Booking Now – new mobile app launched by Booking.com
Booking.com has made new inroads into the last minute accommodation booking market, with the launch of a new mobile app that will provide personalised results and a two-tap booking feature.
‘Booking Now’, released in the US App store yesterday and available globally in coming weeks, requires first time users to create a profile by entering a series of accommodation preferences on matters such as price, parking, breakfast inclusions, and WiFi availability. The app will then filter search results to provide the most relevant available properties that match the user profile.
With continued data capture and analytics with ongoing use, the results will only continue to become more personalised with time. In addition, it’s designed to offer fuss fee booking with single swipe browsing and a two-tap feature to enable a chosen property to be locked in quickly.
Booking Now aims to capitalise not just on the growing last minute market and a desire for personalised service, but the increasing use of mobile devices to book accommodation- trends that are being observed within the youth travel industry.
STAY WYSE data indicates a drop in accommodation booking lead times, with nearly 50% of bookings made by young travellers made within one to three weeks of travel, and almost 20% of bookings made within a week.
Booking.com data reveals that of those bookings made within 48 hours, almost half are made from a mobile device. As early as 2012, a study conducted by the WYSE Travel Confederation found that among young travellers, after price, the most important factor in stimulating a booking was mobile booking access, and in 2014 accommodation providers with mobile apps reported a notably higher level of mobile bookings.
In 2014, 14% of young travellers had made accommodation bookings on a mobile device, and the number of airline flights booked on mobile devices doubled between 2013 and 2014. While the overall market percentage of mobile bookings hasn’t been huge in the youth market just yet, it is a number than can only be expected to grow with the increasing sophistication of the app market and the widespread availability of an internet connection through WiFi or low cost 3G connections.
The Booking Now app has the hallmarks that could find it becoming a popular app among young travellers. And with GPS technology delivering step by step locations from a user location to a selected property, the days of the backpacker traipsing around town looking for a last minute room might well come to an end.