Social Media As The ‘Ticket’ For Contextual Commerce

Contextual Commerce

Sports fans can’t get enough of their favorite players and teams: Their social media accounts oftentimes have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. But how can teams harness the eCommerce potential of these accounts? They can turn their followers into ticketholders to the next game.

There has been much ado about Instagram and shopping in this area: Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing social networkannounced news on June 12 that it is expanding shopping beyond its Feed to Instagram Stories. Additionally, news that Instagram was rolling out native payments surfaced in May. But what about Snap?

Snapchat provides a large audience: It was the third-most popular app among 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. in 2017, two spots ahead of Instagram. (YouTube and Facebook were ranked first and second, respectively.) And eCommerce merchants are catching on: In February, Nike, for example, pre-released its Air Jordan III “Tinker” sneakers on Snapchat with same-day delivery. And the shoes? They sold out in 23 minutes — proof that social media channels can be successful mediums for consumer purchases.

When it comes to live events, companies such as SeatGeek think that Snap just might be the ticket. The company is working with the social media platform to allow fans to purchase live event tickets directly within the Snapchat app. SeatGeek’s integration allows athletes and performers to sell tickets directly to their fans through the platform. Athletes are already catching on: Champion boxer Errol Spence Jr. posted tickets in his Snapchat Story for an upcoming bout, for example.

SeatGeek’s Snapchat efforts have already been tested: In February, the Los Angeles Football Club was the first team in the world to sell tickets through the Snapchat/SeatGeek partnership. (And the company has seen good results: Every on-sale SeatGeek has done on Snapchat sold out in less than 48 hours.)

The move comes as sports leagues are rethinking how they engage their audiences, according to the company. Snapchat attracts younger user, such as those between the ages of 12 and 17, as well as those aged 18 to 24 years old.

“It is the messaging platform and the social platform for the future sports-goers of the world,” SeatGeek’s Director of Commerce Partnerships Lee Moulton said in an interview with PYMNTS.

To turn social media users into ticketholders, SeatGeek provides two ways for teams to offer tickets for sale. In the first instance, they can post a snap — perhaps by taking a picture of one of their premier players. When their fans view that Snap, users can swipe up to access an eCommerce interface through which they can purchase tickets within a few clicks.

Teams can also post a snapcode — similar to a QR code in that a brand can embed a snapcode in a snap or a medium completely different, such as digital signage or another platform. Either way, consumers can scan that code with the Snap app and arrive at the SeatGeek eCommerce experience.

The idea is to remove friction in the purchase process. Normally, consumers have to complete many steps to purchase a ticket. However, through SeatGeek’s Snap integration, consumers can pay in-app using a credit card, debit card, Apple Pay or PayPal. And that payment is able to come while consumers are engaged with brands through their content.

“It’s those moments where you’re looking at these mediums and you’re like ‘wow I haven’t been to a game in a while,” Moutlon said, adding that the media triggers consumers to consider purchasing a ticket.

While Snapchat can encourage consumers to make a purchase, they oftentimes have to deal with the process of buying a ticket outside a social media app. Consumers might turn to a ticketing app or perhaps just search the web, Moulton said. But the SeatGeek/Snapchat integration removes that barrier by bringing the purchase experience into the app.

“It’s more convenient,” Moulton said. “It’s right there at their fingertips.”

When retailers do offer contextual commerce experiences — such as those through social media — consumers love to use them. According to PYMNTS Contextual Commerce Report, 58 percent of consumers engaged in contextual commerce. What’s more, 69 percent of those consumers reported having a positive experience, and 84 percent said they’d do it again.

How does social media play in? About 26 percent of customers engage with contextual commerce on social media platforms, showing that social media can be the ticket for eCommerce sales.