You are here

Limited Profile Patron Implications (Guest Checkout)

Subscribe to Syndicate
Using the Limited Profile feature is a venue choice. While it allows the patron to specify less information during checkout, it also:
  • shifts the burden of managing correct data from the patron to the box office after the fact, including de-duplicating patrons who buy online frequently without creating an account
  • May affect credit card rates on authorization and increase chargebacks
  • May limit ability to deal with emergency situations like show cancellation due to weather or other conditions of force-majeure
Guest Checkout causes a NEW Limited Profile Patron to be created each time the patron purchases, unless the patron chooses to supply all the mandatory information of their own volition along with password when buying online.

The reason a new patron is created is to allow theatre manager to provide absolute privacy between online purchases, since the patron has not provided enough identification to allow accounts to be merged automatically. If two people just happen to use the same email address, allowing each to access the others information and tickets is a privacy violation - so Theatre Manager keeps them separate

If you use Guest Checkout, the box office will then need to MERGE all patrons in the same household with the same name and email on a periodic basis after determining that they are, in fat, the same patron.

Limited Profile Patrons are enabled in System Preferences->Mandatory Data tab. If enabled, it allows for Web sales checkout on the web site as an option. The limited patron profile creation and checkout web pages note which fields (e.g. name, address, etc) a venue expects the user to enter.

There are some general pro and cons to using the feature that we've heard from Theatre Manager users that we've listed below. Most venues that try it realize that the burden of data management shifts to the venue and eventually disable it. Most web sites that deal with any sort of shopping cart require full identification these days for fudiciary responsibility to the credit card issuers.

  Pro's Con's
Full Profile
  • Patron provides all the address and contact data for use be the entire organization
  • Patron can achieve benefits from frequent buying such as:
    • cumulative ticket discounts of better seat offerings
    • aggregation of donations for recognition
    • renewal of subscription seats
  • Patrons can have pre-sales access based on a mail list that identifies them as belogning to a group with benefits
  • can get replacement tickets for print-at-home easily
  • expedited checkout in the future
  • can review any past purchases at any time.
  • etc.
  • patron is responsible for managing their account
Limited Profile
  • minimum requirements of name and email address make check out relatively fast for a one time thing.
  • contact data that is elective may affect future marketing capmaigns
  • limited ability to aggregate data for a customer as they are all separate customers
  • patron may have limited customer service options
    • cannot access the account later on without requesting a password reset
    • cannot reprint any print-at-home tickets until they can log in
    • will call tickets should require extra verification of the identity of the patron
    • phone exchanges should require user to provide extra identification related to the purchase such as the specific credit card
  • venue may pay more for credit card charges is there is lack of Address Verification.
    • Some banks may actually decline cards more often in cases of limited identification sent with the credit card. Often address and zip code verification mitigates rejection and charge rates.
    • generally, venue may be subject to more fraud (and liability if it occurs for incomplete data)
  • the venue is responsible for managing the extra accounts that are created and merging them. Limited data tends to pollute the database (garbage in-garbage out)
  • does not encourage repeat business
  • etc.

To enable limited profile patrons/guest checkout:

  1. Choose Setup >> System Preferences and choose the Mandatory Data tab.

  2. Under Allow Limited Profile Patrons On there are the following selections:
    • Web sales checkout - checking this box enables patrons with limited patron data to buy tickets.
    • Web sales mail list add - checking this box enables patrons to sign up for mail lists giving only essential information (email address, name). Click here for more information about this feature.
    • Credit card swipe - checking this box will enable patrons to purchase using the information on their credit card (name on the card). This is most useful for auctions and is described further here.
  3. Make the appropriate selections for your organization's needs.
  4. Next, you define the mandatory fields you want limited profiles to contain in the Limited Profile Web Sales Checkout Patron Data section.

    This is where you set the minimum data patrons must provide to access the web sales checkout.

    If you mail tickets, please make patron address, city, state and zip code mandatory.

    If all tickets are held for will call or print at home, then set as many of these options as you'd like (even none).