Breaking News Bar
updated: 9/10/2012 6:51 AM

EBay, Expedia see mobile bookings gaining

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Bloomberg News

Expedia Inc., Fandango Inc. and EBay Inc. are among online retailers benefiting from surging mobile sales, as on-the-go consumers increasingly use wireless devices to book hotels and buy event tickets.

Expedia, operator of a travel bookings website, may see U.S. hotel purchases via handheld devices taking up half its total within two years, according Joe Megibow, general manager of Expedia.com. Fandango said 30 percent of movie tickets it sold this summer were through smartphones and tablets.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

While mobile computing has been on the rise, on-the-go transactions account for only a sliver of e-commerce sales -- 7.6 percent last year -- according to ABI Research. Although many companies are rushing to adapt their sites for mobile users and advertising, those that focus on movie tickets or travel bookings are vaulting ahead, said Chetan Sharma, an independent wireless analyst.

"Movie tickets is an impulse-buy category -- you see an ad, a friend mentions it, you have time, you purchase it on the spot," said Sharma, who is hosting the Mobile Future Forward conference on Sept. 10 in Seattle.

"It is also about convenience. One category in travel that is working well from an impulse point of view on smartphones is short-term flight and hotel," Sharma said.

Online auction site EBay, which is already seeing consumers buying more than 9,000 cars and more than 340,000 car accessories a day via handheld devices, believes mobile purchases could account for half of its total transactions in a few years.

"It's probably more than two, but less than 10 years away," Steve Yankovich, vice president of EBay Mobile, said in an interview.

Optimized sites

Seeking to cater to mobile customers, travel and leisure portals are also optimizing their websites. Expedia's discount travel site Hotwire is redesigning its pages to better work on tablets, said President Clem Bason. It's also preparing to introduce a mobile application for Apple Inc. devices that would let consumers easily book hotels, he said.

EBay -- which runs the world's largest Internet marketplace as well as the PayPal electronic payment network -- has expanded its mobile group to hundreds of dedicated staffers, Yankovich said. He briefs EBay Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe once a month and expects to book $10 billion in mobile transactions, up from $5 billion last year.

"We are seeing hyper-growth," Mark Young, a vice president of NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks, which owns Fandango, said in an interview. "It all comes back to convenience."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.