Name: Tennille Rice Student ID: 2553644 Unit: eBusiness Fundamentals Unit Code: BC501 Due Date: 26/04/07

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Executive Summary In this report, three ticket-selling websites were looked at in relation to the effectiveness and useability of their websites. Ticketek, Ticketmaster and Moshtix were all compared and it was found that Moshtix’s website made the most favourable impression upon a potential customer. The ease of use, attractive front and bonus features all pointed to a positive focus on customer service and worked favourably for the company. In addition, the comprehensive contact option and the importance placed on security put them ahead of their competitors. Ticketek and Ticketmaster also had their positive points – Ticketek boasted an easy, step-by-step purchase process and Ticketmaster had a smart-looking home page with an impressive help facility. Moshtix, however, had fantastic basic features and also bonus features that made it stand out as the website of choice for potential consumers.

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Content 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Format 3.0 Ticketek 4.0 Ticketmaster 5.0 Moshtix 6.0 Analysis 7.0 Conclusion 7.1 Appendix 1 7.2 Appendix 2 7.3 Appendix 3 7.4 Appendix 4 7.5 Appendix 5 7.6 Appendix 6 7.7 Appendix 7 7.8 Appendix 8 7.9 Appendix 9 7.10 Appendix 10 7.11 Appendix 11 7.12 Appendix 12 7.13 Appendix 13 7.14 Appendix 14 8.0 References

Page 4 4 4-5 6-7 7-9 9 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24-25

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1.0 Introduction This report will gauge the effectiveness of three different Australian websites selling sports and entertainment tickets. The websites analysed will be Tickitek, Ticketmaster and Moshtix. They will be looked at individually, then compared and contrasted and a conclusion reached as to which is the most effective. 2.0 Format The websites will be analysed using a similar format, in order to more easily ascertain the effectiveness of each site. Twelve questions will be looked at initially (found in Appendix 1), with further analysis conducted into areas that are particularly relevant to each site. Dalgleish (2000) further identifies five things that customers want to do on a website: 1. Evaluate competing products and services 2. Select products and transact with e-service providers 3. Get help 4. Provide feedback 5. Stay tuned in as e-customers These five items will have a big impact on the overall customer perception of a website, as the site’s ability to meet these needs will indicate if it is user-friendly and effective. These five items will also be looked at in relation to each site. 3.0 Ticketek The overall impression of Ticketek’s homepage is fairly average. The user is confronted with a front page that seems to have crowded all the content onto the top half of the page, with the result that it looks very cluttered (Appendix 2). Some of the picture links and advertisements flash also, which is quite distracting and detracts from the aesthetics of the site. Nielson (2002) identifies the home page as the most important page on a website, which makes it crucial for it to be very user-friendly. Ticketek does, however, provide a high degree of useability, even if the first impression is not altogether favourable. The logo is clearly printed at the top of the page and remains in the same position as you move around the site. One click on the 4

logo will bring you back to the home page. A comprehensive internal search is located towards the top of the page, but it would be nice to be able to search multiple locations or categories at the one time. The important headlines are in bold, which makes them stand out quite nicely and the page titles on the linked pages are also in bold and larger than the accompanying text. It is easy to see that Ticketek is an events guide and one click on the event will show that you can purchase tickets from the site. The Ticketek web site uses a white background with dark blue text, which makes it easy to read. This certainly contributes to its useability. Furthermore, the links are clear and easy to read and they take you directly where you want to go. The photo links are a good size but, as mentioned previously, are relatively crammed together. This all contributes to make a homepage that is very useable, but not particularly attractive. Ticketek’s secure payment policy can be found towards the bottom of the page. It provides an assurance of security through the Westpac Bank (Appendix 5), with the option of viewing the security guide on Westpac’s website. This provides a certain level of reassurance to the customer. Delving further into the site, the transaction process can be seen to be simple and easy. Once the user clicks on a link to take them to an event, dates, ticket prices and venues can be easily seen and a ‘buy now’ button will take you directly through the buying process (Appendix 3). The buying process is very methodical – it works through items step by step as seen in Appendix 4. A back button allows you to retreat at any time and a confirmation page allows transactions to be acknowledged. The delivery information does not allow for delivery tracking. Ticketek has a help section with frequently asked questions and also provides a facility to contact them (although it is not particularly easy to find). Once in, however, the contact section is quite comprehensive and provides a number of areas to narrow down the query process. Furthermore, it is easy to subscribe to the Ticketek newsletter once you have logged into the website, which can provide you with updates and special offers. Using Dalgleish’s (2000) model also, it can be seen that Ticketek easily allows customers to select products and purchase them, get help via the FAQs and provide 5

