I regularly buy movie tickets online. Bangaloreans have many choices but primarily the ones that come to my mind are – Fame Cinemas, PVR Cinemas and INOX. It must be noted that these three movie theatre chains are big guys. Spending a few lacs of Rupees to improve their portal will not even cause a dent in their balance sheets. What few of them lack is the will.
Online Booking On INOX Theatre
Look and feel is terrible. The text is just not readable.
They surely have an understanding of what the user may want but not sure why they haven’t executed it well.
The above image is from “INOX Locator” page. All cities have been grouped together except Bangalore. Why? Click on “Bangalore – Magrath Road” and you will see the schedule,
They have their thinking right. They clearly say “Show appearing in white are available for online booking”, unfortunately, they have a very small quota for internet booking.
Also, observe the spelling of Telugu (Telegu). Clearly, this has been implemented in Delhi who have no idea about South Indian languages.
The URL of Bangalore schedules page is http://www.inoxmovies.com/inox/wcms/en/home/our-cinema/banglore.html – a long and unfriendly URL, nothing wrong, nobody is going to remember the URL as they will only click on their portal and reach that page but observe the spelling of Bangalore (banglore.html).
No harm but it would be nice for them to pay attention to these small details.
Online Booking On PVR Cinemas
I have used the Bangalore part of their portal. Look and feel is bad.
What does “Select Cinema” mean for a common man? For me, Cinema and the Movie are the same. I get the impression “Select Cinema” means I need to select the movie I am interested in. Wrong. It is a drop-down for selecting the theatre.
There is a need for this drop-down but not for every city. For e.g. if you are from NCR you get to choose PVR theatres from “different locations” in NCR. Makes sense. But for Bangalore, it just doesn’t make sense. They have just ONE PVR location (Forum mall) which has three “types” of theatres – Classic, Europa, Gold.
For Bangaloreans, this flow is very unfriendly. I want to see Ghajini and I don’t know which type of theatre at Forum Mall (Classic, Europa or Gold) Ghajini is being shown. So I have to first select Classic and check if Ghajini is being shown if not, check for Europa. Isn’t this meaningless?
People usually know which movie they want to see. So the first menu should be the movie name (Select Movie) and then you should have “Select Cinema”.
“Show Time” doesn’t load properly in Firefox. Works fine in IE. Also for few combinations of cinema, movie, date the “Show Time” menu is empty. How can that be?
The items in “Select Movie” is confusing. They need to be sorted by some logic – language and/or movie name. Possibly they have some logic but I couldn’t figure it out. The best is to have the latest movie at the top. It is reasonably “safe” to assume the majority of their customers would want to buy tickets for Ghajini, push that name up instead of burying it somewhere in the long list of the menu (this suggestion is applicable to all movie ticket booking sites)
Coming to “Select Class”, if there is just one choice for the user to select why can’t the backend “pre-select” that option? For Classic, Ghajini, Dec 26, 3:20 PM option the ONLY item in “Select Class” is “Normal (Rs 300)”” – why even bother to ask the user to click on “Select Class”, choose Rs 300 (which I don’t find it Normal, I think the rates are Abnormal these days)?
Online Booking On Fame Cinemas
Undoubtedly Fame (now Inox) is the best. All seats from all their theatres are available on the net. Other theatres reserve only a few rows for the internet (which may not be a bad thing but they should increase the quota for internet users).
They seem to have invested time in the product but then it is not rocket science. Others have put in effort in making something simple complicated. Few points about Fame,
- They promptly send a newsletter every week (very professionally done). No spam. Nothing. Good job.
- They had double charged my credit card. I sent an email, within an hour it was resolved. No sweat. But this could have been avoided if their backend had detected the double charge on its own. Interaction with their back office was pleasant.
- Until recently they were not sending the booking confirmation by SMS, one had to write it down and take it to the theatres. Very unfriendly. Now they seem to have implemented SMS notification which they should have done from day one because they charge Rs 15 per ticket as a service charge (for internet booking). Their service charge is very high.
Suggestion For All Theater Portals
- When users send feedback emails, please respond. You are what you are because of us.
- When portals like Oneindia.com write to you asking for the schedule feed, give it. It is in your benefit to share the schedule.
- If a drop-down menu has just one option, pre-select it. If a drop-down menu doesn’t have any items fire your programmer (or preferably the manager).
- Have a loyalty program.
- Give a discount for buying tickets online. We are reducing your overheads.
- FIX the machines in your theatres which issue the tickets for those who bought it on the internet. None of your machines works.
Update: The entire movie ticketing space has changed after BookMyShow came in. Now PayTm is a big competitor of BookMyShow. Third-party sites, such as Oneindia, are not given movie theatre listing feed from Bookmyshow because of the contracts they have from theatre chains (doesn’t make sense).