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Egencia streamlines corporate hotel booking through mobile toolsBy
According to Egencia, consumers can now book rooms at more than 150,000 hotels. The Egencia app is available for free download on both Android and iPhone devices, and the mobile site is accessible at https://mobile.egencia.com.
“A hefty percentage of travelers today conduct travel changes on their mobile phone,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.
“With a sign-in to a travel agent, quick call links, easy trip change forms, or quick purchase options for a car service, suggested hotel for unplanned extended trips, and much more – there is a real need for travel agencies and brands in this vertical to have a mobile presence,” she said.
“If a travel agency is not yet mobile then it is highly suggested that they step it up and become so soon, before their competition, who most likely is already, takes all of their business.”
Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Egencia. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.
Egencia did not respond to press inquiries.
In order to use the app, consumers must be a member with Egencia.
Once consumers log-in, they can view the hotels tab to find information on hotel bookings.
A search bar across the top of the screen lets users find specific hotels and results. Additionally, hotels can be sorted and filtered.
Users can view additional information about the hotels inside the app, including ratings and maps.
Consumers then choose the dates for their stay and can add hotels to trip itineraries.
In addition to booking, Egencia customers can also check-in via the app and sites for their trips and receive travel alerts. Additionally, consumers can also contact customer services for any problems during their visit.
For a travel management company such as Egencia, letting consumers access and book their travel plans via their devices is a natural extension of the brand.
The online travel industry is one of the industries that has been most shaken up by mobile.
In particular, online travel agencies such as Expedia have been quick to latch onto mobile as a way to increase bookings for the company.
However, companies need to think broader than just basic apps and sites that let users book via their handsets. Instead, the mobile versions of online travel sites should give users an added value or convenience for using them.
For instance, Expedia recently partnered with Fotopedia on an ad campaign that let users book hotel rooms based on similar app content.
Not only did the campaign give users a way to take a direct action through an app, but it also helped Expedia bolster hotel reservations (see story).
Additionally, Expedia rolled out an iPad and Android tablet app late last year after seeing consumers using their devices more to research and book hotel rooms (see story).
“Having an app or Mobile Web site to start off with the ability to log-in and view or change travel details, alerts, additions or last-minute emergency changes is a great start – and consumers are expecting this,” Ms. Troutman said.
“Companies like Delta have set a standard that consumers expect their travel preference to live up to,” she said.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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