With the exponential rise in mobile apps and increased mCommerce, businesses are spending considerable time and effort monetizing their processes. As such, we’re witnessing enterprises leveraging applications to improve efficiencies, boost revenue, and penetrating new markets. Event venues are part of this phenomenal mobile app growth.
This vertical has always been tricky where increased mobile app use and expectations come into play. The current global situation has only increased the complexities of the experience economy. From postponed concert tours to canceled sporting events, the hospitality sector worldwide has been left reeling by the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Caution during Corona
As the pandemic subsides, venues, event organizers, and attendees look forward to resuming some sense of normalcy. While humans are social beings and crave face-to-face interactions, it may be a while before in-person experiences begin again.
In the meantime, event and venue apps should appeal to this pent-up demand during quarantine. Whether it’s through virtual events or adding gaming features to your already published apps, it’s imperative businesses continue to connect with customers.
While many agree COVID-19 has been the “biggest business interruption” many companies have faced, still more – like Bob Iger, Disney chairman and former CEO – remain optimistic about post-pandemic recovery. With the addition of key differentiators and value-added features, tech-savvy sites can both address attendee concerns as well as embrace potential changes to future events.
The magic of mobility
Take Walt Disney World, for example. Along with turn-by-turn park navigation, their mobile app users can also purchase tickets and merchandise.
Disney’s mobile app also includes features such as attraction wait times and the ability to share precious memories and photos of your #DisneyMagic.
Because these functions require real-time updates, you’ll need to test network access across the entire property. Testing under real-world environments and network conditions is the only feasible way to know how your mobile app will function across different network environments. This is the key to preempting network failures that hurt the quality of end-user experience.
Some common things to watch for:
- Ensure your application is usable even with lousy bandwidth. Tune your bandwidth consumption as much as you can.
- Increase the latency to three or four seconds, making sure any user-initiated operation is delayed by only a few seconds… not minutes.
- Change the network’s bandwidth and connectivity mid-session while your test is running.
Live and live-streaming
Given mobile apps are everywhere, including specific value-add features for your audience is a key differentiator.
For instance, if your mobile app’s venue is less pretty princess and more Golden State Warrior — such is the case for the NBA — consider adding live-feed of games and the ability to dig deep into stats… even during games.
There are some traditional features of venue apps that should always be considered such as in-app ticketing for attendee experiences and user’s ability to discover and install the app onsite. Failing to do so can leave fans ill-tempered… and in some cases, physically ill or ruining a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Beyond these key features, integration with a commentary feed so that users can read and hear in-depth analysis is a great value-add for these types of venues.
These tests can be a bit challenging since the tester has to think completely out of the box; usually from a user’s perspective, creating scenarios that may cause the app to break.
Key metrics to pay attention to:
- Buffering time: check how your app performs under low network connectivity.
- Bit rate: check the number of bits transferred per second. The bit rate of a video is directly proportional to its resolution.
- Data consumed: includes the data spent by the user while using the application and helps determine the demand for streamed data.
- Peak data usage: understand that certain times and activities (such as video uploads of the national anthem) during events may drive peak usage of data and size the network appropriately.
Sites and security
When the stress of life takes its toll, people find solace in music. And that goes doubly for music venues. However, amid past and present safety concerns, event organizers are taking extra measures to keep their event attendees and staff safe.
To help them, they’re looking to new technologies to pave the way. One way is through venue mobile apps. From unruly concert go-ers to tracking your kid in the merch line to integrating security teams and even updates on how venues are dealing with a “new normal of live experiences,” apps allow audiences to react quickly to any safety issue, giving them a stronger sense of security while visiting your venue.
To beat attendees to the search of what your venue has planned for safety and security measures, send push notifications via your mobile event app. Consider also including an in-app report interface so guests can report emergencies.
Regardless if you’re testing notifications on simulators or real devices, some critical test scenarios include:
- Make a request for push notifications
- Check that the title and description of the push notification are correct
- Open the notification and check whether the correct view has been opened in the application and make the appropriate assertion
Promotion is where the money is
If you’re building an app for a venue, why not highlight the local money streams. Allowing event-goers to purchase merchandise or tickets from their phones is a win-win if done correctly.
Additionally, buyers like to save time and money by buying products on marketplaces. Creating an online marketplace for unused tickets or other discounts allowing them to have options without the hassle of browsing separate e-commerce shops is definitely an upsell to any high-functioning mobile app.
In addition to general profiles and listings, also consider the following when building a marketplace:
- Search and advanced filters are crucial for a marketplace app. The best practice is to make search predictive.
- Ratings and reviews are a must. Most people won’t even buy a product if there are no reviews. Ratings can come in lots of forms, but a five-star rating system is the most popular. Whatever you opt for, make sure the ratings are clear and easy to understand.
- To avoid shopping cart abandonment, make sure the checkout process is fast and easy. Don’t sacrifice security though, as it’s a primary concern for people who shop online. Be sure to choose a reliable payment gateway that will meet both your needs and your users’.
And if you’re looking for an additional revenue stream, advertising during events is an important consideration. When it comes to ads, ensure those served match the target audience, are clickable and lead to the correct landing page.
Testlio’s Payments Testing capability assures payment gateway, functional, security, compatibility, and location testing for your web & mobile apps.
All the things at once
While it may be a while before cruises are vacation-of-choice, they have taught the event industry a lot about mastering the integrated experience. You’re on a closed system most of the time, so connectivity to the network is key while out at sea.
They offer schedules, restaurant reservations, merchandise, inter-cabin chatting, social media integration, photo uploads from professional on-board photographers, and so much more. It makes sense that they would become the gold standard for these types of apps, since they have captive audiences in a limited “venue” for weeks. It all has to work. They don’t want a mutiny on their hands… literally.
It’s important to not only test for the on-board functionality of the app on a closed system but also make sure functions work while in port. If guests are able to book a taxi or an on-shore excursion from their app, it’ll make their experience better. But then also ensure guests are able to get back to the ship when it’s time to move on. Allowing the crew to keep to their already tight schedules. Most of these hospitality concierge functions happen through Artificial Intelligence chat and speech features.
When testing these unique capabilities:
- Your app should be able to recognize and understand natural language. Chat can be used to request a certain service or receive the required information.
- Chatbots are based on the concept of dialogue, meaning testing conversational flow is an essential step. An appropriate conversation flow should talk tactfully with relevant replies while maintaining a balance between message length and meaning.
- Fallback is a process to measure the response of bot on unmatched inputs. We expect the same human language response from a chatbot and can test these scenarios by writing appropriate test cases to make chatbot fallback.
Connection is key
As with all venues, the biggest gripe that users have is connectivity. It’s a tough problem to solve and most venues have invested mass quantities of money into making sure that their networks work when the crowds get big. But in the development and testing phase, it’s important to think of the load capabilities of the network and the amount of capacity that your venue should expect.
That way you can design features that will work. And actually be able to pass your QA testing when it counts.
Contact Testlio today and bring your customers exceptional digital experiences.