Priceline.com’s Express Deals integrates Apple Pay for even faster reservations
Priceline.com has integrated Apple Pay into its mobile application to streamline the reservation process for Express Deals, making it the first major online travel agency to adopt the new payment method, according to the company.
With more than a 110 percent growth in Express Deals reserved via mobile since the beginning of 2014, priceline.com is looking to create an even faster experience for mobile-equipped travelers. Priceline.com also reports that its mobile customers are two-times more likely to choose an alternative payment method such as Apple Pay than its desktop customers.
“Today’s digital travelers are savvy and mobile,” said John Caine, chief product officer at priceline.com “Our customers tell us that access to great deals and ease-of-use are critical to purchasing decisions.
“We see 65 percent of all same-day reservations occur on a mobile device and 25 percent of reservations are made within 5 miles of their hotel,” he said “These users would rather not have that extra step of finding their credit card and manually entering it.
“Using Apple Pay and Express Deals for hotels on our app, they can cut the reservation process down significantly.”
With Apple Pay, priceline.com app users can pay for Express Deals with a single touch using Touch ID fingerprint authentication on their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. The integration effectively cuts the reservation path from an average of five screens to three.
Priceline.com’s recently updated iOS app also leverages the new iOS 8 feature Handoff, enabling users to move between mobile and desktop devices and pick up right where they left off.
The online travel agency is smart to quickly jump onboard with Apple’s latest offerings as many travelers are early adopters of new technology. Priceline.com mobile customer adoption of iOS 8 outpaces industry trends by 14 percent, according to the company.
A big part of the mobile travel experience is the desire for quick, easy-to-use solutions that meet the needs of on-the-go consumers.
Priceline.com reports that its mobile customers look for quick access to deals, with over 65 percent making reservations less than 24 hours before a stay.
Home screen access
Priceline’s Express Deals address the need for speed and ease of use by showing travelers a discounted rate and star rating for a hotel in a specific section of a city. Customers do not see the name of the hotel until they have paid for their room.
Priceline.com’s iOS app has been updated in other ways to take advantage of the larger screen size on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iOS 8.
For example, there are hundreds of new mobile-exclusive deals with three and four star hotels and an expansion of Priceline.com’s Tonight-Only deals for same-day reservations.
The new iOS 8 priceline.com Today Widget is displayed in the Today View of the Notification Center, allowing travelers to view upcoming trip information without launching the app.
“As one of the best known and longest lasting brands in ecommerce, we know consumers expect a seamless and streamlined experience online but mobile has led to dramatic growth in competition for a consumer’s attention,” Mr. Caine said. “Our teams work very hard to ensure that customers have a great experience and can be in and out of our app as quickly as possible.”
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York