Concerts have always been popular and beloved events. Ticket sales are highly anticipated, and in the past, excited fans would line up for miles outside record stores, sometimes camping overnight for a chance at the best seats. Getting tickets the moment they become available is sometimes the only way for a fan to get access, whether it's because the venue itself is small and exclusive or because the headlining act is so popular as to be sure to sell out a stadium
It's easy to see why online ticket sales have become more popular than ever. Today, customers can camp out at their computers instead of on the sidewalk, and make their purchase from the convenience of their own home. Even small, local event planners are getting in on the trend of online ticket purchases, and whether tickets can be bought online is often the first question an interested attendee will ask.
If you want to sell concert tickets online, the steps you'll take are determined by the type of tickets you want to sell. If you're focused on small, local events — for example, maybe you need to build a website to sell tickets for a high school's concerts and theatre productions — you're probably already involved directly with the venue. If your goals are bigger and you want to start an online business to sell tickets for large concerts across the country, you have a longer path ahead of you.
Either way, you need the right eCommerce software to help you handle the rigors of selling concert tickets online, and Shift4Shop has everything you need to make it happen.
If you want to build a website to sell concert tickets for a local venue, you'll need to communicate with them to work out how many tickets you can make available on your website, what their pricing will be (including any markup you add for your own profit), when they can go on sale, and other details. If you're already affiliated with a venue and you're building the online ticket store specifically for them, this is much simpler. You may even oversee the entire website for that location and be responsible for selling other merchandise alongside concert tickets, e.g. popular bars and restaurants that host concerts often have apparel and other souvenirs of their own for sale.
If your interests lie in building an online store to sell concert tickets for other venues, perhaps becoming a competitor or alternative to sites like Ticketmaster, you'll need to become a ticket broker. This is a much longer process that often requires qualifications like an associate's or bachelor's degree that will allow you to get crucial experience in the industry. Requirements also include adherence to local, state, and other laws and regulations. You'll need a comprehensive business plan to build an online ticket sales business that can be competitive and succeed. If you want to become a ticket broker and strike out on your own with your own business, start by researching the economics and market behind ticket prices, legal requirements in your area, and potential educational opportunities that will serve your goals.
Either way, if you're prepared to launch your online concert ticket store, it's time to build a website using tools that will support the success of your eCommerce strategy. Shift4Shop has all the features you need to build a powerful and full-featured online store for concert tickets.
Shift4Shop's versatile product creation and inventory management tools make it easy to sell concert tickets from your website. You can limit numbers, control release dates, and even specify seating with built-in tools. Best yet, Shift4Shop doesn't charge any transaction fees or take a percentage per-ticket registration, unlike other online ticket-selling platforms. You're only subjected to the normal small fee imposed by your payment provider.
Creating a concert ticket in Shift4Shop takes only a few minutes. Tickets for an event can be created as a single product. This means you can sell tickets for hundreds of events simultaneously, if needed. Ticket availability can be handled using Shift4Shop's built-in inventory management system — it's just the same as if you were selling any other item; just specify the number of available tickets as your inventory in stock.
While some concerts have general seating, your upcoming event may have specific seat assignments. Using Shift4Shop's Advanced Options module, you can create as many seating selections as necessary, each with its own pricing and availability.
For example, if you wanted to split seating by section but leave specific seats unassigned, you could set up Advanced Options similar to "Front Row, Center," "Front Row, Side," "Middle Rows, Center," "Middle Rows, Side," "Balcony, Center," "Balcony, Side," etc. as necessary. Each option can have its own pricing and availability. You can also require the customer to select an option before they add the ticket to their cart.
Advanced Options can also be used to sell specific seats, one-by-one. You can upload your Advanced Options all at once with a convenient CSV spreadsheet file, which is especially handy for large venues with many seats. Shift4Shop has no limit on products or options (advanced or otherwise), so your online concert ticket store can sell any number of tickets.
Whether you sell individual seats or organize tickets by section, add a diagram labeling seats and sections to help customers make their selections. You can do this with the built-in Product Images feature.