feedback through the contact function. They can also stay in touch through the newsletter, but cannot really evaluate competing products and services unless they go to another site and do it themselves. 4.0 Ticketmaster The overall impression of Ticketmaster’s website was quite pleasing – the home page, with a number of significant events, was well spaced and pictures were laid out very well in relation to the text (Appendix 6). The pictures clearly show the events they are describing. The Ticketmaster logo is small but clearly observable at the top of the page and remains in the same spot as you navigate around the site. One click on the logo will take you back to the home page. The site has two search options – one shows all events in a specific category for a particular place and date and the other searches for an artist, team or venue (Appendix 6). It works satisfactorily and then provides links to the artist, venue and tickets. The headlines and page titles are very clear and are generally on a different coloured background, which makes them very easy to recognise. This also adds to the overall appeal of the website – even though the site sports a plain white background, the different colours used for the titles greatly enhances the attractiveness of the site. The majority of the font on the page is dark blue and of an adequate size, which makes it easy to read. Transactions made on the website are a little more complicated than with Ticktek (for a screenshot, see Appendix 7). Verification codes are required to be entered, so that automated programs cannot be used to purchase large amounts of tickets. The verification codes, however, are very difficult to see and often take a number of attempts before the correct code is entered (Appendix 8). Once this is done, you have two minutes to confirm that you will buy the tickets before they are released and made available for another buyer. The whole buying process is done on this basis – the buyer is rushed through the entire transaction, with only a number of minutes to complete each page before the tickets are released. This is handy in a sense, as soughtafter tickets cannot be held while potential buyers make up their mind – however, for 6

the buyer it is painful as decisions must be made very quickly and there is limited opportunity for group discussion (as ticket buyers often travel in pairs or as a group). The purchase process overall encompasses three stages – shipping, billing and confirmation. These are fairly self-explanatory and easy to work through. At the end, confirmation of ticket purchase is provided and an email is sent to your email address with purchase details. Shipping cannot be tracked but a number of delivery options are provided. There is not a great deal of readily available information on security, however, which is definitely a drawback. As such, a potential buyer may be unsure how secure the transaction will be and this may put them off. There is, however, a comprehensive privacy policy that should set their mind at ease concerning their personal information. Ticketmaster has an impressive help facility (Appendix 9) to browse through, and a contact option, although it was a little hard to find. It took some searching before it could be located. This was a bit disappointing, as leaving customer feedback is one of Dalgliesh’s (2000) five customer objectives. As such, it is very important that there be a readily available option to fulfil that need. There is also no way to extend the relationship through a newsletter – the closest thing available is to have your information passed on to other providers (eg. venues or artists) during the ticket purchase process (Appendix 10). 5.0 Moshtix Moshtix’s website appeared to be aimed at a younger audience, with a number of large, colourful, flashing pictures lighting up the home page (Appendix 11). The pictures are all of a good size and are suitably well placed with their descriptions. The logo is located in the top left-hand corner of the screen and remains in the same spot and you navigate the site; it does not, however, contain a link to return to the home page but a ‘home’ option at the top of the screen is capable of providing that function. It is easy to see that Moshtix is a ticket outlet and that ticket purchases can be made via the site.

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The headlines are all easy to see and the font is of a good size and colour. The different background colours for the headings add to the overall impression of youth and fun that the site conveys. The search option is clearly located on the left hand side, where you can search various categories to find the event you desire. Interestingly, the links for various artists and events take you to a new, smaller window where the transaction proceeds. The window provides you with relevant information concerning the event, a contact number for more information and a link to find out more about security (Appendix 12). The words ‘secure booking’ can be seen at the top of each page, which should provide some reassurance to customers. The purchase process then takes you through a number of steps, including a simple registration and the booking process. It assures you of security the whole way through. It is difficult to see if there will be confirmation of the purchase process (as you would have to proceed with the whole transaction to be sure). Shipping is also not an issue, as it appears that the tickets are collected at the venue and your credit card is swiped to gain entry. Thus, there is no need for shipping to be tracked. The website also has a number of links to a ‘privacy’ page, where it goes through Moshtix’s privacy policy and other areas to set the customer’s mind at ease. Another interesting feature of Moshtix is that it allows for you to book tickets through your mobile phone, providing details as to how this is accomplished. This is a definite plus for the website and shows a strong commitment to flexible customer service. It also has a Moshtix player (Appendix 13) that plays MP3s while you browse the site – and also allows you to download the MP3 for free. This is a bonus feature that certainly sets it apart from its competitors. Better than a newsletter, you can customise your own Moshguide (Appendix 14) on the website to suit your preferences – and you can even choose the frequency of the newsletter you receive. This is another example of the innovative service that Moshtix offers its customers. Moshtix has a very comprehensive contact option, which is easily accessible at the top of the page. It was the easiest to find of the three websites and also the most helpful – 8

