Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mobile Marketing Case Study: Expedia launches 1st Mobile App for Modern Travellers

When a company develops a Mobile app it generally aims to answer on a couple of questions: Would my content be relevant, entertaining and real-time engaging? Would it drive more interest, traffic or demand? At this stage in time companies are primarily offering information-based content which would ideally lead to a purchase-aimed one(which is yet likely to happen in the nearest future).

Expedia launches 1st Mobile App aiming at Modern Travelers: TripAssist. The application is made available for iPhones, BlackBerry, Android and Windows phones. The company already has a highly ranked online presence, so why would it invest in mobile applications?
The reason is: an on-the-go marketing solution, offering consumers real-time brand interaction: consumers may research flights, destinations, hotels also manage and update their itineraries.

Additionally, the application provides SMS and email updates free of charge. That may be a convenience offer as explained by Adam Anderson, director of public relations at Expedia:

“The strategy behind TripAssist is to give travelers a tool to help them manage their travel from any point – at home, on the road, or anywhere in between,” said , Bellevue, WA.

MobileMarketer gives its own explanation: "TripAssist is a simplification of the travel process" to which I'd add that its' main asset is to conveniently reach the customer via his/her Mobile device:

Purchase-aimed content is also an option for TripAssist: users will be able to shop and book via a convenient stripped-down interface perfect for small screens and phone-based Web browsers.

It may not be a surprise now, but Expedia will mainly rely on social communities when promoting its product: using tweets, posts and video production geared towards the web and the blogosphere.

Obviously, mobile and social media marketing are meant to go Hand In Hand.

Concerning the results: the company claims that approximately 55,000 trips were booked via smartphone browsers using its site in 2009. Expedia has high expectations towards the growing audience now that the mobile-optimized Web interface is launched.

We may expect that the main audience of the service would be seeking for data-fulfillment, rather than mobile-based purchases. So the question is: will it pay off the efforts and the overall investment? However, at this stage - the company has an obvious competitive advantage - the ease and convenience of its travel services. Any comments?

Curious to hear,

Digital Lunch Team
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James, CA said...

sounds like a growing platform for future m-commerce strategies. interesting post!


Anonymous said...

Mobile commerce strategies is becoming one of the hottest topic nowadays. However, it is crucial to expand it to our daily life such as mobile shopping on the way to home from the local shop....

Alice said...

The future of mobile... you can scan a barcode in a shop and then find it cheaper online using comparison sites! bye bye shops :(

on the go/inbetween contact does away with any need to ever plan anything, you can turn up and be presented with your itinerary/docs/tickets etc. RFID and 2D barcodes will make for easier travel/access, we need mini printers for onsite syncing and printing in the meantime

Alice, UK

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