The On Demand Economy has witnessed the advent of many On Demand models, disrupting traditional businesses. Many of these disruptions have been made by the Big players in the respective industry which are moving into the on-demand space. One such example is the hotel booking giant – Booking.com.
Owned by Priceline Group, Booking.com came up with its new app – Booking Now which is now being used by tens of thousands of people across the globe. This new app has been designed to enhance the experience of customers who somehow break the conventional trend of making reservations in advance and have to go for last minute bookings. The new On Demand hotel booking model is also helpful to the hotels which majorly rely on walk-in traffic.
About “Booking Now” – Booking.com’s On Demand App & its Features
Just imagine yourself as a traveller standing in the middle of Times Square in New York without any hotel booking where you could go and stay for the night. The only thing you’ll probably do is that you’ll walk-in to nearby hotels and check if a room is available or not. You might have to visit 5-6 odd hotels to find a comfortable room that suits your budget. It’s surely a hectic job. This is where Booking.com’s Booking Now mobile app comes into play.
Booking Now simplifies the user experience for customers who have to make instant bookings for the present or the next day.The company calls these users “Spontaneous Bookers”. Not just this, the new on-demand hotel booking app by Booking.com adds a bunch of other values too.
It enhances their experience in the following ways-
- A listing of nearby available hotels: Booking Now gives its users a list of the hotels with available rooms, saving them all the effort involved in walking through a number of hotels and finding a suitable option.
- An innovative hotel ranking system: The Booking Now app uses an innovative ranking system which ranks the properties available on the basis of user’s location, their price preferences, and other requirements. Thus, saves them from wasting time on out-of-reach, out-of-budget options.
- Map based navigation to the Hotel: For the convenience of the user, the Booking Now App provides them with the privilege of using the Maps feature for street level navigation from their current location to the hotel.
- Offline access: After the users make their confirmation, they get an offline access to the hotel listing on the app.
- Simple Interface: Booking Now is a single page personalised app, so the user does not have to juggle between multiple pages in the app.
- Access to verified hotel reviews from a large user base: The app provided its users an access to verified reviews from a large user base extending to over 50 million, to help them make an informed choice.
- A system evolving with every experience: Booking Now keeps an eye out for its users, analysing their choices and modifies its offerings on the basis of previous choices.
Motivation behind the Booking Now App:
The hotel industry is one of the largest industry in the world. With changing consumer trends, almost every industry segment is moving into the on-demand space and giants like Booking.com are no different. Booking.com seem to be doing it all right in terms of their “Booking Now” app which lets people browse available hotels and book it over the mobile. The below points further elaborate the reasons why a hotel booking giant – Booking.com entered the on-demand segment.
- The remarkable shift of all businesses to On Demand Models:
There’s no doubt in the fact that traditional business models are switching to the on-demand models as that is what customers need. The customers have become habitual of having an app for almost everything. Thus, going for this model bodes well for a company like Booking.com which already has an access to global user base.
- Demand from the existing customers:
According to a statement by Booking.com’s CMO, Paul Hennessy, the company’s decision of launching the app comes majorly from the fact that – 50% of the reservations made by the customers within 48 hours of the stay are from the mobile site. Thus, launching an app for the same will enhance the user experience to a fine extent.
- Models of other promising Startups catering to the same user market:
HotelTonight, one of the initial players in the mobile only, last-minute reservations domain has proven to be doing well in the regions where it has a presence. With this app and its large number of accommodations present globally, Booking.com has come parallel to HotelTonight.
- Inspiration from Uber:
Uber, which has brought up a technologically driven, convenience targeted model to the taxi-industry and is now the most important player in the On Demand Economy has inspired many other industries to follow the same. It surely is an inspiration behind Booking.com’s Booking Now app.
A Favourable Road Ahead
Booking.com claims bookings of more than 6.3 million room nights every week with more than 30 million unique visitors every month. It serves 895,000 hotels and accommodations in 224 different countries. It is a fact that almost 50% of the visitors on the platform come from a mobile device and it might grow in the future. Hence, Booking.com has already placed itself in a position where it can cater o the new trend and grow its business by making hotel bookings on demand.
(Facts source: VentureBeat)