We’re excited to announce that we’re launching the first Beta of Razorgator GO today. From conception to implementation, Razorgator GO has been built around two fundamental components of online ticket sales.
First, we wanted to make it easy to find events that interest you. Forget long lists of events, or fumbling around multiple pages on a ticketing website looking for something that may spark your interest. We wanted to change the way consumers search for tickets, and to make searching for events smart and easy. So we reimagined how event search works. To start, why not make it fast? And by fast, we mean results updating instantly as you begin your search. When you have over 100,000 nationwide events to choose from, instant responses to your search query become that much more important. At first, we decided to use a natural language search (a single text box, just like Google). We built a natural language search internally but we never released it. What we found was that a natural language search on top of structured data (like events) doesn’t work as well as we imagined.Events are made up of attributes like venue, category (“sports” or “concert”), date, time. What we wanted was the simplicity of a single text box (natural language), combined with the power of an advanced search. An advanced search typically allows for a user to specify any combination of specific attributes they’re interested in using dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes and so on. The issue was how to combine the two – and stay away from complicated ‘advanced search’ pages with multiple checkboxes and drop downs (my favorite is this one on eBay). Our solution was to use search tokens. With tokens, we’re able to keep all of the search activity inside a simple text box, while allowing the user to mix and match attributes (tokens) to filter 100,000 events down to only those they’re interested in. So now, if you’re looking to find afternoon theater events next week in your area, simply create tokens for “afternoon”, “theater” and “next week” and we’ll instantly show you what’s available. No page reload, no clumsy advanced search pages – just what you’re interested in, instantly. Any combination of tokens will work – and tokens can always be edited or removed individually (with results updating instantly, of course).
Search Tokens on Razorgator GO
So we think we’ve addressed part of search. We’re working on additional improvements of course…but more on that some other time.
Second, we wanted to help consumers find the best value tickets for events they’re interested in. Years of being in the ticket business gave us some advantages. Primarily, we have a ton of data to work with (10 years of proprietary ticket price and seat location data across millions of tickets and hundreds of thousands of events and venues). Using this data, we were able to come up with a numerical representation of value – what we call our ticket Value Score (more on how we calculate the Value Score will be coming from our VP of Tech, Arpan Desai). We also believe that consumers are looking for an easy way to find the best value ticket prices for their specific budget. Budget is a primary driver when it comes time to making a decision around a ticket purchase. We all want to sit next to Jack Nicholson at a Laker Game, but unless you have $30,000 lying around (if you do, click here for our VIP Department), we feel that the combination of budget and value are key. Of course, customers want to know where they’ll be sitting – but if we’re able to help consumers easily find (a) the best value tickets for (b) their budget – then we’ve gone a long way in making the ticket buying experience that much easier. After trying numerous iterations, we came up with Razorgator GO’s Value Graph. Here’s what it does:
(1) It shows consumers where the best value tickets are for a given event. You’ll see that we broke up the Value Graph into sections for “Best Value” (Value Score >60), “Good Value” (Value Score between 30 and 59) and “OK Value” (Value Score <30).
(2) It breaks out those tickets into price ranges ($, $$ and $$$ for all you Yelp lovers like me). Consumers can now hover over the bubbles in the Value Graph to see ticket details for the best value tickets in different price ranges. As they hover, our interactive seat map updates, showing the location of the tickets. Better yet, if you take a second to use our quantity and price range filters, it makes it that much easier.
It’s a simple, yet powerful visual representation of ticket values at different price ranges for any event on the planet.
Razorgator GO’s Value Graph
Razorgator GO’s Value Graph
We’re super excited to launch this beta and can’t wait to hear about what you think of it. We’re far from being done. We have a lot of work to do on our interactive maps (most of the initial cleanup has focused on NFL games, but even there, we still have a lot more to do). In addition to updates based on all the valuable feedback that we hope to get from our users, we’re already hard at work on additional improvements around usability, design – and an entire release centered around social (events displayed based on your likes, your iTunes library, where your friends are sitting and more).
Finally, you’re reading this, so you’ve stumbled on our new blog. Thanks for getting this far Now that you’re here, remember to come back. We’ll continue to post updates about GO – and everything else going on at Razorgator.
For now, give Razorgator GO a try.