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Hotels.com adds value to mobile bookings via smart watch integration

By
October 3, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 1.24.53 PMHotels.com is enabling travelers using its mobile booking application to receive hotel notifications on their Android smart watches as a way to make traveling more seamless.

Users will receive reservation details directly on their wrist on the day of their check-in. The news is the latest example of how marketers are looking to take advantage of the growing popularity of smart wearables.

“Wearable technology has the potential to influence travel habits similarly to how smartphones and social media have shaped the way travelers plan, capture and share their experiences,” said Daniel Craig, senior director of mobile for Hotels.com.

“We know that one in four travelers are already booking hotels via mobile and they’re doing it the day before or the day of their stay,” he said.

“With the smartwatch market experiencing significant growth – expected to hit $2.5 billion this year – we believe it’s necessary to adapt to this trend and we’re excited to become one of the first travel companies to do so.”

Removing stress from travel
Smart watch users who book a room on the Hotels.com mobile app will receive a notification on the day of their check-in at 2:00 p.m., which is typically when most guests would be on their way to the hotel.

Users will also be able to access an image of the hotel, its address, a map and full reservation details on their wearable device displays.

The smart watch integration is one way Hotels.com is continuing to drive interest in its mobile booking app, which has been downloaded more than 35 million times.

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According to Hotels.com data, approximately one in four travelers are booking hotels via a mobile device, and nearly 70 percent of those bookings are made for same or next-day check-in.

A good fit
Earlier this year, PayPal announced plans for a smart watch app for Samsung’s Gear Fit and Gear 2 watches with fingerprinting technology that cuts down the number of steps required to buy something (see story).

In June, Trulia revealed what it calls the first real estate app for Android Wear, which extends the convenience of search and allows for an even faster transmittal of communication between buyers, agents and lenders (see story).

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“Once a user books a hotel via the Hotels.com mobile booking app for Android smartphones, the Android smartwatch syncs up with the app and prepares day-of notifications,” Mr. Craig said.

“At 2:00 p.m. when most guests are on their way to the hotel, the reservation time will pop up on the smartwatch, reminding guests of their reservation,” he said.

“From there, customers can see an image of the hotel, the address and they have an option to open the reservation in the app to view more details including a map.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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