it has a number of contact phone numbers, as well as four email addresses for different areas. The FAQ section, however, is significantly smaller than either Ticketmaster or Ticketek, but does cover areas that would be of most concern to a customer. 5.0 Analysis Surprisingly, of the three companies, the least-known seller (Moshtix) had the most impressive website. It was laid out well, had an impressive contact option and bonus features (Moshtix player and Moshguide) and was the most concerned with security. Ticketek’s home page was very disappointing (because it was so cramped), but the newsletter and easy purchase process worked in its favour. Ticketmaster’s website was more visually appealing than Ticketek, but didn’t have the sane level of useability as the purchase process was very rushed and there was no newsletter available. It was also quite difficult to locate the contact option for the company. 6.0 Conclusion Moshtix was certainly the most innovative website of the three and adhered most strongly to Dalgleish’s (2000) five customer objectives. It provided a high level of useability along with an attractive front, and also had a number of bonus features that set it above its competitors. It was easy to get help through the website, provide feedback and also stay tuned in as customers. It appeared easy to purchase items from the site and it stressed security throughout the entire transaction. Ticketek and Ticketmaster are also valid websites from which to purchase tickets, but Moshtix was a cut above the competitors with its fantastic focus on customer service.

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7.1 Appendix 1 1. Is the company name and logo on every page? Is it linked to the home page?

2.

Does the site have search (if needed) and does it work adequately?

3.

Are headlines and page titles clear?

4.

Are photos well placed, and a suitable size?

5.

Do links work and clearly describe the page they will lead to?

6.

Is font size and colour easy to read against the background?

7.

Is the transaction process simple and secure?

8.

Are transactions acknowledged and can shipping be tracked?

9.

Does the site have contact information and/or help?

10. Is the purpose of the website clear?

11. Do I TRUST this web site with my information?

12. Can you leave feedback or extend the relationship e.g. newsletter? Source: Knox, I. (n.d.) 10

7.2 Appendix 2

Source: Ticketek (2007)

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7.3 Appendix 3

Source: Ticketek (n.d.(a))

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7.4 Appendix 4

Source: Ticketek (n.d.(b))

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7.5 Appendix 5

Source: Ticketek (2007)

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7.6 Appendix 6

Source: Ticketmaster (2007(a))

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7.7 Appendix 7

Source: Ticketmaster (2007(b))

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7.8 Appendix 8

Source: Ticketmaster (2007(c))

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7.9 Appendix 9

Source: Ticketmaster (2007(d))

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7.10 Appendix 10

Source: Ticketmaster (2007(e))

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7.11 Appendix 11

Source: Moshtix (2006(a))

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7.12 Appendix 12

Source: Moshtix (n.d.(a))

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7.13 Appendix 13

Source: Moshtix (n.d.(a))

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7.14 Appendix 14

Source: Moshtix (n.d.(b))

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8. References

Dalgleish, J. (2000). Customer Effective Websites. Retrieved April 9, 207, from http://digitalenterprise.org/design/design.html Knox, I. (n.d.) Web page review tips. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/20505/Web-page-review-tips Moshtix (n.d.(a)). Retrieved April 18, 2007, from http://www.moshtix.com.au/ Moshtix (n.d.(b)). Retrieved April 19, 2007, from http://www.moshtix.com.au/admin/moshguide/moshguide.aspx Nielson, J. (2002). Top Ten Guidelines for Homepage Usability. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from http://www.digitalenterprise.org/design/design.html Ticketek (2007). Retrieved April 10, 2007, from http://premier.ticketek.com.au/ Ticketek (n.d.(a)). Retrieved April 11, 2007, from http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=THIRSTYM07 Ticketek (n.d.(b)). Retrieved April 11, 2007, from http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/showtickets.aspx?sh=THIRSTYM07&v=FMU &p=EFMC2007761 Ticketmaster (2007(a)). Retrieved April 16, 2007, from http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/ Ticketmaster (2007(b)) Retrieved April 17, 2007, from https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/checkout/order?v=C6VecW1VIoN13BiC7Tjw6uJJr G-HKOJEtZyboxgQ4xPO3rfo1mpR58-PkxFH-vIq3SoxG-3U-2P9-7lnb4itIUeAjY3g-pWImkKd5SeYPYOa9q_fZbj9wEMM0UvckpjIw

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Ticketmaster (2007(c)). Retrieved April 17, 2007, from https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/checkout/reserve/uaSkf5ZekHS4VyViWELEjqi_lcut 0SwL5BK4kVp5ovo1Pb1o0tXutSKMUAQIsarLCIWiyYydq0_lJEcfStiwFQ Ticketmaster (2007(d)). Retrieved April 17, 2007, from http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/h/help.html?tm_link=tm_help_header Ticketmaster (2007(e)). Retrieved April 17, 2007, from https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/checkout/order

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