In order to increase customer retention and build brand loyalty, companies must understand the complexities of social commerce and identify opportunities to maintain customer engagement after the initial purchase. Based on the word cloud social commerce means “a subset of electronic commerce that involves using social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions, to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services.” (Dr. Paul Marsden, 2009)
According to Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013) you can distinguish between 3 different types of sales approaches that match the purchasing situation mentioned in the definition of social commerce. The sales approaches can be divided into two categories: Transactional sales and complex sales ( consultative & strategic sales).
Within the hotel industry it is important that the hotels focus on the complex sales in connection with social commerce. The success of consultative sales is defined by being able to uncover hidden needs or requirements and tailoring the offering to the customer. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) With the aid of social media it is possible to open doors that otherwise would remain shut. This medium helps the hotel to really get to know their customer personal preference and they could adapt to it.
A few years ago, it was sufficient enough to send product updates via Facebook and Twitter. But nowadays, companies must create an online experience equipped with product videos, peer reviews, and comparison charts. As you can see social media channels give consumers a new way to interact with brands 24/7.
It is very important for hotels to adapt to these changes because millions of people log on to their Facebook accounts, they can discuss criticisms directly with sales reps, comment on the latest trends with friends, and post pictures of their favorite products.
Did you know that in 2012 approximately 80% of internet traffic will be driven by video? (L2, 2016) If you think this is not related to the travel industry, you’re wrong. According to a recent study, two of three U.S consumers watch video travel when they’re thinking about a trip. (Crowel, Gribben, & Looc, 2014) For example, around 85% of YouTube travel searches concentrate on destinations, activities, points of interest and general travel ideas
In conclusion Inspiration can come from anywhere. From a conversation to a movie, and once there’s the intention to travel somewhere, travelers will find as much information as they can. Which makes it very important for hotels to focus on social commerce.
Crowel, H., Gribben, H., & Looc, J. (2014, August). Travel content takes off on Youtube. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from Think with googl: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/travel-content-takes-off-on-youtube.html
L2. (2016, August 1). Intelligence report video 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from L2inc: https://www.l2inc.com/research/video-2016
Paul, M. d. (2009, November 17). simple definition of social commerce. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from Digital intelligence today: http://digitalintelligencetoday.com/social-commerce-definition-word-cloud-definitive-definition-list/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearon Education Limited.