Online is yesterday and mobile is today, says Julio Bruno, global vice president of sales, TripAdvisor for Business, as the world's largest review site, which recently crossed 100 million reviews, lays down the gauntlet to own the customer on the move.
And it is choosing the Android as its platform of choice. Last week, TripAdvisor announced that its mobile app is now pre-installed onto the new Samsung GALAXY S 4. Samsung will use TripAdvisor's content to power its own travel apps including Travel Widget, Lock Screen Slideshow and City Information in Samsung Story Album.
TripAdvisor has added exclusive features to its application, including Single Sign-On with a Samsung ID, the ability to load details of hotels and flights found on TripAdvisor into the phone's native calendar app; and the ability to load contact information for a hotel or attraction to the GALAXY S 4's Contacts list.
"This will give us access to so many new mobile customers," said a visibly excited Bruno, who said that the mobile story was particularly exciting in Asia where consumers have leapfrogged straight onto mobile. "In Asia, consumers are doing everything on the mobile."
Currently, TripAdvisor, which achieved 200 million unique users last year, has 45 million mobile users a month and its app has seen 30 million downloads.
Between 2010 and 2011, Bruno said that mobile searches on TripAdvisor went up 3,000% and while numbers have not yet been tabulated for 2012, "you can expect exponential growth".
In line with the shift towards mobile, TripAdvisor Business Listings has introduced a Mobile Upgrade for clients, allowing them to push mobile-specific offers. Launched last August, the service has seen positive take-up by major chains, said Bruno. "Mobile users want different, much more immediate offers."
He recalled a meeting last year in Singapore with a major brand in Japan which brought up the need to have a specific mobile offer in Japanese. "That's when we came up with the idea of offering this service, by different languages, by domain."
With 50,000 clients having upgraded to TripAdvisor Business Listings, the service is proving its mettle in helping hotels increase direct business. According to a Forrester study on "The Total Economic Impact of TripAdvisor's Business Listings", some partners have converted up to $64 in incremental bookings through the product for every dollar spent.Full Story