Travel sites with no social media functionality will be bypassed within a year as consumers increasingly seek validation from friends and peers.
This was the belief of Andy Leaver, vice president of international at Bazaarvoice who said that people now want to see reviews and recommendations from people like themselves.
“People love to shop with something that is highly personalised. If you go to a website with no checkout facility you think it’s archaic. Within a year’s time if there is no social capability people will abandon a site, it’s about that whole authentic personal conversation,” he said.
With this is mind the company has developed technology that enables consumers to publish content on a supplier’s site and then pull it into their social networks.
Any response from like-minded individuals or peers can then be drawn back into the supplier site to provide a more rounded picture.
Research from Bazaarvoice shows consumers are four times as likely to leave a review on a travel site, than other sectors.
Leaver said there was a ‘pay-it-forward’ mentality with travel with sites such as edreams receiving more than four times as many reviews each day compared to other retailers outside travel.
He also said that more than 93% of people now seek a review before making a purchase and that the average purchase value goes up by about 40%.
“There is a strong correlation between propensity to purchase and reading a review,” he said. “If you don’t have them then consumers will go somewhere else. There is also the comfort level because people buy with emotion and substantiate with fact and the whole search engine optimisation angle.”
Bazaarvoice has just signed a deal to provide its social media platform to ticket exchange specialist viagogo.
The tie-up will see Bazaarvoice’s Ratings & Reviews system enabling consumers to publish content on performances, venues and artists while the Ask & Answer system will enable the community to help each other.
Bazaarvoice already also works with NCL and Thomas Cook.