Few things are more frustrating than trying to buy a high-demand item and having another customer grab the last one before you can check out, even though you already had it in your cart! You can prevent this situation with Shift4Shop's Reserve Inventory add-on, which will temporarily remove a ticket from availability while it resides in a customer's cart so it will be protected while they check out. The default reservation time is 15 minutes (giving a customer a guaranteed 15 minutes to complete checkout before their desired ticket can be taken by another customer), but can be globally configured to the length of time you prefer.
You can have customers use their emailed order confirmation receipt as their ticket, or offer the tickets as digital downloads to be purchased through the product page. Digital tickets can be any type of file, such as a PDF with a QR code to be scanned upon entry to the venue. All digital products can also be connected to a serial number that helps prevent unauthorized duplication. Check out our guide on How to Sell Digital Downloads Online for more details.
Alternately, you can also mail physical tickets to your customers via your choice of several shipping carriers, including USPS, UPS, and FedEx as well as others. Shift4Shop's FedEx integration also includes FedEx Hold at Location so customers can opt to pick up their package at one of millions of FedEx Office stores, participating grocery and drugstores, and more — an option preferred by many customers who want the best security for their package. Regardless of the carrier, you can also use Shift4Shop's Carrier Delivery Notifications to help customers track and stay confident about receiving their tickets.
Besides detailed inventory control, Shift4Shop has several other features that can enhance your customers' shopping experience and allow you to customize the way you sell concert tickets online. Each of these tools offers a different way to fine-tune your online store and help you establish your business as a leader in the industry.
If you don't want to release all your tickets at once, simply add the number you want to make available at one time to your inventory. When the second release date arrives, update your inventory to reflect the new number of available tickets. By controlling your ticket inventory with Advanced Options, you can make the best seats available first, or release them in any order you desire.
For high-demand items like concert tickets, you may wish to prevent customers from purchasing too many at once. This is as easy as entering a maximum quantity into the appropriate field when setting up your tickets as a product. Customers won't be able to go above this quantity in a single order, but can place additional orders to buy more tickets — if you want to prevent this, you can require registration to make the purchase and use the Customer Groups feature (described next) to automatically move customers who have bought their allowed number of tickets into a group which can no longer view the ticket page.
Perhaps you'd like to allow some customers to become VIPs on your store so you can give them certain privileges, like first access to new ticket sales. This way, your most loyal customers can have first choice of seats or be assured of a chance to purchase tickets that are in short supply. Shift4Shop has an easy-to-use Customer Groups tool for categorizing your customers in this way. Customer Groups can be used to control product visibility so only members of a certain group can view a product. You can also use this feature to offer reduced pricing and other advantages.
Customers can be manually added to a group, or placed in one automatically based on criteria you can set. For example, you could have all customers moved into the VIP group once they've spent a specific minimum amount on your store. For an online concert ticket store it may be best to advertise the availability of VIP status and let customers buy their way into the group by purchasing a pass, which you can set up as another product (and selling VIP passes will also raise your revenue). All customers who buy the VIP pass can be automatically added to the VIP group. If you allow unregistered visitors to shop without creating an account, selling VIP memberships also encourages customers to register, as only customers with accounts can be added to the group.
If you'd like to create a limited early ticket release for VIP customers, simply restrict product visibility to the VIP Customer Group when you publish the product page for your latest event tickets. After the VIP early purchase period has passed, change the product visibility so it can be seen by all customers.
Pre-orders are another option for allowing early birds to secure their tickets ahead of the rush. Shift4Shop's Pre-Orders module makes it easy to accept pre-orders on your store and have those orders automatically updated to new orders you can process once the tickets' release date arrives.
You can make tickets available for pre-order when setting up their product page. Your store will need to be using a tokenized payment gateway to save customer credit card information. When a customer pre-orders a ticket, the charge will be authorized on their credit card and then the payment will be captured once the tickets are released and made available to buy. For concert tickets, this is the eCommerce equivalent to camping out in front of a brick-and-mortar ticket seller to hold a place at the head of the line!
Once the pre-ordering period is over, the tickets' product page will automatically update with an "Add to Cart" button to replace the "Pre-Order" button. The Pre-Orders module also works alongside Customer Groups so you are free to offer pre-ordering to your VIPs before other customers, or reserve it for them entirely.
