Conversion: Why Hide Great Features?

September 30, 2007
By Robbin Steif

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.