Priceline is an online travel search site that is a leader in online hotel booking, airfare, and car rentals. They have services in over 180 countries and over 235,000 participating hotels on their site. The company was seeing an increasing number of users searching with their mobile devices and decided it was important that their web presence be better catered to these on-the-go mobile customers. Because Priceline is global and reaching customers in a variety of different countries, it was also very important to the company that the site be compatible with many different mobile devices.
“Mobile traffic is becoming a larger share of the overall traffic coming to our website. We needed to provide a better experience to these users.” – Mark Abraham, senior online marketing manager for Priceline.com.
The company decided to work on their mobile site and re-build it from scratch. With the goal of improving conversions and enhancing the user experience in mind, they focused heavily on three key areas: improving design, implementing location search and producing a smoother checkout process. Some of the bigger changes include using mobile analytics to improve overall user experience on mobile. Some of the other smaller improvements in design include things like bigger call to action buttons and shorter content. After taking four months to add in new features and improve design for their mobile-optimize site, Priceline launched. The result was impressive. Priceline saw a dramatic increase in conversion. The number of unique visitors increased by 13.9% with the average duration on the site increased by 45%. Page views also tripled signaling the changes were a success.
“Just due to creating a mobile-optimized site, we saw a dramatic increase in conversion rate—any marketing manager would be happy with that” – Mark Abraham
Priceline also added mobile paid search to their strategy to capitalize on the success of their new mobile-optimize website. They spent money doing Mobile Search Ads and Mobile Ad Sitelinks. With mobile search ads, users on mobile devices can see the Priceline.com advertisement meant for mobile and with Ad Sitelinks, users are directed to intended specific pages on Priceline’s website. According to Google Think Insights, Priceline’s paid traffic from mobile devices increased 50% through Google Mobile Ads.
“We’re pleased with the growth we’re seeing; the mobile site’s share of business grew by 31% since the new version launched. […] We are continuing to improve the site and working to build out landing pages as well as starting to plan in the future toward cross-platform and cross-device attribution. But even now, we understand that small improvements in mobile conversions can make a huge difference to the business” – Mark Abraham
With mobile web traffic rapidly increasing across the world, Priceline.com is an example of the importance of having a good mobile presence. The company brought in more business by having a combination of mobile paid search and having a mobile optimize website. But even with the new site and success, it’s important for any company to stay focused and pay attention to customers. Priceline plans to continue to collect data through analytics and makes improvements for their customers.
Priceline’s story is a prime example of mobile marketing done right.