Cineplex.com online purchase rates have staggered due to customers experiencing inefficient purchasing flows, confused offers, and a lack of interest.
Amidst COVID-19, my role was to explore ways to solve these inefficiencies and improve the overall online purchasing flow in the new age of digital cinema.
Initially, the goal was to validate the concerns brought up by the customers. I took this approach beyond the digital medium and looked at other possible ways in which they bought their movie tickets. I started by looking at traditional physical kiosks purchasing experiences, as well as defining the preference in which the majority of the customers buy their tickets.
I then sat down and interviewed 10 movie-goers that had a recent history of purchasing tickets to reflect back on their experiences. Both in their preferred method of purchase and weigh-in their opinions on other form of purchases. The participants were then asked to complete a usability exercise to further discuss their delights and frustrations. In order to further validate the findings, an additional 25 surveys were sent to general audience on the key factors identified during the previous interviews.
Key Observations and Insights
From the research, I discovered a set of insights that both directly and indirectly correlates to the online purchasing experience. I extended the scope of the research to look beyond the online experience to gather positives from other purchasing mediums as inspirations. I then looked at how different purchasing factors affected one another using affinity diagrams and hypothesis how crucial each component is to the ultimate goal (of completing a purchase).
Buyers will see a movie to look for the best theatrical experiences that delight and impress them.
Some buyers don't care about special formats such as IMAX. But when they see the movie in a specific format, they felt that it was worth the investment. Other buyers only view films in specific formats for the right experience.
Moviegoers watch movies in the theatre rather than at home for the experience. Therefore, it's important for the users to get the experience they paid for.
Buyers will always choose the path of least resistance when purchasing tickets, regardless of the time and place.
Buyers will choose to buy tickets in any medium based on their proximity. If they face technical difficulty, they will fall back to the next capable device.
Most buyers have no preference in the way they buy the tickets, they only care about the fastest way to enjoy the movie.
Buyer makes their purchasing decisions based on recalling moments of delight in many different contexts.
Buyers goes through a lifecycle of influences that affects their purchasing decisions. These motivations are often subconscious, social, and has no ties to Cinplex's brand.
Buyers will continue to reinforce their impression of a movie the more they are exposed to it via marketing.
HMW and Feature Brainstorming
I posterized these insights into How Might We statements in order to ideated on ideas to conceptualize.
How might we help buyers make better decisions in order to have the best experience they are expecting? - Recommended experiences - Bundling - Increase exposure to reward points that culminate to ticket purchases - Clarity of what buyers are expecting
How might we improve efficiency and clarity during their ticket purchasing process? - Show more suggestions and movie preferences - Reduce number of steps for users to reach the goal - Offering upfront purchase opportunities - Improved seat selections
How might we encourage buyers to explore and discover more experiences? - Follow up emails - Rating aggregations (positive reinforcement only) - Surface more special and diverse content
Evaluating Current Offerings
I felt that components and pages on Cineplex website lacked information hierarchy that led to an overflow of unnecessary info. Based on user feedback, the sole reason of visiting cineplex.com is for the purpose of buying a movie ticket. Therefore, efforts required to navigate through the noise in order to buy the ticket was hindering the user's ability to achieve a faster purchase than the conventional kiosk method.
In the end, the goal is for the user to focus on their only task, and constructed a linear journey that prioritizes maximizing efficiency.
Homepage - A Full Screen Cinematic Experience
With the focus of efficiency in mind, I wanted to reduce the number of entry points for the purchasing journey to begin. I felt that these were unnecessary, as the vast majority of users buying the tickets on the website are starting with a movie selection. This simple approach led me to define the entire flow with the movie title being the sole entry point.
High Level Goals:
- Homepage serves as the main entry point for the search flow, reducing the number of variations of the same information about a movie being scattered across the site
- Consolidate all media about a movie into the movie details page, with a heavy constraint on length of content, allowing only bite-sized supplementary information to be shown
- Provide exposure and hints to other movies without competing for attention on the page
Introducing CinFast - A Faster Way to Choose
A large part of the redesign was to find a way to speed up the slowest part of the purchasing process, finding the movie with the right criteria.
Users that seek granular control may continue to define each criteria of a movie (e.g. seating arrangements, theatre, time), but for those who are looking to maximize their efficiency, providing personalized suggestions based on their previous choices may be the best attempt at selecting their optimal watching experience.
My proposal is a new service called CinFast. CinFast is an alternative way to buy tickets by letting Cineplex take a best guess at what criteria works for you based on previous watch history, seat positions, time of the day, and availability of movies, CinFast generates a shortlist of possible showtimes for you to rapidly purchase with one click. The simplicity of this flow requires minimal user intervention and allows them to complete the purchase in under 1 minute.
High Level Goals:
- Provide a faster purchasing flow that complements the existing flow (rivals kiosk time-to-completion)
- Allow flexibility for the user to refine their own recommendations (giving choice)
- Standardize CinFast as a brand and maintain consistency for all CinFast components
Checkout Flow - A Focus on Clarity
I knew that CinFast was not a direct replacement for the traditional purchasing flow, so the goal was to redesign it for the sake of clarity. Our participants noted again and again that the purchasing screens lead up to the actual movie were filled confusing messaging, lack of confirmation, and irrelevant up-sell content. So I set out to revamp the purchasing flow to deliver a consistent experience that focused purely on clarity.
High Level Goals:
- Provide users with a clear objective and a status of their progress
- Upfront transparency of cost
- Remove irrelevant/underperforming up-sell content
- Consolidate steps that are spanned over several pages into a single page
Putting it All Together
Finally, I revamped the Cineplex style guide to accommodate for a new modern look. This allowed me to build highly reusable and atomic based components that could be used for the entire website. Colours were unchanged due to their iconic recognizability within the industry.
The CinFast feature is unique and new. My true intention for CinFast is to be accessible on both the mobile website and on the Cinplex App. Over time, as the ticket recommendations become more accurate, I will push plans to remove the traditional purchasing flow altogether.
What I Learned
Despite the fact that movie watching is an activity that is simple, the steps to get there is surprisingly complex. I sought to solve this problem by exploring all the possible ways a user might integrate movie watching into their lives. The amount of discrepancies in a user's purchasing flow required a systemic dive into the platform as whole, from the movie selection, all the way to the payment confirmation. Every component mattered in the user journey.
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