Businesses are leveraging social commerce to build trust and customer loyalty

Businesses are leveraging social commerce to build trust and customer loyalty

Businesses are leveraging social commerce to build trust and customer loyalty

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A transitional shift towards organized commerce on social media platforms, thereby offering an avenue for buyers and sellers to interact. This shift started with the pandemic, leaving brands and businesses to stick to social media to grab consumers' attention. Consequently, hotel businesses also dived into the social commerce to gain customer loyalty. For instance,

  • In January 2022, Marriott International announced using TikTok to find three people to create content for the brand when they travel to its global properties over 300 days. Specifically, Marriott Bonvoy, which is Marriott International's 30 hotel brands and an awarded travel program, launched a gift to three lucky adventurers to experience all of its 30 hotel brands, including its home rentals, for a course of 300 days. 

The winners of the Marriott Bonvoy TikTok program of "30 Stays, 300 Days" will be expected to creatively document their stay on TikTok and other platforms depicting the importance of travel. Here, Marriott embraces user-created content (UCC) on a social media platform to elevate customer engagement driving customer loyalty. 

The increasing popularity of TikTok among the younger generation and the importance of user-created content in their lives are attracting hotel businesses to dive into the social commerce space to retain the customers. User-generated content, which works in a word-of-mouth format, attracts consumers. In addition, UGCs do not only help the potential customer to validate the product or service but also drive the discoverability of the brand on social media. Consequently, through UGC, the customer gets an equal amount of confidence to buy the product or service that happens after seeing and feeling it in real life. 

Moreover, this program will boost engagement with its Bonvoy loyalty program, where winners will be upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status gives the customer to avail exclusive benefits such as late checkout and room upgrades. Additionally, the winners will get vouchers for Uber, where the members can link their accounts to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on selected rides and food delivery. The creative content that winners will create about their experiences in the hotels could help Marriott popularise the features of their loyalty program, which will further attract new customers as well as retain existing ones.

Since travel was all-time low during the pandemic, producing this social media content will reinforce how essential travel can be. In June 2021, Marriott Bonvoy launched the "Power of Travel" campaign on TikTok that invited users to share travel memories. 

TikTok gained widespread popularity during the last two years of the global pandemic outbreak. The social media platform has around 1 billion users worldwide with a feed of videos and easy-to-use tools for content creation. Importantly, the platform became very successful with the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. This hashtag has further increased the views to around 8 billion. Therefore, hoteliers partner up with the platform to engage with their customers through innovative content, driving customer loyalty and top-line growth.

The User-generated content that the hotel chain is leveraging is abundant and is expected to scale across multiple marketing initiatives. Moreover, using customer content to market to other people is expected to serve as a good customer loyalty strategy, driving growth in business.

To know more and gain a deeper understanding of the global social commerce market, click here.

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