Search Results for mobile applications

BookingBrick brings hotel bookings to mobile applications

by Claude Bénard

TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring France-based hotel mobile application booking engine BookingBrick.

Who and what are you (including personal and backgrounds)?
BookingBrick provides iPhone and Android-hosted travel organisations with a solution for implementing easily a white-label hotel booking process directly inside their application and start monetising it.
Today, a lot of mobile applications are already offering hotel content – such as address, phone numbers, reviews, etc – but still do not generate revenue from it. That is the case for travel guides, local search, navigation, GPS or tourism boards apps.
With BookingBrick, these organisations will no longer lose potential hotel customers, as users will be able to book a room directly through their application. Obviously, owners earn a commission for each reservation made through their app.
BookingBrick is a French-based company which was co-funded by Nicolas Salin and Sébastien Houzé, after winning a Startup contest called StartupWeekend in December 2010.
Both founders are not new to the mobile booking sector, as they previously released an hotel booking app for iPhone called Hotel! which reached nearly 100,000 downloads.

What problem are you trying to solve?
Today, if you wish to create a great mobile booking experience based on an OTA’s white-label affiliate program it will cost you a lot of time and thousands of dollars to do it properly.
In the end, only big companies have those resources. The small and medium-sized owners cannot afford such an investment for an unknown ROI. BookingBrick fills this gap by providing a simple, fast and cost-effective solution to implement a fully customizable hotel booking system directly inside their application.
So, every hotel mobile application owner can start generating additional revenues while staying focused on their core business.

Describe the business, core products and services?
Let’s say that we are clearly focused on what we call “the long tail of mobile booking”.
From the small tourism board application with 10,000 downloads to the biggest local-search apps counting millions of users, we can help them:
• Monetize hotel content by embedding our booking process in their app.
• Collect certified hotel reviews from customers – we’ve created a solution that tracks customers from the initial booking to the review. This way, our affiliates will only collect reviews from people that really slept in the hotels.

BookingBrick’s main features:
• More than 100 000 hotels worldwide
• Easy to setup (1 hour)
• High-level commissions
• In-app booking process: we provide a development kit (SDK) to editors that incredibly speed up the implementation of our solution
• Certified reviews collecting system
• Fully customizable (white-label)
• Secured payment and data encryption
• Multi-platform (iPhone iOS/Android)
• Multilingual

Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Mobile apps like travel guides, local search, navigation or tourism board apps that want to generates new revenues by monetizing hotel content.

Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Yes, of course. Since we have been involved in the mobile and hotel business for nearly two years, we already had concept validation from several companies including some very famous ones. But, we’ll stay quiet on this!

What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
BookingBrick is available for free. No setup fees.
We practice a shared commission model, with an incentive based on performance. The more our affiliates will promote the booking service inside their app, the more commissions they’ll get, the higher their commission level will be.

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Need a room right now? Go mobile

By Rob Lovitt

Looking for a hotel at the last minute? If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a smartphone or tablet, look no farther than the device in your hand. Between new apps and a better understanding of the mobile market, finding an empty bed is getting easier all the time.
“Mobile is really opening up a brand-new channel for hotels to sell rooms for tonight and tomorrow,” said Pedro Colaco, president and CEO of GuestCentric Systems, a developer of reservation systems for independent hotels. Read the rest of this entry

Mobile apps No. 1 way to build CRM: expert

By Rachel Lamb
August 26, 2011

The most effective way to build brand loyalists and customer retention is through mobile applications because of their engagement and interactivity.
Many luxury brands have already developed mobile apps and have seen tremendous success in loyalty. Although brands should never have just one form of mobile marketing, some experts believe that mobile apps have an increased likelihood of effective CRM.

“The most effective measurement of CRM is applications,” said Dale Carr, founder/CEO of Leadbolt, Sydney, Australia. “They are interactive and selective, so people using them are most interested in a specific area or target,” he said. “There are also many technologies available that adds an extra layer of interactivity to make effectiveness even higher.” Read the rest of this entry

Mandarin Oriental details mobile marketing prowess

By Rachel Lamb

Mandarin Oriental iPhone app
NEW YORK – The key to mobile is to communicate directly with consumers through mobile sites, applications and search engine optimization, according to a Mandarin Oriental executive at the Luxury Interactive conference.

Mandarin Oriental laid out its entire digital strategy from the past few years to explain how varying the types of mobile marketing enables the chain to engage with consumers. The brand exercised many mobile touch points to communicate while still maintaining a consistent theme throughout its mobile offerings.

“Our first priority was asking what the customer was looking for,” said Christoph Oberli, New York-based vice president of ecommerce at Mandarin Oriental. “The problem is that the mobile device is always changing. Read the rest of this entry

Five reasons why hotels are finally embracing mobile

Posted by Special Nodes
NB: This is a guest article by Pedro Colaco, president and CEO of GuestCentric.

With all the constant buzz surrounding consumer use of smartphones, many hoteliers are wondering whether to make a serious push into mobile as a component of their online strategy.

We have been quite surprised by the level of interest our own product has generated, for example, so we set out to understand why hotel managers appear to have this great appetite for mobile hotel functionality.
After quite a few interviews and over 300 mobile websites and booking engines deployed, we found these are the top five reasons we see for rapid adoption of mobile hotel websites:

1. 19% of all hotel queries are mobile
Since November 2010 we noticed tremendous growth of mobile traffic. In April mobile hotel website visits represented already close to 5% of total traffic at most of our customers. A blog post from Google on May 11, 2011 named Mobile Insights: 19% of hotel queries come from mobile devices
2. Mobile traffic is growing exponentially month-by-month
Across GuestCentric’s user base, mobile devices like smartphones and iPads represent already 3% to 8% of visitors, and traffic is growing exponentially every month.The US is more advanced than the rest of the World.
In our customer base, mobile visits in US hotels are close to 2:1 more important than in the rest of the World.
Clearly the adoption of smartphones and flat rate data plans has been helping. The rest of the World still has to struggle with roaming charges.
3. 3% of mobile visitors engage the hotel
In the last three weeks since we deployed the solution, we can already see that hotel mobile websites generate an immediate return.
A staggering 3% of all mobile visitors engaged with the hotel in some way: many called the hotel or got directions to the hotel via Google Maps.
4. 1% of mobile visitors book
While mobile booking is still fairly new, especially for independent hotels, 1% of all mobile visitors actually booked a hotel reservation consistently across our customer base. Most hotels that deployed a hotel website solution got a reservation within the first few days of deployment. So, return for a mobile solution is instant.
5. Mobile can be done in one tap
With the introduction of GuestCentric’s mobile solution, there is no extra effort involved. Your website content (text, photos, video) is optimized for mobile delivery and mobile users can still experience your property’s look and feel, your rooms, and the experience in a big, bold way. All it takes is clicking one button to publish your mobile website.

Read the rest of this entry

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