E-retailers must focus on their specific goals and examine a vendor’s reputation and market expertise, not referrals.
The cheaper rates are not available on its e-commerce site.
Numbers can be a powerful persuader. Just look at online travel company Travelocity.com LP, which recently released its first app for Apple Inc.’s iPad.
Approximately 55% of all bookings from a mobile device or tablet came from consumers using iPad tablets, says Jason Fulmines, Travelocity director of mobile. “We knew developing an app specifically for that device would be useful for our customers,” Fulmines says. Consumers can book air, hotel and car reservations via the app.
A major difference between the app and Travelocity’s e-commerce site is the exclusive mobile hotel deals. Consumers booking select hotels in the new iPad app get a cheaper rate than what Travelocity offers on its e-commerce site. Travelocity tags these deals with a Mobile Exclusive Deal ribbon under the price displayed in the app. These deals generally are available two days prior to check-in and designed for last-minute bookings, Fulmines says.
In addition to the Mobile Exclusive rates, Travelocity also offers two other sets of hotel rates. One is the published rates that appear with hotel names in initial search results. The other is unpublished rates, which shows the rates, but does not disclose the hotel name until the reservation is made. Consumers touch a tab to reveal the unpublished rates, which Travelocity calls Top Secret Hotels.
Simple taps in the iPad app also enable consumers to search for flights and car reservations. Travelocity account holders can log into the app to view their upcoming trips. The app also features a single-page checkout to complete a flight or hotel reservation, and access to images of hotels, maps, customer reviews and detailed hotel descriptions.
Travelocity, No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, also offers Android, iPhone and Windows Phone 7 smartphone apps.