Travel companies “risk falling behind their competitors” if they don’t allows customers to log in via social media accounts, says big data company Hello Soda.
According to its research, only 38%, or 19, of the top 50 global accommodation booking sites allow the ‘social connect’.
Those sites include giants of the industry such as Booking.com, Agoda.com and Marriott.com, which give the option for customers to buy or sign up through Facebook and other social media platforms.
Hello Soda says utilising social connect can save companies’ customers time filling in forms or having to remember another set of login details.
And CEO James Blake said it is also an opportunity for businesses, which can use the data stored on social media to understand why customers are visiting the site, including looking at upcoming life events and interests as well as more basic data like age and location. Using this data, Blake suggests they can target marketing and boost revenue.
Blake said: “Modern customers demand convenience and are increasingly living their lives online, so it’s surprising that many accommodation booking giants don’t offer these services.
“It is important that businesses in the travel and leisure sectors can keep up with the changing times. Integrating social login and social connect can help to attract and retain custom by streamlining the user journey and sending targeted promotions to build genuine relationships with customers.
“Companies could risk falling behind their competitors by not integrating the tools that can speed up the purchasing process.”
Hello Soda also thinks that companies in the travel space may be putting themselves at risk by “failing to leverage digital data to corroborate their customer’s identity”. ID verification, it says, is an essential element of the transaction process, especially when placing a high-value order, such as booking a hotel abroad.
Blake added: “Businesses can also use these tools to complete age and ID verification in real-time, increasing customer acquisition and helping to identify fraud.
“Companies can unknowingly be enabling fraudulent or illegal transactions by deciding not to use digital data to offer alternative methods of verification. These tools that link with an individual’s social media account can help to significantly reduce the chances of fraud.”