Travel and leisure marketing: Are you taking advantage of the rise in same-day mobile bookings?

September 20, 2012

The Hotel Tonight app has been downloaded by more than 800,000 iPhone users.

A variety of new mobile tools and apps cater to procrastinators and locals

If your hotel or resort property’s website isn’t optimized for mobile, you could be losing out on the growing market for same-day bookings.

According to a recent story in USA Today, online travel agencies are introducing a rising number of booking tools and features geared towards people who book a room on the day of their stay.

The statistics indicate this phenomenon is not just a passing trend

  • 60% of mobile bookings on Priceline are for the same day
  • 65% of Orbitz’ mobile bookings are same-day reservations versus 14% for desktop computers
  • Marriott recently reported that 50% of its same-day bookings came through the mobile channel
  • More than 800,000 iPhone users have downloaded Hotel Tonight an app featuring daily hotel deals

Who are these people and why do they wait until the last day to book?

They include:

  • travelers who don’t like to plan
  • long-distance commuters working late
  • homeowners without electricity
  • travelers whose flight are cancelled
  • suburban deal seekers
  • couples celebrating anniversaries

Should your travel brand take advantage of this new trend?

  • Hotel Tonight reports that participating hotels like their service because they don’t have to commit a minimum number of rooms
  • Given that an average of 40% of rooms go unbooked each night, why wouldn’t you explore this new opportunity?

How much of your bookings are coming through same-day mobile reservations?

Tell us how this new trend is affecting your business and what you’ve learned so far.

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Travel marketing: Are travelers searching for a mobile site you haven’t built yet?

August 15, 2011

8 out of 10 Google advertisers report they haven't built a mobile site yet.

Several studies confirm that travelers are adapting to the mobile platform faster than the brands they are trying to access.

  • In a recent survey by Frommer’s, 52% of respondents said they are most likely to access travel information from their mobile devices when traveling, up from only 27% a year ago.
  • Google just reported that mobile traffic is growing at about 20% quarter over quarter.
  • eMarketer reports that 50% of all new internet connections worldwide are coming from mobile devices.
  • Yet Google  found that almost 8 in 10 of their top advertisers have not built mobile-specific websites.

Mike Putnam, Director of Mobile Product at TripAdvisor discussed that growth in an interview with Ritesh Gupta from Eye for Travel.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in site usage across mobile platforms over the course of the past 12 months. When we launched (our mobile site) in March (of last year), we had roughly one million unique monthly visitors.

Fast forward one year, and we’re now seeing more than five million unique monthly visitors.”

Rob Torres, managing director of travel at Google says that people searching for travel information using Google Mobile is growing exponentially.

  • According to Rob, “The percentage of queries coming from mobile devices now makes up 19.5% of all hotel queries.”
  • In the same interview, Torres also reported that the number of mobile travel bookings has increased 10 fold from 2008 to 2010, from $20 million to $200 million.

So what do these experts advise?

“Travel companies that do not invest in the mobile web may be left behind in the years to come as smartphones and tablets become even more ubiquitous,” says Putnam.

Torres concurs, “We see mobile websites as a no-brainer opportunity for marketers…Travel queries coming form mobile devices make up more than 15% of all queries.

Yet most travel advertisers are allocating less than 5% of their search budgets to mobile search. So there is certainly room for growth.”

Have you created a mobile landing page or website yet?  If not, when?  If so, how’s it going? Talk to us.


Leisure marketing: How to develop a branded iPhone app for under $1,000.

November 22, 2010

 

Now even small companies can afford to develop branded iPhone apps.

It is possible to create a popular iPhone app for under $1,000? Just ask Trevor Gin of Hello Baby.

You don’t have to be a big brand or have lots of money to create an iPhone app.

Many leading brands are creating branded iPhone apps to reach young and affluent users because it’s a great way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic.

But is it possible to create an iPhone app when you don’t have $50,000 and the unlimited resources of a national brand?

 

Trevor Gin of the online baby and nursery shop Hello Baby spent $750 on Hello Baby’s first iPhone app, Peek-a-boo Baby Rattle, which still receives 3,000 downloads a week.

Recently, Trevor shared some of his secrets with Mashable readers.

  1. Start with a simple idea that has a real use for your target audience. Your idea doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. Just visually attractive and easy to use.
  2. Develop the specs. This document should include a functional description, diagrams or wireframes of the screens, and style guidelines.
  3. Identify a developer/designer. You’ll need a team that does design and can code the app. Sites such as Elance and oDesk can help. Ask for examples and references.
  4. Design, build and test. Each project has these 3 stages:  The designer turns your wireframes into a visual design. The developer builds the app. Then you test it to make sure it works with real users.
  5. Launch it. You publish your app through a service called iTunes Connect. Once you submit it, it can take several weeks before it’s approved and available for download.
  6. Publicize it. Write a press release and distribute it through Press release distribution sites,  iPhone app directories, review sites and blogs, industry publications and your own website and social sites.

You can read more of Trevor’s ideas at Mashable.

Have you created an iPhone app for your brand? Who did you target? What did you learn from the experience? Share it with us.


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