BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites*, today released the all-new Expedia® app for tablets. It is available today for free download from the App Store and Google Play.
Expedia's tablet app presents a fresh way for travelers to shop destinations: the new search tools enable consumers to shop for both hotels and flights on one screen, simply by entering or selecting a destination. This is a stark contrast to the user interface seen across the industry, and Expedia made the leap to create an experience specifically for tablets. PhoCusWright data(1) shows that about 40% of people use tablets when they are browsing for a travel destination. For Expedia, this data - paired with internal findings - marked the time to provide content geared towards tablet users.
Status Quo is Unnatural
Through internal user testing and ethnographic studies on tablets, Expedia concluded that travelers using tablet devices were frustrated with website designs that forced users to pick a flight or hotel separately. Notable findings included:
-- Early in the shopping process, travelers want easier ways to see prices across destinations. Separately shopping for flights and hotels is the most time consuming aspect of the process. -- At the same time, travelers do not want to lose access to traditional filters and sorting options when they want to explore more specific type of hotels/flights. -- Travelers often use their tablet device to research travel destinations as an entertainment activity when sitting at home on the couch. The tablet data was further confirmed through Forrester data(2) which shows that tablet owners tend to use their devices while lounging at home, multitasking while watching TV, or researching.
"The problem is pretty basic: tablet apps to date haven't actually been designed for browsing on a tablet. Travelers expect an easy, convenient way to explore potential travel destinations and browse flight and hotel details and they expect to be able to do it in a way that feels right for them when they're on their tablet," said Dara Khosrowshahi, President of Expedia Worldwide and CEO of Expedia, Inc. "They deserve this experience without sacrificing the in-depth industry knowledge and personalized insights our powerful Expedia search engines provide."
Expedia Unveils a New Direction with Unique Features
To address travelers evolving needs, the new Expedia tablet app is specifically optimized for mobile exploration and browsing and introduces a handful of unique features:
-- Single Search Box: To eliminate hefty search interfaces, the new tablet app offers a single search box to do the lifting. When a traveler enters a city name, landmark, or airport code, the app will surface hotels and flights relevant to that query - no dates or specific details are required at the start. -- First-Ever Combined Hotel & Flight Travel Search: For the first time in the industry, combined search has arrived for the travel market. Rather than searching for trips in a rigid, linear progression of flights then hotels, or hotels then flights, Expedia is introducing one combined search that provides both hotel and flight results simultaneously, available all in one glance. -- Collections: Expedia presents various themed travel destinations to spark interest in future journeys. Collections offer customers the opportunity to explore vacation destinations they may not have otherwise considered. Beautiful locations come to life in a particularly compelling way on tablet devices. Collections offer a rich combination of design, mobility and travel research. Content is catered to various regions and will be updated based on traveler feedback. -- Integrated Trip Planning, Booking, & Data, Shared Across Devices: Earlier this year, Expedia introduced Scratchpad in certain markets around the globe. Scratchpad is an easy way to keep track of your travel searches. When a traveler is signed into an Expedia app, trips researched on a tablet device will appear on the desktop or mobile Scratchpad. This allows travelers to begin their travel planning from where they left off - on any device.
"If you forgot about the way we trained customers to shop for travel online over the last 15 years and you wanted to create an experience from the ground up with the traveler at the very center, you would build this tablet app," notes John Kim, Chief Product Officer at Expedia Worldwide. "Our new tablet app embraces Expedia's core strengths by bringing together our marquis hotel and flight capabilities to create one beautiful and easy-to-use combined search experience. We encourage people to give it a try and share their feedback."
Download the new Expedia app for tablets today for free from the App Store and Google Play. For more information on the Expedia app for tablet, including an overview of all product features, please visit www.expedia.com/app.
Expedia.com is one of the world's largest full service travel sites*, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee®, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.
Expedia, Expedia.com, Expedia Rewards, Find Yours and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2014 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50
(*)Based on a comparison of other full-service online travel agencies, defined as those providing booking and services related to air, hotel, cruise, car and activities to a global customer base. Data based on comScore Media Metrix for Expedia, Inc. Sites, Worldwide, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, Oct '12-Sept '13.
(1)"The Mobile Travel Landscape: A Multi-Region Spotlight" Cathy Schetzina Walsh, PhoCusWright, April 2014 - Stat based on US travelers who own tablets.
(2)"Don't Confuse Tablet and Mobile Marketing" Thomas Husson, Forrester Research, May 22, 2013