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74pc of Valentine’s Day bookings happened within 24 hours of check-in: Priceline

February 20, 2013

This past Valentine’s Day, consumers continued to rely on mobile to find last-minute bookings, according to new findings from Priceline.

Sixty-nine percent of same-day bookings on Priceline’s application were made after 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. Mobile is increasing playing a bigger role in the company’s services and marketing as it sees an uptick in mobile bookings.

“They have a device that fits easily into a pocket or purse and can travel with them,” said Brian Ek, a spokesman for, Norwalk, CT.

“That means they can wait out the best deals, which often materialize at the last minute when a room is about to go unoccupied,” he said.

“Also, the close proximity of customers to the hotels they book indicates that many of them want to actually scout out a neighborhood or part of a city before making their booking decision.”

Last-minute bookings
In some cases, mobile consumers are waiting until the last possible minute to reserve their hotel rooms.

For example, 11 percent of the same-day bookings on Valentine’s Day happened after 9 p.m.

Interestingly, deal-seekers are not straying far from home to make a mobile booking. Fifty-one percent of same-day bookings were made at hotels that were 15 or less miles away from consumers.

This points to mobile being primarily used for spontaneous plans for local consumers versus a traveler that organizes their travel plans months in advance.

Priceline also broke down Valentine’s Day savings by demographic within the Tonight-Only Deals section of Priceline’s app.

Charlotte, NC ranked as the top area with the highest deals  with 60 percent off of published rates.

Valentine’s Day-related mobile deals in Kansas City went for 59 percent off and Dallas offered deals that were 53 percent off of published rates.

Other top areas for discounts included Raleigh-Durham, New Orleans, Portland, New York and Montreal.

Consumers who booked on Priceline’s Web site with the company’s no-bidding Express Deals could save up to 45 percent off of published rates.

Given the large percentage of last-minute mobile bookings, hotels were smart to give consumers an incentive to book from their handsets instead of the Web.

Mobile on the rise
Priceline has seen similar success with mobile bookings around big holidays.

For example, on New Year’s, 42 percent of mobile users waited until 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to book their rooms.

Of the same-day bookers, 65 percent made their reservation after 2 p.m. and 13 percent waited until after 9 p.m. to finish their transaction (see story).

Mobile is also increasingly playing a big role in Priceline’s marketing.

For example, Priceline’s Super Bowl TV spot this year revolved around showing consumers how easy it is to use their mobile devices to make bookings (see story).

“We are sourcing our information from actual booking data compiled from customer who booked rooms using mobile devices,” Mr. Ek said.

“We believe that it is going to be an increasing component of our business,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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