"The widespread use of international digital platforms, such as Uber, means that South African consumers compare their customer experience on local platforms to the best internationally," says Jonathan Wayne, co-owner of Webtickets.

Co-owner Christy Turner says that, while they wanted to give the site a fresh new look, a significant increase in mobile traffic demanded that they streamline the user experience to be seamless. "We also wanted to harness the behavioural and transactional data of our two-million registered customers," he says.


According to Wayne, research suggests that customers are spending less time on individual platforms, making it imperative for Webtickets to build the ability to curate and deliver relevant content to each customer. "This encourages more time on the site and drives loyalty," he says.

Webtickets has a repository of 10 years' worth of customer purchase data and browsing behaviour that is also location-based. This is because of the platform's integration with Google Maps. "This allows us to now serve content to our customers that is uniquely curated to their tastes, behaviour and location," says Turner.

According to Turner, harnessing the power of collected data to personalise the service based on customers' behaviour and preferences, as well as displaying popular events that other customers have purchased, has immediately resulted in a significantly higher conversion to sales for the visitor on Webtickets.

"The service's strategic partnership with Pick n Pay is key to staying ahead of the pack," says Turner. "Pick n Pay's award-winning smart shopper programme allows customers to purchase tickets using their smart shopper points in-store, while Webtickets also provides unique deals and early offers to smart shopper cardholders."

"This, combined with our newsletters and campaigns, means we can reach more customers more effectively, enabling our content providers to reach their goal of a sold-out event," adds Turner. "The team is constantly innovating and improving the site functionality, and will continue to do so."

The ticketing service based their updates and relaunch on an in-depth market research exercise with several focus groups made up of a broad cross-section of South African society. "This provided us with invaluable — and sometimes surprising— insights into online customer behaviour," adds Turner.


Customer experience, in this case, takes the form of putting more power and control into the hands of the user. Some of these features include:
  • self-service event bookings
  • race entries
  • the option for customers to update event details post-purchase
  • a self-refund functionality
  • a rescheduling option for tickets already bought
"This is a huge benefit to both our customers and content providers. We have also identified WhatsApp as the primary communication tool of South African customers and, as such, have introduced seamless sharing of tickets and content over WhatsApp," Turner says.

Webtickets Active is a portal for the race-entry market, and the platform has refined its data capture and validation processes — making previously complicated processes a lot simpler and hassle-free.


Webtickets has aimed to keep its personality alive in all the innovations. "We encourage customers to share via WhatsApp and Facebook, by providing custom quirky and fun messages that they can send to their friends, challenging them to enter a race or daring them to attend to an event," says Turner.

"We also realised that people are on our site because they want to do something fun or challenging, so we have made the purchasing process an extension of that by making it a pleasant and enjoyable experience by using positive reinforcement and encouraging messaging throughout the site," Turner concludes. 

For more information, visit www.webtickets.co.za. You can also follow Webtickets on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.