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Best Western sees 145pc year-over-year increase generated through mobile

Best Western launched its mobile site, Best Western Rewards in September and has had its main mobile site since November 2008. Both sites are power by Usablenet.

“We are seeing more and more customers booking through our mobile channels and again we expect this trend to increase rapidly within the next few years,” said Tiffany Tchida, director of ecommerce at Best Western International.

“As of last November Best Western has seen a 145 percent increase year-over-year in revenue generated through our mobile channels,” she said. “Additionally we’ve seen a 70 percent year-over-year jump in downloads of our iPhone and iPad app.

“I would emphasize though that we don’t view mobile simply as a transactional tool but rather as a way to engage with our customers and provide engaging content about the brand.”

Mobile booking
The Best Western Rewards mobile site lets members manage their profiles, review their balances and redeem points for travel and merchandise.

Consumers can access the mobile site by entering on their mobile browser.

The company also has a mobile site, as well as applications for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

“At Best Western International we continue to place tremendous emphasis on expanding and refining our mobile offerings,” Ms. Tchida said. “We believe that within the next three years mobile is going to power virtually everything, including how transactions take place within the travel space.

“Best Western was one of the first brands to be active on GPS devices and we continue to evolve our various mobile channels,” she said.

Social presence
Recently, Best Western  launched a new booking capability that lets travelers reserve hotel rooms through the company’s Facebook page.

Usablenet developed and powers the Best Western Facebook booking capability.

“Since 2006, Best Western has been an active leader in the social media space, reaching and interacting daily with more than 27,000-plus Twitter followers and 261,400 Facebook fans,” Ms. Tchida said.

“In fact, Best Western now has more Facebook fans than any other global hotel chain and we maintain an extremely active engagement rate with those fans,” she said. “More than 70 percent of Best Western fans engage with and view the brand’s Facebook page on a monthly basis.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York