When comparing solutions, it can seem like there are more similarities than differences. Wrong! There are core elements and critical requirements that can make or break your success. Here is a short list of the most critical questions you should ask yourself when choosing the right solution for your ticketing operations.
What types of products and experiences does my business commercialise?
While small-size cultural and tourism organisers will tend to have products and experiences with little complexity, it’s important for mid-size and larger players to evaluate in-depth if their new ticketing solution will have the flexibility to model and sell their product offering in an adapted manner.
At Smeetz, we have seen too many organisers rushing towards simple booking softwares, without taking the time to think if the evaluated solution had the capabilities to answer their needs, not necessarily now, but the ones in a 3 to 5 years timespan.
Indeed, when evaluating a new solution, it’s extremely important to consider the full flexibility of the solution to manage more complex offers such as guided tours, request-to-book offers, dynamic packages, merchandising, etc. We do believe that ticketing does not stop at simple entrance tickets, but should encompass a 360° vision of everything that is sellable online.
What type of customer service is included alongside the solution?
At the same time you evaluate if the chosen software can match your needs in terms of product flexibility, you also need to be extremely attentive to the customer service which is included in the package.
Indeed, implementing a new ticketing solution is far more demanding than just buying a new tech product. At the start, your ticketing or operations team will have game-changing decisions to take. How shall we set up our products in the most efficient way? How will we reconcile ticketing data with the rest of our operational and financial data?
These questions are extremely important at the implementation stage if you want your ticketing project to succeed. You might even require the advice of specialists who will guide you through best-practises in the industry and prove to be real advisors to your business.
This is the vision we share at Smeetz, where we accompany our customers in the implementation of our solution to derive the most value out of it, while providing local round-the-clock support for emergencies.
What is the state of innovation?
Now that we have discussed the two most basic requirements in our opinion, let’s talk about one point, which is too often underlooked. What is the take on innovation from the evaluated solution?
While some software companies excel in the art of constantly innovating, some others fall short and remain forever clutched to some competitive advantages they had in the past. However, if you would like your ticketing operations to become the most important driver of your growth and sales, you need to choose the right partner.
This right partner is the one, who will always be ahead of the curve, driving change and optimisation at your organisation. Indeed, end-consumers trends and habits are evolving so fast that the ticketing solution you use needs to as well.
Imagine that your organisation drives USD 10m in online sales per year with your current ticketing infrastructure. Currently, you obtain a more or less stable conversion rate of 35%, but what would be the impact of a new booking widget with a deeply researched UX that could lead to a +500bps improvement in your conversion rate? It’s potentially USD 1.5 in additional online sales per year.
If factors such as UX are important enough for fostering your success, what to say about cutting-edge analytics, ability to launch and test new products fast and most recent innovations in the industry such as dynamic pricing powered by machine learning?
How fast will your new ticketing empower your organisation?
Lastly, we would advise organisations that are currently evaluating a new ticketing solution to evaluate the speed at which the new solution can empower their organisation. Indeed, we came across several cases, where benefits of a new ticketing solution materialised only too late and/or after too much additional costs for consultants, project management, etc.
While it is standard practice in the software industry to charge upfront costs for setups, customisations and project management, there are companies that do not hesitate to live on such fees rather than on selling their solution straight, clearly and easily.
Also, we would advise to involve your operations, marketing and finance teams as soon as possible in the process of looking for a new solution. Indeed, they will also work with the solution and will need to feel comfortable and even better excited about it. The evaluated solution should definitely have a short learning curve in order to onboard and train your staff as quickly as possible, while remaining accessible to newcomers.