Mobile is turning travel on its head, and much like it’s changing the way thousands of other web companies do business, it’s also changing how Expedia builds apps and thinks about its product. Instead of searching and booking travel, the business on a mobile device is about providing a concierge-like level of service for travelers — regardless of whether the traveler booked through Expedia or not.
Your mobile phone as your travel concierge
Joe Megibow, VP and General Manager at Expedia, who spoke with me at the Mobile Future Forward event in Seattle, on Monday, said that 60 percent of Expedia’s mobile hotel bookings are for stays for that night. The number jumps to 80 percent for its Hotwire property. This data changes how Expedia develops its mobile app. For example when you open it, the app assumes you are searching for a hotel in the location you are currently in and delivers tonight’s rates and availability on the first screen. But it also changes the way Expedia can interact with customers.