We wrote in the current issue of Website Magazine about startup company Payvment, which allows marketers to set up their own retail storefronts on Facebook. More than 30,000 businesses are using Payvment’s platform to sell on the social networking giant, and thousands of additional retailers are using similar technologies from BigCommerce and others to put their products directly in front of half a billion Facebook users.
Today Alvenda, a pioneer in the space and the company that offered the first retail store on Facebook last summer, has launched the site’s first e-commerce platform for the travel industry in a groundbreaking partnership with Delta Air Lines.
Users will now be able to book flights directly on Facebook and share their travel plans with friends and family without ever leaving the site. Future releases of the Alvenda platform are to focus on further leveraging the social graph to provide users with more solutions for coordinating group travel.
Called Delta’s Ticket Window, the airline’s Facebook page allows users to click on a “Book a Trip” tab to complete a full travel booking. Delta is using Alvenda’s In-Stream Shopping features to distribute special offers through the Facebook news feed, and Alvenda predicts that most Facebook flights will be booked on Fans’ home pages via the news feed.
This is a significant development in social commerce integration, and definitely worth watching the next few months as it gets off the ground.