Hotels, Resorts and Airlines are a unique product in the e-Commerce space in that they are one of the only product that consumers ‘Buy Before they Try’, whereas, in all other e-commerce transactions, the consumer knows what they are getting before they click the buy button.
Think about it – if you’re buying a pair of shoes online, you’ve most likely ‘showroomed’ the shoes first – either seeing them on a friend or even actually trying them on in store before going home to purchase online.
Hotels, Resorts and Airlines don’t have this luxury. Traditional Interruption advertising for Hotels and Resorts is a case where an excellent ad for and IHG hotel can do a really good job of selling a Starwood resort.
The travel industry needs to provide the best digital experience to the guest to help them make the purchase decision before they are lost to social media where friends and influencers can change their minds with personal recommendations.
In this great post for Eye For Travel, Andrew Hennigan reports that new highly visible campaigns from KLM, Club Med, Marriott and now Hilton are breaking new ground in interactive video content.
One of the points he raises is that; ’While booking is not the main focus of the campaign, and the interactive experience may not lead to direct sales, the argument goes that it will help consumers to think about the brand in a new light.’
Here at weARVR, we have created that in-video call to action experience where the viewer can click to book at any time within the 360 video ‘bubble’ and is supported on iOS, Android and in HTML browsers.
One question we get asked at weARVR is whether 360 Video has any special incremental costs when setting up a media campaign. 360 Video is treated in the same way as ‘flat’ video by the media channels that support it (e.g. YouTube, Facebook) and programatic targeting software delivers 360 Video in the same way it delivers other content.
The question of VR via a Headset is raised in the Eye For Travel article as well;
‘The least obtrusive way to watch 360-degree video content is simply to use the mobile phone or tablet without a headset. To get the most immersive experience a headset works best, but this is not something most people want to do in public, except, perhaps, in an exhibition space where anything goes.’ – we couldn’t agree more.
There are issues with VR headsets, where a lot of people feel motion sick and have fallen over while wearing the headsets, so it is important that they are either sitting in a swivel chair or have a rail to hold on to if they are standing.
If you’re marketing for the travel industry, we’d like to work with you to create content strategies that enable booking during the digital experience, and help your customers advocate for your brand, developing a viral ’in-spiral’ that perpetuates Awareness, Retention and Advocacy.