Online movie ticket seller Fandango is expanding into real-world merchandise. Launching in April, Fandango FanShop will be a storefront for high-end collectibles, movie-themed apparel and more, including real-life events and experiences. At launch the storefront will feature items from some of the biggest, most-anticipated movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Despicable Me 3 and more. While there are many such shops that cater to fans of movies and geek franchises, FanShop is seeking to differentiate itself in two ways:
First, it’s touting items and collections curated and chosen by studios, filmmakers and fans. So it’s not just a general and generic storefront, this is the place to come to find merchandise that’s been hand-picked in an interesting and hopefully relevant way. Considering there are so many options for people to choose from when looking for movie-related items, that promises to cut through the clutter and provide something more immediately actionable. Fandango is promising to add new items throughout the lifecycle of a movie, from theatrical marketing to home video release, so it’s meant to be a “sticky” site that not only takes advantage of the anticipation for these big franchises but also the eventual fandom that results from those releases.
Second, it will eventually take advantage of the connections that are possible by activating Fandango’s existing user base. Plans are in place to allow fans to buy merchandise through FanShop at the same time and in the same transaction as buying tickets. So when someone comes into the site to buy a Wonder Woman statue via the hub that’s been setup for that movie/character they’ll also be able to buy tickets for the movie. In the other direction, someone buying Despicable Me 3 tickets will be tempted to add on a t-shirt or action figure or other item as an impulse item and easily add it to their cart.
Fandango has a huge network through which to promote FanShop and its products. Expanding into this area makes a lot of sense since it already has such a large footprint of ticket sales, entertainment news, new trailer promotion and more. To date that’s all been in service of selling more tickets, which has been the core business. Now that expands a bit more into merchandise and other items. It shows Fandango is focused clearly on supporting the kind of tentpole blockbusters and franchises that are more dominant at theaters every year. It will be interesting to see how the site looks when it launches in April.