July 2, 2009, 12:00 AM

iPhone users make movie tickets mobile app a smash hit

Online movie ticket-selling giant Fandango’s mobile app for the iPhone has proven very popular, racking up one million downloads in just three months. Fandango’s goal is to be ubiquitous—and it’s succeeding.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Online movie ticket-selling giant Fandango has proven that with the right combination of utility, convenience and pizzazz, a retail mobile app can be a smash hit. After launching in Apple’s App Store only three months ago, the total number of downloads of Fandango’s mobile app for the iPhone and iPod Touch has exceeded one million.

The Fandango iPhone app has ranked as high as No. 1 among free entertainment applications in the App Store and has consistently been in the top 25 in that category since its launch in March, the ticket seller reports. Among all free iPhone apps, it adds, the Fandango app has ranked as high as No. 8.

“The iPhone and other mobile apps make Fandango as ubiquitous for customers as possible,” says a company spokesman, who notes the company just launched a mobile app for the new Palm Pre smartphone. “Customers can buy movie tickets anywhere.”

A mobile app is a program that runs on a smartphone. Smartphone users download an app from an app store. A mobile app can offer a richer, faster customer experience than a mobile commerce web site because many of the features and design elements are stored on the smartphone and thus do not have to be regularly downloaded from a mobile web feed, and because an app can integrate with smartphone features such as an address book or GPS navigation to enhance functionality.

Of the 15 or so retail mobile apps today, Fandango is a leader in terms of information, features and buying. Listings for each film contain all the basic information on the movie along with fan ratings-as well as the full video of the picture’s trailer. Once a customer stores billing and payment information in an encrypted part of the app, or once the app is synced with a customer’s Fandango account, which contains billing and payment information stored via the e-commerce site, a customer can purchase tickets through the mobile app in as few as five clicks.

Fandango also is a leader in the realm of m-commerce web sites, having launched one in September 2005, well before the current crop started blooming.

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