Conquering the black hole in mobile ticket sales


We are delighted to be a sponsor of this year’s CineEurope. While we have been working with cinemas around the world for some time, this is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the industry and to see how we can work with cinema companies to help maximize their revenues.

Founded in 1998, PayPal continues to be at the forefront of the digital payments revolution, giving people direct control over their money. We have built an active customer base of over 148 million worldwide, with 60 million customers in EMEA and 19 million in the U.K. and Ireland. We are the largest and most trusted alternative payment solution provider across the diverse range of platforms that people use to search and purchase products, including cinema.

Why does PayPal matter so much on mobile?
As many of you will know, mobile use via smartphones and tablets is at an all-time high. In February 2014, mobile app usage in the U.S. exceeded desktop traffic for the first time. Closer to home, experts predict the growth of mobile will finally overtake desktop by July 2014.*

Those companies who do not offer an optimized payment solution are almost certainly seeing a BLACK HOLE emerging in the conversion rate of potential customers purchasing tickets via mobile versus traditional PC-based transactions. The inspiration to see a movie can strike at any time and customers expect to be able to act on this desire. What they are not keen on is entering their credit card details on a tiny screen (not to mention name, address, e-mail, etc.), particularly in a public place. The result of people not purchasing at the time when they could and should be can lead to a significant loss of business for cinemas. So, for this reason we are keen to work with you to increase and match conversion levels between these two platforms.

A Northstar survey carried out in Q4 2013 asked a cross-section of consumers who had just completed checkout with PayPal whether they would have carried out that transaction had PayPal not been available. Of those using mobile devices, 47% said they wouldn’t have completed the order without PayPal being available.

Why does PayPal matter so much on mobile? PayPal checkout means absolutely minimal keystrokes and clicks for your customer—data entry on mobile is no easy task even for the most agile-fingered. As little as a four-digit PIN can complete a mobile optimized PayPal Express Checkout. Add to that the security element (PayPal does not share customers’ financial information) and naturally PayPal account holders feel more secure paying on mobile.

A survey by TeaLeaf in 2013 suggests that 43% of your visitors will abandon a potential purchase on mobile if the journey has too much friction, with 12% opting for a competitor offering an easier purchase journey. Many give up entirely because buying a cinema ticket proves just too awkward.

This is clearly not what the cinema industry wants to see happen and why many well-known companies including Pathé, Kinepolis, Cinema City, UCI Kinowelt, Cinepolis, Cinemaxx, Cineplex and Fandango are offering PayPal to their customers, particularly on mobile.

How well do you know your customers?

From a marketing perspective we have tried and tested routes to our huge base of opted-in consumers (10 million+ in the U.K.), including online and digital assets and bespoke campaigns offering incentives to purchase. We have used marketing initiatives to drive purchases in the Food & Beverage industry, Entertainment and Retail sectors to encourage cross-selling and upselling, increased spend and repeat business.

Our recently introduced Merchant Specific Balance feature is effectively a neat, cost-effective digital voucher, which lets you apply savings and discounts directly to a customer’s PayPal account and can be redeemed at specified or multiple locations. Response rates to this loyalty mechanism are performing beyond expectation and companies are reporting significant incremental sales lift.

Data enrichment is another key area that currently most cinemas do not maximize. What do you really know about the people who come to see films in your cinemas and how can you keep them coming back?

PayPal holds verified information about each and every customer, which it can share with you during the transaction. Unlike a card transaction, which doesn’t really give you any usable data, we can share the customer’s name, address but also e-mail address and telephone number. Using a simple marketing checkbox in your purchase journey, you can communicate future film releases and offers to encourage repeat business and develop a more personalized dialogue. We are also looking at innovative ways to enhance this data to include film profiling and preference information.

CineEurope is the perfect opportunity to get together to discuss your challenges and aspirations and to explore innovative ways to enhance your offering, improve your conversion rates and increase spend from existing and new customers in the cinema sector.

We would love to talk to you about optimizing your sales from mobile—and some other interesting things you may not know about. Book a time to talk to us or drop by our marketing suite Room M212 on level M2 of the CCIB. E-mail
We also look forward to seeing you at the “Engaging Audiences” seminar on Monday morning at 9.30 a.m.

Have a great show!

Sources: *CNN Money, March 2014 and