Early Priceline.com iPhone App Data Suggests Mobile Device Users May be a 'Different Breed' of Online Travel Consumers

Meet the extreme last-minute traveler - mobile users are comfortable booking even after they've arrived at their destination

Sep 07, 2010, 09:00 ET from Priceline.com

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) released today its first set of findings on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users who are booking hotel rooms through Priceline's Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator app.  The app, which is available from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/, ranks among the top 10 free travel apps on itunes.com.

To sample booking trends among mobile device users, priceline.com looked at a two-week sampling of app activity and compared it to customers using desktop computers to book through priceline.com's online hotel service.

In September 2009, priceline.com President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd suggested that, given time, mobile devices might change the way people buy their travel online by shifting bookings to the very last minute, possibly even after they arrive at their destination.

"Early data supports the notion that mobile device-enabled travelers buy their travel differently compared to those on a desktop," said priceline.com Senior Vice President John Caine, who is part of Priceline's mobile development team.  "If this is the case, then travel companies may need to tweak existing offerings and technologies, or create entirely new ones to address this segment of the traveling community."

Here are the key findings from Priceline's early data on mobile-enabled customers:

  • 82% of mobile device-enabled priceline.com customers booked their hotel rooms within 1 day of arrival, compared to 45% among priceline.com's non-mobile Name Your Own Price hotel customers.
  • 58% of mobile device-enabled priceline.com customers were within 20 miles of their hotel at the time of booking (35% were within 1 mile of their hotel).  This suggests that those customers had already arrived at their destination before making their reservation.
  • 79% of mobile device-enabled priceline.com customers booked stays of only 1 night, versus 62% for non-mobile Name Your Own Price hotel customers.
  • 82% of mobile device-enabled priceline.com customers chose hotels of a 3-star or higher quality level.  75% of non-mobile priceline.com Name Your Own Price hotel customers choose hotels of 3 stars or higher.

Priceline's Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator App, lets travelers use iPhone or iPod touch to quickly find and book last-minute hotel rooms using priceline.com's Name Your Own Price® hotel service and save up to 50% over published hotel rates.  The Hotel & Rental Car Negotiator App also contains an option for browsing priceline.com's broad assortment of published-price hotels for a particular city or town.  Rental car customers can use the App's Name Your Own Price® service for booking rental cars at savings of up to 40% over published rates.

About The Priceline Group of Companies

The Priceline Group of Companies (Nasdaq: PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with approximately 61 million room nights booked in 2009.  The Group is composed of four primary brands – Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com and TravelJigsaw.  The Priceline Group provides online travel services in 38 languages in 99 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Based in Amsterdam, Booking.com is a leading international online hotel reservation service operating in 89 countries in 37 languages.  Booking.com offers its customers access to 100,000 participating hotels worldwide.

In the U.S., priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available. Priceline.com also operates the following travel websites: Travelweb.com, Lowestfare.com, RentalCars.com and BreezeNet.com.

Singapore-based Agoda.com is an Asian online hotel reservation service that offers hotel rooms around the world and is available in 30 languages.  With headquarters in Manchester, UK, TravelJigsaw is a multinational car hire service, offering its reservation services in more than 4,000 locations in 80 countries.  Customer support is provided in 20 languages.

SOURCE Priceline.com