ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

HotelTonight unlocks two-night discounted stays with one-tap feature on mobile

HotelTonight is ramping up mobile bookings by rolling out the Tonight +1 feature, which allows customers to add a second discounted night to their stay with the tap of a finger.

The hospitality marketer is angling to nab the largest share of mobile bookings this holiday season, choosing to appeal to on-the-go travelers by offering a new tool that enables them to prolong their hotel stays with an additional discount off current rates. HotelTonight app users will be able to spot select properties’ sale rates for a second night, which they can purchase with a single tap on their smartphone.

“HotelTonight is about helping people be more spontaneous – whether it’s for an impulsive date night in the city or the freedom of booking business travel on-demand,” said Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight, San Francisco. “These are inherently mobile use cases, and we wanted to give our customers a simple, one-tap way of turning an overnight into a two-day stay.”

Additional flexibility on mobile
Consumers who prefer to make last-minute hotel reservations via their smartphones and tablet devices may leverage HotelTonight’s platform to do so in only three taps and a swipe. The last-minute booking sector on mobile continues to gain traction, and will likely bubble over with higher sales as individuals plan trips during the holiday season.

The Tonight +1 feature enables customers to purchase a second night at their selected hotel property for up to an additional 30 percent discount off HotelTonight’s rates. As more online travel agents ramp up to target the slew of millennials and digitally-savvy consumers, HotelTonight is fighting to keep its stronghold in the industry, especially among impromptu travelers.

This offer will only be shown if the second night fee is equal to or less than the first night’s rate. Some users may find that the Tonight +1 rate can be applied on top of HotelTonight’s already-discounted rooms, therefore offering a more inexpensive selection.

“Tonight +1 provides customers with incredible value and convenience for making a one-night stay into a two-night stay,” Mr. Shank said. “It will also help our hotel partners achieve their revenue goals and drive incremental room nights by unlocking new use cases for staying one more night.”

Consumers struck with inspiration to take a spontaneous vacation can book accommodations via the HotelTonight app in less than 10 seconds. Properties can be filtered by category, such as Hip, Basic or Luxe, and also display mobile-optimized imagery.

Additionally, users may opt to leverage the GeoRates feature, which provides proximity-specific discounts for those who have enabled location-based settings on their smartphones.

Fueling memorable experiences
HotelTonight is no stranger to driving mobile bookings with flash sales or limited-time offers.

In May, the brand changed the way hospitality marketers target consumers by delivering news of $99 room deals to its email list subscribers as well as users on Twitter and Instagram, proving that social media continues to be a valuable communication channel for travel brands to leverage for flash sales (see story).

The company hopes its Tonight+1 feature will encourage customers to be spontaneous and prolong their hotel stays. For example, users may be inspired to enjoy Thanksgiving out-of-town, and book an extra night at their hotel to maximize time for Black Friday shopping the following day.

Individuals planning to spend New Year’s Eve out on the town may want to proactively purchase another night to leave more time for sleeping off tiredness from any nighttime festivities.

“We have a very loyal customer base that comes back to HotelTonight for the ease-of-use and value of our service,” Mr. Shank said. “They love it when we expand the service, like we did earlier this year with features like Aces and Escape.

“Tonight +1 will further our mission to help them be more spontaneous.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York