Josh Wardini of 16best.net discusses the relatively new concept of social commerce, the conjunction of e-commerce and social media to deliver an shopping experience within Facebook or Instagram and the like; it’s food for thought for anyone involved in selling online.
Aside from the fact that the travel industry has become mostly digitised with the switch to online booking, we’ve also been seeing some big developments shaking up how the travel business actually engages with the customers before any transaction occurs.
Social media, AI and even chatbots are having an impact, and all brands and marketers should take note. More travel brands have been experimenting with all the ways they can make online commerce more social. Recommendations have always had a big impact on travel arrangements; these used to be passed along in person, but today they are all over social media, and they have the potential to affect any travel decision.
According to research, over 40% of the people planning to book a holiday in the next six months first conduct research about brands and products on social media. The good news for brands is that there is a lot more user-generated content to capitalise on. Most holidaymakers are willing to share their holiday pictures and experiences on their social media accounts, whether it’s just saying how much they enjoyed a trip, or complaining about flight delays on Twitter, or simply sharing images on Pinterest.
From shoppable Instagram feeds to ‘Buy’ buttons on YouTube, social commerce is reshaping the online shopping world as we know it. Nowadays, according to Facebook, about 450 million users visit buy-and-sell groups on a monthly basis. As outlined in the infographic below, major social media platforms are becoming more commercial, while ecommerce platforms are becoming more social: