How BookEazy got its groove back
On December 15th, we discontinued the membership based BookEazy movie ticketing service. An overwhelming response from movie-goers perplexed by our decision to pause operations, compelled us write out our own experiences and why we decided to hibernate for the time being.
All startups and first-time entrepreneurs struggle in their search for a definitive identity in their formative years. Our own journey started with the determination to provide a service around movie tickets that was secure and convenient to use. Some time in the latter half of 2006, we fixed on a “pay-at-the-multiplex” service in order to achieve this. Our focus was the movie-goer and any barrier that stood between the movie plan and the multiplex had to be removed.
With the movie-going experience as a yardstick, we did incredibly well. My honest surprise stems from the fact that we exceeded the expectations of consumers in an area where none of the team members had any formal training.
This is not to say we did every thing right. Our mistakes were well noted and we responded aggressively and quickly. We received feedback on every little thing from the text we had up on our website, to our levels of communication with multiplexes.
Credit for our ability to win the hearts and minds of customers belongs to our guys focusing on operations & marketing. They worked tirelessly through weekends and public holidays to deliver entertainment. Many BookEazy members now know them by their first names.
Credit for our ability to win over the online movie-goer belongs to our guys building and testing our product. They worked incredibly hard to ensure a flawless web service that enticed movie-goers to convert one out of every three movie searches.
BookEazy truly is a product of a lot of energy, enthusiasm from all of us. In less than a year of all out operation, we reached well over 16,000 movie-goers, their friends and families. Even at this time we continue to work hard to ensure a smooth transition for all our customers.
So then why is the service going away? As it turns out, there are significant forces that we cannot control. There has been a significant shift in the way Multiplexes view their customer-facing partners. They now see online ticket-booking as a premium service and have enforced policies to tilt the economics away from aggregators towards the owner of the inventory.
This is where BookEazy is unable to fit in – the genesis of our concept being the same ticket price to the movie-goer, independent of the purchase channel. It has become necessary for BookEazy to go in to hibernation and seriously look at a ground up change in how it works.
Our aim has always been that any experience working at BookEazy should turn out to be incredibly valuable to the individual. We have the proud distinction of having forged three more entrepreneurs (other than ourselves), top coders, and bravehearts who live and breathe by top-notch benchmarks for customer delight.
BookEazy, our first scale venture – also helped us shape our own identities. I believe that our team possesses the urge to design and create incredible value for the global marketplace that is the Internet. This is where we have our sights trained. Expect a lot more from us in the future.