Offers Shoppers Great Travel Deals In the Amazon Tradition
SANTA CLARA, Calif. and SEATTLE, Wash.– January 31, 2006 – SideStep, Inc. (www.sidestep.com), the Web’s leading travel search engine, and Amazon Services, an Amazon.com Inc. company (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of an updated travel store on the Amazon.com Web site. SideStep, an innovator in travel search, now provides travel services through Amazon.com. Customers begin their travel search in the Amazon.com travel store and are delivered results powered by SideStep. Through this relationship, Amazon is providing customers convenient access to the best deals on airfare, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages and SideStep is poised to expand its user base.
SideStep leads the travel search category, one of the fastest growing sectors of the $63.5 billion online travel industry (PhoCusWright). SideStep.com searches hundreds of travel sites and generates approximately $1 billion in gross bookings annually for its partners. Millions of travelers on Amazon.com will have access to more than 600 airlines, 100,000 hotels and 30,000 rental car locations.
“Customers come to Amazon.com for low prices, great selection and a convenient experience, and that is certainly true for our travel store,” said Jeff Blackburn, Vice President of Business Development, Amazon. “We are excited to team with SideStep and allow our customers to take advantage of their innovative approach to finding great travel deals on the Web.”
SideStep’s simple-to-use design, along with powerful filtering and comparison features such as SideStep SmartSortSM, allows users to customize their search and deliver the best results. The search engine connects consumers to travel providers’ sites and lets them purchase directly from up-and-coming companies or established providers like JetBlue Airlines, American Airlines, Holiday Inn and Avis Rent A Car. By purchasing directly from such providers, consumers are never charged a service fee and can gain valuable frequent flier miles.
“With millions of customers, Amazon has an extraordinary reach and will enable SideStep to introduce its travel search engine to millions of active online shoppers,” said Rob Solomon, SideStep’s CEO. “Our vertical search approach to travel is very much in line with Amazon’s overall goal -- providing consumers with a comprehensive set of choices that will ultimately save them both time and money.”
Market research firm PhoCusWright forecasts that U.S. online leisure and unmanaged business travel bookings will grow from $65 billion in 2005 to $94 billion in 2007. PhoCusWright also projects that 42% of all U.S. travel purchases will be made online in 2005, increasing to 55% by 2007.
The travel store is easy to access through Amazon’s product category tab.
Amazon.com, Inc., (Nasdaq: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth`s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as beauty, health and personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors, apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys and baby, and home and garden.
Amazon.com and its affiliates operate seven retail Web sites: www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com.
As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
SideStep – the traveler’s search engine – delivers the most comprehensive selection of travel choices at the best prices to more than 4.7 million consumers each month. SideStep has been named one of TIME Magazine’s “50 Coolest Web Sites” and declared “Best of the Web” by Forbes. The company has forged alliances with leading travel brands such as Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Continental Airlines, JetBlue, Dollar Rent A Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The company has international reach into the United Kingdom and Ireland and is partnered with leading European travel providers such as British Airways, eBookers, Hilton International, InterContinental and Holiday Inn. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SideStep is privately held and has raised more than $17 million in funding from Trident Capital and individual investors. For more information, visit www.sidestep.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management`s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to potential future losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, management of growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions, and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, consumer trends, inventory, limited operating history, government regulation and taxation, fraud, and new business areas. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com`s financial results is included in Amazon.com`s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and all subsequent filings.
Amazon Media Relations
Manning Selvage & Lee