During ATM Virtual’s session ‘Conversational Commerce for Travel Brands’, experts from Facebook provided insights on what travel technology will have to offer beyond 2020, stressing on the potential of ‘c-commerce’ in helping travel and hospitality brands connect and transact with consumers.
Amidst a huge crisis like the COVID-19 when interaction and communication with travel brands is gaining importance, especially with evolving technology, people have increasingly turned to messaging platforms to stay connected and get reliable information as well as transact with travel brands, from airlines to hotels and OTAs. In fact, supporting data from Facebook says that over 20 billion messages are currently being exchanged with businesses every month on their platform, Messenger. The Facebook-led session focused on unlocking the potential of conversational commerce, or c-commerce, where people and businesses connect through a chat window with the intent to drive purchase of goods or services. This behaviour has rapidly become mainstream across the globe and helping brands to engage with customers in powerful and fresh ways, as communities around the world come together to deal with the pandemic.
For Sara Gentile, Head, Destinations & Events, MENA, Facebook, travellers’ value personalisation from different brands will rise in a post-COVID-19 world, with an estimated 54 per cent travellers who choose to book with online travel agents (OTAs), choosing to seek on-location recognition from these brands. “Discounts, helpful tips and live updates will be the top three engagements travellers will seek from aviation and hospitality brands. With the amalgamation of chat support with automated and Artificial Intelligence-driven systems, companies and brands can target offers and information to relevant travellers. This will increase relevance, which is exactly what people want, with an overwhelming majority more likely to buy from brands that remember who they are and that provide choice-based recommendations,” she says.
Ameen Malhas, Head, Aviation & Hospitality, MENA, Facebook, believes that messaging and social media chats must be sophisticated and responsive to meet needs of the consumers – especially during such challenging times of crisis when travellers want interactions to be fast and efficient with brands and companies they prefer.
“A messaging system which is executed correctly with a clear strategic role, anticipates what consumers want to
talk about with the help of innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is built around a strong ecosystem which can be a powerful and convenient tool for engaging consumers and driving purchase intent.”