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

HotelTonight adds forecasting features to capitalize on impulse bookings

HotelTonight’s new Look Ahead forecasting tool for its mobile application is designed to give confidence to the impulsive traveler, while generating demand for unfilled hotel rooms.

Same-day hotel booking application HotelTonight is making internal inventory and price prediction tech accessible to customers as a way to reduce booking stress. Look Ahead is a seven-day forecasting tool that displays a snapshot of last-minute deals, savings and hotel availability for the coming week.

“We listen a lot to our customers,” said Sam Shank, CEO and co-founder of HotelTonight, San Francisco. “And when we were looking to build new features we kept hearing that customers loved our rates, but wanted to know what they were going to be like tomorrow or the next day.”

“I think it’s important to give a more believable and interactive projection that’s simple and intuitive, yet solves customer’s consistency problems by using internal tools for supply and demand,” he said.

Solely mobile
HotelTonight was built upon the awareness that there is a supply and demand of last-minute hotel rooms, and that a middle ground needed to be reached.

The new Look Ahead button marries this concept to the traditional hotel process where guests book rooms in advance, knowing the factors of price based upon a number of variables.

The company debuted the feature at a time when other large travel agencies already had established hefty customer loyalty and monopolized the hospitality industry.

Resources such as Hotels.com, Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia and others were already in ferocious competition online and on mobile, launching respective stand-alone apps that delved into special offers, discounts and rates for same-day travel.

Three years and close to 10 million downloads later, HotelTonight remains focused solely on mobile.

“We focus on last-minute mobile,” Mr. Shank said. “That’s all we do, and because of that, we’re better at it than anyone else in the world.”

The most ideal booking experience from a mobile perspective is on-demand, a convenience PCs fail to provide.

HotelTonight only shows users a handful of rooming options, while its competitors offer hundreds of selections.

HotelTonight conversely creates a lucrative marketplace for hotel competition, thereby delivering low rates and a simple reservation process to the user.

HotelTonight also indicates how busy a destination is on any given day, and if any events, conferences or marketing promotions are happening in that location.

Self-reliant
With three finger taps, a swipe, and ten seconds, users can book a hotel.

HotelTonight is currently partnered with 10,000 hotels in 24 countries, offering users deals on more than 300 destinations nationwide.

And it is still expanding, focusing its attention on more inventory and larger hotel partnerships nationally and abroad.

“We more than tripled the number of hotels we work with in the last six months,” Mr. Shank said.

“Hotels love working with us because we provide a symbiotic environment,” he said. “Now were continuing to focus on inventory and more pinpointed search — that ‘find it when you need it’ option.”

Final Take
Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York