Some customers may not want to pre-order, but would like to be informed as soon as tickets become available to buy. Shift4Shop's Waiting Lists and Back-in-Stock Notifications module makes it easy to let customers sign up for a waiting list and get notified as soon as the tickets are for sale. The customer simply has to click the "Join Waiting List" button and enter their contact information. Once you add available ticket inventory, this button automatically changes to "Add to Cart."
Since the "Join Waiting List" button can automatically reappear as soon as the tickets are sold out, Waiting Lists also come in handy in case a customer cancels their order before fulfillment. In that case, their canceled ticket would return to inventory and inform customers on the waiting list that another ticket has become available. Of course, any canceled tickets would be first-come-first-serve and may be grabbed quickly before everyone on the waiting list can return to your store, so this is more of a secondary use for this feature.
Sometimes customers are going to want to return their tickets or get a refund, as maybe something has come up and they're no longer going to be able to attend the concert. Your return policy is up to you — and should be clearly laid out when you write your store policies — but you're not likely to want to accept returns in most circumstances. For example, you may only want to offer refunds up to a specified date before the concert.
Shift4Shop's RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) feature allows you to process refund attempts in an organized manner, request information from the customer, and accept or reject refunds as needed according to your policy. Any refunded tickets you accept can be added right back to your inventory (which will trigger the Back-in-Stock Notification if you're using Waiting Lists). Of course, this is better for digital tickets, as returning physical tickets would require the customer to ship them back to you and they may not arrive in time to go back on sale. This is one reason not to accept returns for physical concert tickets.
How you refund the customer is also up to you, but Shift4Shop also has a powerful Store Credits system that allows you to offer credit toward the customer's next purchase rather than dispersing a refund.
Naturally, it's possible that a customer that bought tickets and was then unable to attend the concert may try to get a refund even though the date has passed. The RMA system will help you prevent this, and your return policy alongside the fulfillment confirmation records in your Shift4Shop store will help protect you if the customer attempts a chargeback.
Shift4Shop is the best eCommerce software for building and growing an online business selling concert tickets. Alongside the robust order management and other tools featured above, Shift4Shop is packed with hundreds of other features for building a great website, marketing and selling on multiple channels, and more. Best yet, you can get an unlimited, pro-level account for free if you use Shift4 Payments as your payment provider. Shift4 Payments takes only minutes to set up and allows you to accept credit cards and several alternate payment types.
Why Shift4Shop is the Best eCommerce Platform for Selling Concert Tickets Online
Shift4Shop makes web design easy with a wide selection of free templates you can use right out of the box, or edit with our powerful web design tools. You can completely customize your online store's appearance with no knowledge of code.
Shift4Shop makes it simple to handle any amount of inventory and any number of customers, no matter what you sell. You'll have everything you need to sell concert tickets online, and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) module to help you provide support to customers who need it.
It's easy to set up a product manually in Shift4Shop, but if you have many of them (or a large number of options, as you would for assigned seating), Shift4Shop's CSV data import will allow you to add them all in a few steps. You can also import and export other types of data like customers, tax rates, and more.
Want to make tickets available on eBay? How about band apparel on Amazon? With Shift4Shop, you can connect your store to these markets as well as Google Shopping and your Facebook Shop to reach even more customers, and manage all orders centrally from your Shift4Shop dashboard.
Set up email newsletters, advertise on Facebook, encourage organic social media growth, and much more with Shift4Shop's full suite of powerful marketing tools. Our cutting-edge SEO features will also help you gain rank on search engines to earn even more traffic.
With Shift4Shop, you can start getting paid within minutes. Our built-in Shift4 Payments integration sets up quickly and includes the tokenization you'll need for pre-orders. Plus, with over 160 payment methods to choose from, you can expand your store's appeal by accepting additional payments like digital wallets, international payments, Bitcoin, and more.
A slick and modern free theme built with music in mind, ready to bring the excitement of a concert right to your online store. Huge homepage banners capture customer attention immediately, and the sticky menu makes navigation convenient by remaining onscreen as the customer scrolls down the page.
Want a more classic layout for your online concert ticket store? Tickets Hub updates the familiar sidebar navigation to today's mobile-friendly, responsive standards! With customizable colors and plenty of room for images, it's a great free theme for selling tickets for concerts or any other type of event.