In the past few weeks Facebook has taken an interesting step forward which could highly benefit those working in the travel industry. When the social media giant recently announced that businesses will now be able to accept payments through their Messenger app, we recognised the huge opportunity this development represents for agents to engage with and conduct transactions with an increasingly tech-savvy customer base.
The rising popularity of chat-based messaging apps over the past few years has certainly fired up the imaginations of those in the travel industry. A recent article, published by Travel Weekly, highlighted the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the use of messaging "to facilitate shopping and purchasing and to make it a bit more personalised and conversational". Now Facebook appears to be offering businesses the chance to take this opportunity by the horns - well, some businesses at least. The capability is expected to be rolled out more broadly by the end of the year.
In plain English, Facebook's business payments development means that businesses can sell their products and services directly to customers via Messenger. Instead of enduring tiresome links to new browsers, customers can complete the purchasing process without ever having to leave the app in a simple, streamlined process. Additionally, the time-consuming task of manually entering payment information will be consigned to the past – Messenger will offer the chance to pre-load and save payment information in the same way that Apple Pay and Google Wallet have sought to make the payment process faster and more simplistic.
It's not the first time the social platform has pushed ahead in the field of conversational commerce this year. Back in April, the company offered developers' tips on how to build chatbots within the Messenger mobile app, allowing travel brands such as Expedia to construct automated programs that can handle basic customer queries.
Chatbot transactions may still be in the early stages, but as technology improves, we can expect this arena to develop accordingly. At the end of the day, the success of a travel business depends on its ability to provide customers with what they want, in the way they want it. And with Facebook Messenger hitting the 'one billion user' mark earlier this year – it appears this is a method quite a few people might want.
Providing customers with a streamlined user experience is key for travel businesses hoping to make sales in the digital sphere. For information about our range of solutions which can hone your website to perfection, contact us today.