Digital ticketing transforms ice hockey fans’ buying habits

by | Dec 1, 2021

More than four in five people who attend British ice hockey fixtures purchase their matchday tickets online, a TicketCo study has confirmed.

Data sourced from multiple UK-based clubs who play in the National League revealed supporters’ ticket buying habits have been revolutionised by the introduction of easy-to-use digital ticketing.

The study confirmed 83% of tickets sold this season have been processed digitally. Furthermore, 67% of all tickets are purchased using a mobile phone with 47% of sales completed at least a week in advance of face-off.

Why digital?

Digital ticketing provides clubs with the means to sell tickets online and allows fans to buy tickets wherever and whenever they wish instantly.

It also removes laborious processes associated with paper tickets such as printing, postage and taking all sales manually. Digital ticketing saves clubs and ticket office teams time and money.

Furthermore, it provides a limitless database of sales analytics which can be used to improve fan engagement and boost sales.

Online sales

The biggest finding from our study is 83% of hockey fans now purchase their matchday tickets online.

It’s also significant that nearly half of all sales are completed a week in advance of face-off.

This represents a noticeable shift in fans’ buying habits from previous seasons where tickets either had to be purchased via a ticket office or on the door. This process not only takes time, but also leads to unnecessary queuing outside stadium entry points on matchdays.

Now, supporters can buy tickets at the touch of a button and instantly receive a scannable QR code to their digital device to unlock a smooth customer journey.

High volume presales

Based on the data, British ice hockey clubs should adapt how they promote fixtures online to maximise sales.

Joe Edwards, Global Key Account Manager at TicketCo, said: “Social media advertising is a huge asset to ice hockey clubs to promote matches. It’s cost-effective, quick, simple and hits key audiences.

“What we have discovered is it is now important that clubs promote fixtures well in advance of face-off to capitalise on pre-sales.

“Of course, matches still need to be promoted in the hours leading up to face-off to build awareness and momentum. But our data shows significant buying activity days ahead of game days, which is key.

“By promoting digital tickets in social posts about the match, supporters can buy tickets at the very moment clubs have grabbed their attention. Making tickets accessible and easy to buy on any device ensures clubs can maximise social media for ticket sales.

“We are seeing clubs really benefit from investing in modest advertising budgets on Facebook promoting fixtures and tickets, with significant ROIs.”

Cashless ticketing

Our study also revealed one club sold 99.86% of all tickets online for a recent fixture.

This represents the highest proportion of total ticket sales made online compared to in person on the TicketCo platform for an ice hockey fixture.

Joe added: “Technology centred around digital devices has made almost all aspects of life incredibly convenient.

“Ticketing is no different. People do not want to spend their time on hold waiting to access someone in an office to buy a ticket. They expect instant and easy access and cashless, paperless solutions.

“Buying a ticket this way also means supporters do not have to queue up to collect their ticket on the day.”

Easy-to-access technology

Swindon Wildcats were one of the club’s included in our study.

Wildcats have experienced a significant increase in digital ticket sales since partnering with TicketCo.

Aaron Nell, General Manager at Swindon Wildcats, said fans prefer the simplicity of buying matchday tickets online.

“Turning digital means our tickets are now fully accessible online,” said Aaron. “We can promote matches on our website and social media platforms and guide supporters directly to our digital ticket office which is very powerful for sales.

“By maintaining a healthy mix of engaging and interest content alongside match information, it keeps supporters connected in one digital hub.

“The technology also means we can log into the TicketCo app and see immediately how sales are going and develop an understanding of our likely attendance.

“We are also pushing digital sales to reduce the amount of cash the club has to handle and process to help make our reporting easier and to be as Covid safe as possible.”

 

 

 

 

Written by Shaun Reynolds

Communications advisor and expert storyteller with Fortitude Communications. A former news reporter and sports editor of five years across several UK regional titles. Experienced in photography and social media management with a passion for the outdoors.

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