Sunday, July 06, 2008

BookEazy.com - MovieTicket Booking in Pune

It has been almost 3 months I have been in Pune.
I stayed in Pune for about 4 months, about 4 yrs back and certainly it's a different city now.
It has overly carried the heat of Indian Real Estate upsurge.
During last 4 years, I have stayed in Chennai, Bangalore and UK.
Pune is definitely in line with Bangalore now.
But somehow Pune seems to have been affected by inflation a bit more than rest of India has. Certainly more than Bangalore. :)

Ok... coming back to the topic -
One thing what I miss in Pune [compared to Bangalore] is the dynamic 'Online-life' of bangalore.
But then, It's not that Pune doens't have online life at all!
May be not as much as in Bangalore, but certainly it exists.
One good site I found here is www.BookEazy.com
Especially, I loved the design of the site. It looks very neat-n-clean and very much a 'web2.0ish' design.
One thing, I didn't like about it is, it's business model.
Rather, I should say I didn't understand it. They must be having some logic behind it and if so, I would like to understand it.
Biz model:
One has to pay a certain amount of money in advance. (refundable deposit)
Maximum 2 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 295)
Maximum 4 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 595)
Maximum 6 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 895)


Huh!!! I feel suffocated!
I find it really hard to use a service that ties me up with it. It is the same case with BookEazy.

=> I 'normally' require only 2 tickets as I watch movie with my wife.
But note the highlighted word in above sentence..... that's the problem!
I don't want to commit that I will never go for movie with a cpl of my frnds or my wife's frnds joining us!
At the same time, those might be rare occasions - I would not like to block my money in form of refundable deposits for such once-in-a-while occasions.

=> Ok... let's think about bachelors now. [I was one - about 7 months back! :)] Pune has been over-flooded with IT folks and students and it's still counting! Generally the scenario with these bachelors is, groups are formed instantly for watching movies and number of persons in a group is always uncertain. [a real-time system! :)]
BookEazy won't be too handy in such cases!

The Biz Model I would have liked:
Well.... Because of my interest in entrepreneurial activity, I have been following many many startups during last 5 yrs (formally that is - informally, I have been doing it ever since I guess).

One thing I noticed during my so-called case studies of the startups is, it does not have to be complex always.
In fact, most of the startups come out of the simplest of the ideas and procedures!
BookEazy can also keep it simple... book tickets online, charge money and give e-tickets or give sms code... that's it!
Why you want refundable deposit and make ppl pay at the ticket counters and all such (relatively) lengthy procedure!

Oops! It clicked me now -
I just wrote, in the beginning of this blog-post that I could not understand BookEazy's Biz Model.

While writing his post itself one possible reason clicked in my mind - "Customer loyalty"!
Definitely, this is one 'plus'(???) of BookEazy's Biz model. Customers who sign up with them will buy tickets with them only.... almost always.
But then, if this is the reason, there can be better ways to get customer loyalty, than to ask for it.

And again... it will be simple - Give customers rewards after booking certain number of tickets.
Or may be even better, keep the same rates - 200 Rs for 36 tickets or may be even 100 Rs for 15 tickets.... but just give e-tickets or give some ticket code through sms.

I remember booking 'Taare Zamin Par' in Bangalore fame-cinema like this. They gave me a code through sms and when I go to the ticket window, they ask for my credit card for verification.

Though I liked BookEazy site and all, just because of this 'loss-of-freedom' I haven't registered with BookEazy yet.
Anyways, I have TicketPoint nearby my house - I am ready to pay 10 Rs ticket for that 'freedom' (or may be just a misconception of freedom.... whatever it is!)

Of course, these are my views as of now and it can change in future!

On the flip side, it is very much possible that -
> the BookEazy team would have though about all the points I have mentioned above.
> They would have faced certain issues in going by the 'simple' way I mentioned above and this is rather an intelligent work around they came up with instead of bowing down to the issues with the 'simple' way.
> If that's the case... kudos to the team; If not, I would really want to understand the reason for such a Biz model!

Tekh Olweiz,
Sarang

3 Comments:

Anonymous Rajesh K. said...

Try using www.bookmyshow.com, I am sure you will like it.

6:21 AM  
Blogger santosh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:17 AM  
Blogger santosh said...

From the BookEazy Team,

I'd like to give you an idea of what motivated us to build BookEazy the way it is today.

Firstly, we wanted to make booking tickets as easy as 1-2-3. As you can imagine, there are lots of users out there who are not totally comfortable with the idea of paying by credit card online. This is different from what the theatre's are doing for their own websites. This also allowed us to provide a completely safe and reliable option to book from your mobile phone (http://m.bookeazy.com) and offer several convenient options to the user.

We don't attempt to tie the member up to the service. To be clear, the service charge that a member pays - does not have an expiry date. You can use the account at your own pace. Also, when you decide to cancel your account, we immediately refund the deposit amount to the member.

In fact, tying the member to the service was the last thing on our minds when designing the service. Our team seriously believes that loyalty is to be earned and cannot be forced.

So far, the adoption of the service has proved us right. 30% of the movie enthusiasts who visit us go on to book a ticket through the simple select movie, select time, login and just book process.

We'd also like you to try the service and perhaps post a review. Do get in touch if you would like that.

2:20 AM  

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