Mobile-only booking platforms, like HotelQuickly, are a recent trend related to the escalation of mobile sales seen over the past few years. According to Christian Mischler, co-founder and COO of HotelQuickly, he states his app is “last-minute only. It brings a clear focus to the company which otherwise it would lack.” The clarification he states streamlines his business model and also helps hotels sell off their last minute hotel rooms. Another application, HotelTonight, recently surveyed their hotel partners and found that the HotelTonight guest spent 17% more on-property in comparison to non-HotelTonight guests.
Mobile travel agencies are able to differentiate themselves in these 5 ways:
- Quality over quantity: They simply don’t work with every hotel available.
- 11th hour availability: Applications are available for users last minute, when OTAs perform the worst.
- A clear target market: Users have different needs depending on what device they are on. Utilizing their immediate geo-location and other mobile-only factors to create the platforms will help its use.
- A distinct spot in distribution: HotelTonight does not seek to be a discount-only service. They instead seek to be a partner that hotels use when their other distribution channels have still left empty rooms in their hotels. The hotel has the power to decide how to price their rooms.
- Strict cancellation policies: With a narrower booking window, flexibility in a cancellation policy can put hotels at risk of having empty rooms. It is in the best interest of the app to have a strict policy due to the last minute nature of the bookings.