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High-Growth Opportunities for Mobile Ticketing Apps

As consumer adoption of smartphones increases, usage of mobile devices to purchase real world goods and services has soared. The mobile user base, once cautious of transacting on the mobile phone, now increasingly expects to be able to easily make these purchases.

More than 16 billion transport and events tickets will be delivered annually to mobile handsets by 2018, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research. That forecast is three times the volume expected this year.

While electronic ticketing adoption on mobile devices will be strong across a range of markets, volume growth will be driven by metro and bus deployments, most notably in the relatively untapped U.S. market.

2D Barcode Solutions to Prevail

The resulting Juniper report -- Mobile Ticketing Strategies: Air, Rail, Metro, Sports & Entertainment 2013-2018 -- noted that SMS-based solutions had achieved particularly strong adoption across markets such as Sweden, where mobile now accounts for 65 percent of bus ticketing sales.

However, it argued that app-based alternatives delivering 2D barcodes were expected to gain greater traction elsewhere as smartphone adoption increased and would account for the majority of sales within the forecast period in developed markets.


Upselling and Cross-Promotional Opportunities

Furthermore, the report highlighted that a number of companies across the transport and event ticketing sectors had recognized that mobile delivery offered the opportunity to add value to the ticketing process.

It argued that integration of mobile ticketing platforms with loyalty programmes was key to customer retention, offered a means of upselling additional services and cross-promotional opportunities.

"The airline industry in particular has led the way in utilising mobile as a sales and loyalty channel," said Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.

More than half of airlines are planning major investments in mobile ticketing over the next three years, employing mobile as a means of enhance customer self-service options throughout the end-to-end passenger travel process.

Other findings from the market study include:
  • Transport operators should consider issuing smartphones to staff for mTicket validation.
  • The short-term opportunities for NFC ticketing are limited with a lack of implementation standards a key barrier to interoperability.

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