KLM to launch social media-driven 'gift at 30,000 feet' in-flight service

Dutch airline KLM has created an online-driven, in-flight gift service inspired by its social media community.

The service, called Wannagives, was revealed by KLM social technology manager Nick Botter at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, and is due to roll out in the coming weeks.

Botter said the airline’s inspiration for the service came from a high volume of requests from its social media channels, predominantly Twitter and Facebook, in which people asked if they could provide “surprises” for loved ones traveling on a KLM flight.

“We took this concept and created this concept of being able to deliver a gift at 30,000 feet. People can select online a gift, it might be a glass of champagne, or a flower, a watch, for someone – perhaps a girlfriend, a grandchild or a business relation, and that gift will then be delivered on board the plane,” he said.

Botter also referred to other co-creation social promotions it has already launched and had success with including a Groupon-like service, in which people are encouraged to share a chosen destination via Facebook.

The more the destination is shared the lower the price of the flights become, and KLM’s sales surge an average 700 per cent compared to a regular day, when this type of promotion runs, according to Botter.

Meanwhile he also said its social commerce strategy is “not just about campaigns”, with tools such as Facebook’s unpublished posts contributing to major sales uplifts by letting it target specific subsets of people.

“We have over four million Facebook fans but how do we know what message to send to who? Unpublished posts lets us target specific fans with relevant messages,” he said. When it has targeted specific groups of fans, for example those that have liked the brand and are likely to travel, it has seen incremental sales rocket, providing a 900 per cent increase of extra sales in some cases, while widening its reach, according to Botter.

His comments follow the launch of an ‘estimated time of response’ feature on the KLM home page, which informs customers exactly how long it will take to provide a response via social media channels. It launched one and a half weeks ago on Twitter, with Facebook to follow in the coming months, according to Botter.

Jessica Davies

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