Conversion: Why hide great features?


I just wanted to exchange my theater tickets today.

So I called the Pittsburgh Public Theater, and had that standard box office conversation (“When can you get me good alternate tickets, how about this date, try that one.”) And oh, by the way, I said to him, where is the seating chart on your new site?

The box office guy pointed it out to me over the phone, and proudly indicated that I could see any seat’s view on the website. (In fact, you can play along at home.) “Put in your row and seat number,” he instructed, and that one was easy, I could see the boxes right there, begging me to fill them in. Immediately, the seat I was going to get lit up. “But wait,” I complained, “I thought I would be able to see the view from that seat!” Well, in fact, the box office guy explained, you can see the view. Just roll your mouse over your seat.

Now that I look at it again, I do see the little type with the instructions. But — where you sit in a theater is incredibly important. My best friend, a theater addict, taught me that seating is everything. For the person who really cares where she sits (and that is me, and a lot of people like me), this is a great opportunity to make the sale. A fabulous feature. Not one to hide with little type.

When you buy shoes online, you think that there might be an opportunity to see them from various angles. So, it might be somewhat intuitive to click on the shoe. But when you buy tickets online, do you expect to be able to see the view? No. The feature is so cool and so new – this site needs to make a much bigger deal of it.

OK, go ahead, tell me about the theaters around the world that are already doing this.

I would add, maybe they have tested it and found that I am wrong. But given that I can’t find any WA, I pretty much doubt that they have tested anything. Pretty website, though.

Our owner and CEO, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics twelve years ago. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a recent Diamond Award for business leadership. You should read her letter before you decide to work with us.

  • S.Hamel

    Some time ago I had a discussion with the guy responsible of web analytics for The amazing experience of Cirque du Soleil start right on their website! For example, if you choose Kooza, instead of going for the traditional ticket purchase, they have an exact view from every seat. A large amount of their tickets are sold online (can’t tell the %) and ticket purchase is their primary conversion objective for the site.

  • angie

    I hope you sent the theater manager a link to this post!

  • The8R

    That makes no sense. First off the seating chart does break out the views from all of the sections. If you rollover the purple areas and click, a popup window shows the view for that section. To do that for every seat instead of every section sounds cute, but is impractical.

    First of all, the seat view is going to change…what… maybe a half a centimeter between the seats? I care about the difference in section A and section B. Do I really care about the difference in seat 101 compared to 102? Second, can you imagine a semi-elder user of the site trying to click on small little individual seats? The chart shows where each seat is located and displays a view from every section. I’m not sure what features are being hidden. Unless we just enjoy complaining?

  • Robbin

    As soon as you know to roll over, it makes sense. It’s just the knowing that is hard.

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