For mid-sized sports clubs, ticketing is a big expense. You’re forced to pick from a few undesirable options: pay high commissions for an online platform, hire a consultant, or attempt to build out your own solution. Of course, you have a largely part-time staff, none of whom are software developers.
Fortunately, another option has emerged: a SaaS platform for managing ticketing sales in-house in a way that’s both easy for your employees and enjoyable for your customers.
In this post, we explore the top factors to vet when considering a SaaS platform for your ticketing needs.
As we expand our SaaS ticketing platform to sports clubs, we’ve done tons of research and uncovered the following as the top priority.
You can tell us your thoughts by taking our survey about what mid-sized sports clubs need in a ticketing system.
1. Easy to use and manage
First and foremost, your SaaS platform must be easy to use.
In case you’re wondering, SaaS stands for “software as a service” and refers to any software you pay as a subscription, such as online accounting software or email marketing software.
Most SaaS companies pride themselves on providing software that is very user-friendly. The consumerization of business software is a global movement wherein more and more business programs look and feel like programs built for consumers.
In the same way that Mailchimp makes it easy for business owners to run their own marketing campaigns, your ticketing software should be easy to use.
It should be simple to...
- Offer game tickets and season passes
- Manage ticketing inventory
- (Create seating charts with appropriate spacing for Covid restrictions)
- Make last-minute adjustments yourself
- Generate your own reports
2. Takes your ticketing sales 100% online and mobile
Your ticketing platform should also enable fully online sales, and make it easy for your fans to buy tickets from any device—desktop, tablet, or mobile.
Also, selling most of your tickets at the door makes you face a higher cost. You can now remove almost completely the need for staffing ticket sales at the door with this new solution
This can reduce crowding at the door, as your tickets can have time-phased entry for scanning. And it also reduces your expenses for every event.
Plus, today’s sports fans expect to be able to buy purchases online and in advance of a game. They would rather purchase them from their mobile device than be forced to wait in line at the gate and possibly miss part of the game.
And for your fans who didn’t buy their ticket upfront when arriving at the gate, they can still buy the ticket on their mobile and get immediate access.
3. Offers an intuitive user interface for fans
When using any revenue-generating software for your business, it’s essential to check what the experience is like from the customer side.
If the software you choose isn’t optimized for online sales, it not only hurts your revenue for each game, but it can also frustrate sports fans. Customers tell an average of 15 people about a negative customer experience, so a single bad moment for your customers could cause them to tell their friends and family not to bother with your online tickets. This would make it impossible for you to remove ticketing selling staff.
The ticketing platform you choose should offer the following:
- Clean, simple UX
- Responsive to various device types
- Payment options that fit your market
- Easy, friction-free checkout process
When you’re selecting a software platform for ticket sales, be sure to review what the customer experience is like.
4. Allows you to maintain control over ticketing and reduce your costs
When you take control over ticketing, you’re able to control your costs in a way that fits your business.
There are many ticketing retailer platforms in the market, but these platforms do not allow you to control your own ticketing sales.
Instead, you’re at the mercy of their very high commissions and fees, which amount to a much greater expense than Oxynade’s ticketing platform designed for mid-sized sports clubs.
Unfortunately, because these sort of ticketing services are such a low-effort solution, many sports team owners get stuck in a cycle of continuing to use them out of convenience, rather than to really consider what makes sense financially in the long term.
5. Automatically collects and securely stores fan data
Another important feature that popular ticketing services don’t offer is for you to securely collect data from your customers.
Instead, these online ticketing retailers own the customer data, and they can pick and choose how much to share with you about your own fans. Because it’s on their terms, you’re at their mercy of what you’ll be able to collect.
Choose a ticketing platform that allows you to store fan data in one central place.
As a business, knowing the following information can have long-lasting effects on your marketing campaigns and your revenue:
- Customer contact information - You’ll want to be able to gain access to fans’ names, email addresses, and phone numbers. In your ticketing system, you should also be able to add custom data fields to collect. For example, if you want to offer fans a coupon for a free food item on their birthday, you can request that fans enter their birthday and make this field optional, so it's at their discretion to participate or not.
- Purchase history - It’s important to retain information about the purchase history of your individual customers. This can be useful for comprehensive revenue analytics and also a deeper understanding of who your biggest fans are. For example, a fan who has purchased a season ticket 3 years in a row could be a great fit for a customer loyalty program reward, such as a free ticket for a friend or free merchandise.
- Usage and retention - Just because someone has bought a season pass, doesn’t mean they’re using it. You want fans to continue buying a season pass every year. To do this, they need to enjoy the pass they’ve already purchased. You can encourage season pass holders who haven’t used their pass in weeks to come back to the next game with a more customized email message or text message urging them to get the most out of their pass. Or you could even incentivize them with free swag or food item coupons.
Ultimately, if some other company owns all of your data, you’re powerless to craft retention-boosting campaigns or loyalty program.
Take our survey. What are you looking for in a ticketing platform?
The Oxynade ticketing platform now offers a system built exclusively for the needs of mid-sized sports clubs.
As we’ve built this platform out, we’ve talked to dozens of mid-sized sports club owners to learn more about their frustrations and needs when it comes to ticketing.
Did we get these top 5 factors right?
What would you add?