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Hotwire: 78pc of mobile transactions are for same-day arrivals

October 17, 2012

Online travel agency Hotwire is continuing to build up its mobile presence with an iPhone booking application as the company sees a healthy amount of travelers using their devices to book last-minute reservations.

The iPhone app comes after Hotwire rolled out a mobile site. Hotwire used insight from the company’s mobile site that found 80 percent of hotel purchases were made within one day of check-in when developing the app.

“We believe that creating a successful mobile Web experience is key before developing an app and we have done just that,” said Melissa Matross, senior director of mobile at, San Francisco.

“Our award-winning mobile site has allowed us to gain important insight on what is important to our customers and with this information, we now have the research we need to create a killer app,” she said.

Book on mobile
Using the Hotwire app, consumers can browse through all of the company’s inventory of hotel deals in 3145 cities in 61 countries.

The app uses a device’s built-in GPS to automatically detect a consumer’s location and bring up nearby hotels with available reservations. Alternatively, consumers can search for hotels by typing in a city, check-in date and check-out time.

From there, consumers can view individual hotel prices, ratings and customer feedback.

Hotels can be viewed through either a map or a list. Results can also be sorted by price, rating, distance and value.

To speed up the booking process, consumers can log-in to their Hotwire account. Otherwise, consumers can fill out a form including their contact and payment information to secure their reservation.

Consumers can also log-in to view all of their Hotwire-booked trips.

The app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store.

Mobile stays
Online travel agencies are increasingly seeing a need to develop for mobile with businesses often raking in money from users booking at the last minute from their handsets.

Hotwire claims that almost 20 percent of hotel transactions are made from mobile devices. Ten percent of the company’s car rental business comes from mobile.

Additionally, time makes a big difference in how consumers use their mobile devices to book. For example, 33 percent of all of Hotwire’s mobile transactions are made on either Friday or Saturday.

“We see mobile as a big driver for the last-minute market – this aligns really well with Hotwire’s great last-minute inventory, so there has been strong mobile adoption by Hotwire users,” Ms. Matross said.

“In the last year, we have also seen a large surge in the tablet market, and with all of the new devices we see this growth continuing,” she said.

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

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