StubHub operates one of the world's largest online ticket marketplaces. The company brings together ticket buyers and sellers and allows them to transact business by using either the company's desktop or mobile applications. StubHub is a subsidiary of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) and has operated its service since 2000. While the company is the most recognizable online marketplace for tickets, it faces competition from four other online ticket services.
Ticket Liquidator operates a website that connects ticket buyers with sellers. The company, which was founded in 2003, offers tickets to concerts, shows, sporting events and other popular activities. Unlike StubHub, which operates as a broker, Ticket Liquidator connects its users directly with sellers to negotiate transactions. Also, unlike StubHub, Ticket Liquidator only accepts sellers who it carefully vets and considers qualified and trustworthy. As a result, Ticket Liquidator provides the following guarantees to its customers: all tickets are legitimate and valid for entry, all tickets are the same, equal or better than what the buyer requests, all tickets are delivered prior to the event, and if an event is cancelled, buyers receive a refund. Ticket Liquidator promises a 200% money-back guarantee if sellers fail to meet any of these promises.
Razorgator was founded in 2001 and offers tickets to concerts, sporting events, theater productions and more. The company claims to operate the largest ticket marketplace in the world and offers approximately 10 million tickets to more than 75,000 events. Like Ticket Liquidator, Razorgator promises that tickets arrive on time and are valid for entry into the event. It also promises that tickets are the same, equal to or better than what the customer ordered. Finally, the company promises a money-back guarantee if it doesn't meet these conditions. Customers can order tickets either through the company's toll-free number or online, and can pay by credit card or PayPal. All customers have the option of receiving their tickets via FedEx overnight shipping and tracking, digital e-ticket download, local pickup/will call or, in some cases, through a hotel concierge. As of 2016, Razorgate had sold more than 3.5 million tickets to 250,000 events and had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company's investors include well-known venture capitalists Oak Investment Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Steamboat Ventures.
Vivid Seats is another StubHub competitor that sells tickets to popular events. Unlike StubHub, the company screens and vets its sellers to guarantee the safety and security of its buyers. Vivid Seats ensures that it conducts transactions anonymously and never passes on the buyer's information to the seller. In addition, like Ticket Liquidator and Razorgate, Vivid Seats makes a customer service pledge to its buying customers. The company promises that tickets are valid and authentic, delivered prior to the event, and are the same, equal to or better than what the customer ordered. Vivid Seats offers a 100% money-back guarantee if it fails to meet these promises. Vivid Seats receives an A+ rating from the BBB and is the official business partner of several collegiate sports teams and professional organizations.
SeatGeek operates a search engine that allows buyers to check multiple sources for tickets to events. The buyer inputs information about the event into the search engine, and it returns dozens of options for purchasing tickets. Each option receives a proprietary deal score. A higher deal score means a better value for the buyer. The search engine also returns interactive three-dimensional maps that allow customers to choose their precise seats for events. The maps also display the deal scores for each seat. SeatGeek operates both as a desktop and mobile application. Customers can choose to receive alerts that notify them if their favorite artist or team is playing in their city. The search engine has the advantage of aggregating results from multiple vendors and allows the customer to compare prices. However, unlike Ticket Liquidator, Razorgate and Vivid Seats, SeatGeek does not offer safety and transparency guarantees.
StubHub pioneered a new way of buying and selling tickets to events, while always keeping the fan at the heart of the product experience. Today, from major concerts to shows at local independent venues to the Super Bowl, fans can always find tickets available on StubHub's website or app, even minutes before the event.
In a fast-moving market where speed is of the essence, the company is always looking for ways to accelerate transactions while never sacrificing trust and security.
Although PayPal has a lot of fans on StubHub, the move to mobile presented serious obstacles.
StubHub's initial PayPal implementation didn't allow customers to add a new PayPal account through the mobile app, and it proved challenging to add this functionality after the fact.
“We've seen a huge shift of traffic to mobile and we needed an SDK that could deliver the best mobile experience,” says Marcus Shelksohn, StubHub's senior product manager of mobile apps.
“We wanted to reach PayPal's 157 million plus customers but we didn't want folks leaving our app to sign into PayPal every time.”
One Touch, included in Braintree's SDK, offers the fastest, most secure mobile checkout—and PayPal is fully integrated so anyone with the PayPal app can buy tickets on StubHub with a single tap. StubHub integrated the Braintree SDK with One Touch for iOS with plans to launch on Android soon. Throughout the integration, Braintree's support team was available to assist the team with technical and account questions.
The whole process was really straightforward. Braintree was really collaborative and flexible in terms of helping us build settings unique to StubHub into the integration.
Marcus Shelksohn, senior product manager of mobile apps at StubHub
StubHub saw an immediate 50% increase in sales and transactions going through PayPal with One Touch on iOS.
Additionally, the dollars per transaction through PayPal is higher (+13%) with One Touch.
“The new SDK has received a huge welcome from our customers,” says Shelksohn. “When you want to go to a game or a concert or a show, you want the tickets now. And One Touch delivers.”