‘Chat is becoming business’, says an Amadeus Ventures investment manager who predicts a rise in transactions via online messaging platforms.
Sara Pavan told delegates at Amadeus’ Search Matters event in London that she believed travel firms will increasingly turn to instant messenger platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to complete sales – based on customer demand.
She said: “People prefer chat now. Some of these platforms have been around for a long time but people find it easier now they can access them from their mobile phones.”
Pavan added that smart phone users were using just a small number of platforms – such as WhattsApp, Facebook and WeChat – which Pavan said were overwhelmingly dominating the market.
“They are already the first layer of customer support,” she added. “But chat is becoming business. We can see it becoming a commercial platform
“What’s important is to manage these customer touch points in an efficient way. If you are able to reach one billion users you need to manage them efficiently.”
Pavan also advised travel companies to start looking at block chain technology, which she described as the “next big disruptor”.
She described the payment platform, which derived from Bitcoin, as cutting out the middle man, adding: “Travel is definitely one of the candidates for block chain technology.
“We have started to explore certain areas where block chain could bring value. We are testing and learning and can see it in travel.”