uploads///PCLN Mobile vs online

Has Priceline Geared Up for a More Mobile World?

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Nov. 19 2015, Updated 2:04 p.m. ET

Overview

With more people across the world using a mobile device, commerce is rapidly shifting from offline to online mode. Today, a significant number of people go online to buy everything from groceries to electronics and books.

The same trend is also being followed by services where more people go online to search for an array of services. This offers travel service providers an immense opportunity to reach out to a larger and more global market of customers.

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Priceline gears up for mobile platform

Priceline has been working on improving its user experience on its websites. As more users access the Internet from their mobile devices and tablets, the number of bookings from mobile devices has also grown rapidly to about 30%. This is expected to grow to 50% or more in the next couple of years.

Priceline has been doing well to capture this shift by focusing on developing new applications and upgrades to the mobile web. Priceline is also working on its desktop functionality and user experience to optimize the same for browsing on tablets. It also launched Express Deals and several other services specifically for the mobile users. Developing a mobile platform also comes with a number of challenges and requires significant investment.

Downside of mobile usage

Although mobile platforms come as a more convenient and preferred platform for users, a possible downside to the technology could be that the conversion rate (the percentage of people browsing company’s website to those who actually make a booking) for mobile devices could be much lower compared to a traditional website on a computer.

Priceline competes with major online travel companies like Expedia (EXPE), Ctrip (CTRP), Travelzoo (TZOO), MakeMyTrip (MMYT), and TripAdvisor (TRIP). Priceline accounts for 3% of the Top Guru Holdings Index ETF (GURU).

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