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Travelocity exec: 60-70pc of mobile bookings made for same-night stays

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Travelocity

Travelocity’s app

NEW YORK A Travelocity executive at Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mcommerce Summit said that the company is seeing approximately 60 to 70 percent of mobile bookingsbeing made for same-day stays.

The Travelocity: How the Leading Travel Retailers 360-Degree Mobile Strategy Anticipates Evolving Consumer Behavior gave attendees an overview of how the online company is tackling mobile. The executive also showed attendees the companys first mobile marketing campaign, which recently launched.

We are trying to think mobile-first, said Jason Fulmines, director of mobile at Travelocity Global, Southlake, TX.

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The tides are rushing with mobile, he said.

Mobile travel
Travelocity is a 16-year old company owned by Sabre Holdings with ecommerce roots, showing how travel has shifted tobeing adigitally-driven industry.

Primarily mobile travel users are looking for maps, directions, flights and hotels, per the exec.

However, the company has found that the majority of mobile users are still browsing, which includes both business and leisure travelers.

Mr. Fulmines said that although apps are primarily for loyalty, the mobile Web is the primary vessel for online sales.

The high number of mobile bookings for same-day bookings shows that consumers are booking hotel stays via their mobile devices for two reasons either because of a last-minute travel change or because they are traveling and need to find a place to stay on the spot.

Compared to mobile, same-day bookings from desktop makes up less than ten percent of bookings for Travelocity, showing how consumers rely on their mobile devices to find a last-minute stay.


Jason Fulmines at Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mcommerce Summit

Mobile TV
Travelocity claims that its apps have been downloaded more than five million times.

In February, Travelocity released its iPad application after seeing different trends between tablet and smartphone users.

Consumers are searching for more than just price when booking a hotel. Instead, users are searching based on amenities, photos and reviews.

Travelocity claims to be the online travel agency to combine flights, hotels and car bookings into one app.

Similar to other online travel agencies, Travelocity launched mobile-specific deals on the app to give users an incentive for booking on their iPads.

For example, HotelClub also recently launched a mobile site with specific deals that target on-the-go users (see story).

Giving users an incentive for booking via mobile can be a great way for a company to boost its sales because it gives shoppers prices that they cannot find elsewhere.

According to research, 87 percent of iPhone 4S consumers use Siri at least once a month. Therefore,Travelocity updated its Android app to include voice-based search.

Since rolling out the feature, Travelocity has seen certain trends, such as users only saying a city to find what they were looking for quickly.

Travelocity recently launched its first mobile marketing campaign to promote the new iPad app with a television spot.

Using a TV ad can be an effective way for brands to drive app downloads. Additionally, the TV ad is proof that mobile intersects with all other marketing channels.

The TV spot includes a three-second plug for the app. Although it is a small amount of time, getting the three-second mention was an accomplishment for the company.

We did see a little increase in app downloads, but not as much as when we were featured in Apples App Store, Mr. Fulmines said.

Final Take
Jason Fulmines is director of mobile at Travelocity Global, Southlake, TX

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