- AMC Theatres added a feature to its mobile app that lets moviegoers order ahead for snacks. The theater chain plans to expand the service nationwide this year after introducing it this week at all AMC locations in Boston, Denver and Houston, the company announced.
- With a few extra clicks, the updated app lets moviegoers add popcorn, drinks and other snacks to their mobile ticket purchase. Theater employees prepare the food for pickup at a designated time from an express kiosk near the concessions counter.
- To promote the new service, AMC is offering as much as $5 off online or mobile app orders for a limited time. AMC estimates that about 150 locations will offer the food and beverage mobile order option by the end of this summer.
Almost half (45%) of all AMC ticket purchases are processed online, the company said in its announcement, giving the theater chain a chance to upsell moviegoers on concessions that can boost revenue. Quick-service restaurants have raised consumer expectations for online ordering and payment, highlighting how entertainment venues like movie theaters, stadiums and concert halls also need to step up their mobile game. AMC's latest app update indicates the theater chain is committed to making mobile ordering a central part of the movie experience.
AMC's new service highlights how digital ticketing is a key marketing strategy, described by PayPal's Braintree as "contextual commerce." Brands can cross-sell products and services based on what consumers do with their smartphones. That means sports teams and theater chains can gain greater insights into the individualized preferences of digital customers than from paper ticket holders. AMC's refreshed app gives the chain the power to learn more about its customers and help to more directly personalize their movie experience.
Theater chains like AMC have worked with entertainment and ticketing companies to appeal to smartphone users, especially teens and young adults who make up a major part of the movie-going audience. Disney last fall promoted an in-theater mobile game that people could play during the previews. The game used augmented reality (AR) technology to show an immersive game that was tied into the animated movie's characters. National CineMedia last year debuted an AR horror experience in theaters for moviegoers who had downloaded the Noovie ARcade app and saw "Venom," "Halloween" or any PG-13 or R-rated movie.