and I’m probably low-balling that. That’s a mere 1000 dollar escapade on a chance that you’ll need binoculars to see them!
It really seems as though the ordering process has greatly affected the user experience, and ticketing fees are becoming less defined and more abundant. Does this affect your ticket sales? How often do your customers call and complain about their experiences? If you could, what would you do to change the fee structure associated with your sales?