Desktops bookings are still in the majority, but booking sites are turning more of their energy in finding new revenue opportunities with mobile devices.
Expedia has a new outlet store — its mobile hotel apps.
While Orbitz may show more expensive hotels to Mac and iPad users, Expedia is taking a different tack and offering “mobile exclusives” on hotel deals to users of its iPhone, iPad and Android hotel apps.
It’s all part of an update to Expedia’s hotel apps.
Desktop users and even customers using Expedia’s mobile website, end up paying higher rates.
For example, the Expedia hotel apps were offering the Orchard Hotel in San Francisco for a stay tonight in a room with a king bed for a base rate of $188 while Expedia.com and Expedia’s mobile site, Kayak.com, Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com and Booking.com, for example, were all showing the property for $209.
So you could save $21 for the night using Expedia’s apps, taking advantage of its mobile exclusives, with more than 2,000 hotels in the U.S., Canada and Europe participating.
Driving customers to mobile
It’s a way for Expedia to drive customers — especially last-minute bookers — to the company’s mobile apps.
Along those lines, Expedia says nearly 70% of Expedia Hotels mobile apps and Expedia mobile site users search for travel within 24 hours of their desired trip.
“The afternoon and weekends are hot times for mobile bookings,” Expedia states, as 37% of flights and hotels are booked in the afternoons.
In addition, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults for Expedia, and the results showed that Facebook (55%) was the favorite photo-sharing option during vacations, followed by Twitter (9%), and Instagram (6%).
Incidentally, Facebook yesterday received regulatory approval to buy Instagram.