Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Hertz rounds out mobile app strategy with Windows Phone offering

Car rental company Hertz Corp. continues to show its commitment to mobile applications with a new car-booking app for Windows Phone.

With the latest addition, Hertz now has mobile apps for all of the major smartphone platforms, including iOS, Android and BlackBerry, in addition to Windows Phone. Among the features offered by the new app is the ability for users to find where their rental car is parked using GPS tagging.

 “There’s a growing trend of consumers who use mobile devices to research and book travel, hitting millions of consumers and Hertz is a big believer in being where our customers are and providing them with fast and easy ways to make, and/or modify, their car rental reservations,” said Paula Rivera, manager of public affairs for The Hertz Corp., Park Ridge, NJ. “By introducing the Windows platform, Hertz has expanded its reach to all four of the major smart phone platforms.

“The windows app provides a few features not available on other platforms – locating their parked rental, unique for the car rental industry, and finding the nearest gas station – two extremely useful features especially when traveling in unfamiliar areas,” she said.

Simpler bookings
With more consumers using mobile to book travel, Hertz is looking to make the process simpler and faster via its apps.

The Find My Car feature in the Windows Phone app uses GPS tagging to lead users back to their parking spot. Such functionality will be useful for travelers who need to get back to their rental car after a long day when they may have forgotten where they parked.

The Find My Car feature is a first in the rental car industry, per Hertz.

The new Hertz for Windows Phone app also enables users to book, modify and search car rental reservations. Users can find locations and, when on the road, the nearest gas station.  

The app also has contact information for reservations, technical support, rental extensions and the hearing impaired on the home screen.

Travelers embrace apps
Hertz’s mobile apps have been downloaded by millions of users, per the company.

“There is interest in Windows Phone 8,” said Michael King, director of enterprise strategy at Appcelerator, Mountain View, CA. “There has been very little interest in Windows Phone 7 mainly due to lack of market share and lack of developer engagement.

“The promise of a single development environment for desktop and tablet applications is interesting to developers, although they are skeptical as to whether or not Microsoft can deliver,” he said.

“Currently, Windows Phone has very little market share in the smartphone environment and the development tools to date have received mixed reviews.”

Mr. King is not associated with Hertz. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

According to eMarketer research highlighted by Hertz, 36 million people use a mobile device to research their travel options and 16 million use a mobile device to actually book their reservations.

The Hertz for Windows Phone app is designed to provide both of these consumers the tools to get the job done quickly and easily.

“Hertz’s aim is to be accessible to our customers and to provide them with an additional platform for interacting with Hertz,” Ms. Rivera said. “Of course, we’re also very interested in increasing the overall volume of rentals from smartphone apps.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York