Getting in Sync: How your theatre brand can flourish in a multi-device world

Features
Technology

The term “multi-device user” is thrown about a lot, but what does this actually mean for your theatre brand? Recent research found that theatregoers in America and Canada own more technological devices than the U.S. average. In fact, 73% of frequent moviegoers in North America own at least four different devices and three out of the four devices can be used to access the Internet (1). In particular, tablet owners in the USA are more likely to visit the theatre than smartphone and computer owners, and they spend 35% more on entertainment than the average American consumer (2).

In an industry where people are told to switch off their phones for the main event, smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of the consumer journey, from researching the film all the way through to purchasing tickets.

How Multi-Device Consumers Interact with Websites

Theatregoers’ tendency to own more Internet-capable devices does have its advantages; it allows your customers to buy tickets online whenever and wherever they want. For example, if they make an impromptu decision to see the latest blockbuster, they quickly buy tickets online before the screening sells out using their smartphone.

As a marketer or owner of a theatre brand, you can see how this is a great opportunity to increase the volume of online ticket sales; however, like most opportunities, it comes with its own set of challenges.

Should You Optimize Your Website for Multi-Device Users?

Gone are the days when optimizing your website simply meant making sure it displayed perfectly on desktops and made buying tickets easy for customers using their computer. Now, websites which only look excellent on desktops won’t cut it for today’s customers who use their computer, smartphone and tablet to visit your site.

So why should you care about providing an excellent experience for smartphone and tablet users? Considering that 15% of all online ticket bookings were made using a smartphone (3), smartphones have overtaken desktops for the total amount of time users in the USA spend online, and tablets are the third most popular device used to access the Internet globally (4), it’s clear that we live in a world where brands have to cater to the needs of multi-device consumers.

Multi-Device Users’ Buying Cycle

Many of today’s customers utilize different devices at different stages throughout the buying cycle. Understanding their user journey and buying cycle will empower you to create content for each stage of the cycle that’s optimized to suit different devices and will encourage users to move onto the next stage of the process.

For example, a recent study found that moviegoers prefer to watch film trailers on their smartphone and a massive 87% will research a film on their smartphone after seeing a trailer elsewhere (5). If you want to engage with these customers, it’s essential that the trailers featured on your theatre’s website are optimized to accommodate the resolution on smartphones and any content based around upcoming movies is optimized to display perfectly on smartphones’ smaller screens. This will allow your customers to complete the research stage of the buying cycle with minimum effort and move onto the purchasing stage. Therefore, optimizing your website’s content for multi-device users can result in an increase in online ticket purchase and revenue.

Give Your Audience What They Want

You know your theatre’s customers are visiting your site using a range of devices; the question is how to provide them with an excellent user experience across all devices. Here are our tips for ensuring that your online presence meets the demands of today’s multi-device moviegoer:

Tip 1: Data Analysis is Key

Understand multi-device customers’ user journey and gain essential insights into their buying cycle by setting up advanced website tracking. Once you’re collecting data from every consumer touchpoint, you can mine it to understand how your customers are using technology to interact with your website’s content as well as which devices are being used at each stage of the buying cycle.

If you’re new to setting up and mining website data, this may seem daunting, but there are expert Website Data Analysts out there who can set this up for you and provide you with the essential insights you need to understand your customers. At Peach, our Website Analysts are experts at setting up advanced website tracking for theatres and analyzing data to gain actionable insights that can increase ROI.

Tip 2: Seamless User Experience

If you want your multi-device customers to complete the buying cycle, it’s essential to provide them with a seamless user experience across devices.

For example, you have a customer who uses a laptop to watch movie trailers, but when they try to find movie times using their smartphone the next day, they find that the site hasn’t been optimized for smartphones’ smaller screen sizes. This will result in the customer becoming frustrated by the poor user experience and they will leave your website without viewing film times or going on to purchase online. Therefore, if you don’t ensure that your website adapts to suit different devices, it can ultimately result in losing out in potential sales.

So, what’s the best way to ensure that you’re providing customers with an outstanding experience across all devices? The simple answer is a responsive website! A responsive website is one that automatically recognizes the device it’s being viewed on and adapts to suit the different screen sizes and resolutions. Think of it as a way to meet the demands of multi-device users today as well as a way to futureproof your site against the devices customers will use tomorrow.

Why is this a better option than creating a separate website for smartphones and tablets? While it isn’t necessarily bad to have a website for smartphones, responsive websites come with additional benefits. As well as providing your customers with a seamless user experience, they have SEO benefits (Google recently announced that responsive websites are their preferred solution) and they eliminate issues that can arise when there are different URLs for desktop and mobile users. That’s why all of the websites that use our advanced Peach Cinemas platform are responsive.

Tip 3: Make it Easy for Customers to Buy Tickets

At the end of the day, your ultimate goal as a theatre owner or marketer is to sell more tickets online. Once you understand the buying cycle of multi-device users through data analysis, you can ensure that your site is optimized to lead users through the cycle on each device. For example, why not A/B test using large, touchscreen-friendly “Buy Now” buttons that are prominently displayed to smartphone users to see if they increase sales?

Remember, if you use a third-party ticketing system that redirects your customers to another website, you ideally want the booking website to adapt to suit different devices to make it as easy as possible for them to complete their purchase.

Fiona Kirkcaldy is Social Media and Content Manager at Peach. If you want to offer your customers an outstanding user experience across multi-devices, get in touch today to find out more about Peach Cinemas–the theatre industry’s only Point of Sale (POS) integrated and fully responsive theatre website platform. (www.peachcinemas.com).

Sources

(1) MPAA

(2)Nielsen

(3) Mintel

(4) Smart Insights

(5) Interactive Advertising Bureau