Cineworld is to launch an e-ticketing system, which integrates with Apple’s passbook, in the UK and Ireland following an 18-month pilot.
The rollout, revealed by Cineworld’s head of e-commerce Regan Andrew at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) forum in London this week, for which The Drum was a media partner, will take place in the coming weeks.
“Understanding our customers is what underpins our entire marketing strategy, as without that and with a tight budget it is very hard to see whether what you’re doing is actually effective, he said.
Regan said it will launch the e-ticketing system in the coming weeks as part of plans to reduce queuing times at its cinemas.
“E-commerce is not something that stops after a sale, but must continue on through the rest of the customer journey.
"We have been piloting our e-ticketing system which we are happy to roll out in the UK and Ireland in the next few weeks, and it integrates with passbook so customers can skip queues for tickets at the box office and go straight into the screens. It also means people will be more inclined to queue for our more high-profit items like popcorn and drinks,” he said.
Mobile is playing an increasingly important part of Cineworld’s marketing and sales intake, with 48 per cent of advanced sales now coming from mobile devices, with 28 per cent of sales coming via its mobile-optimised site, according to Andrew.
However, the cinema chain is setting its sights on building “excitement” among its customers to increase brand loyalty and retention.
“It’s not just about conversions, but building an ongoing relationship with our customers. We do that in a variety of ways including social media, predominantly on Facebook. We don’t look at Likes and things like that but on engagement metrics.”
He said a priority is to build its brand advocates, and better understand its customers wants and needs. “At the moment about three individuals are responsible for about 80 per cent of the content on there – we want to build those brand advocates and start getting them excited about films coming out in 2015,” he said.
Andrew also said the chain sees the majority of its traffic and sales come from Apple devices yet, and it is yet to crack the Android market, but that this will be a focus going forward.