Travel booking site Orbitz has reported its first quarter 2014 results, which boast modest but solid growth. Orbitz's adjusted growth rate in Q1 was $0.33 year-on-year to $ 28.7 million with room night growth of 12% and net revenue growth of 4%. The company attributes much of this strength to a focus on rewards and mobile.
In discussing Orbitz reward program, CEO Barney Hartford noted that its success has been two-part, since its October 2013 launch.
"First...approximately half of the customers joining Orbitz Rewards are new to the Orbitz.com brand. Second new hotel bookers, a large percentage of a customer’s redeeming Orbucks have never booked hotel with us before. Third [air] hotel attach we’ve seen a meaningful increase in the overall hotel to air attach rate since we launched Orbitz Rewards."
Second, he noted that the rewards programs have led to a sharp uptick in mobile purchasing. "We continue to see strong trends in mobile adoption as we rolled our new capabilities and as we continue to use the royalty program to drive mobile app usage."
Since the beginning of 2014, Orbitz has moved to allow customer payments through PayPal and Google's mWallet. The site also allows sign-in through Facebook or Google+ to further enhance ease of use. According to Hartford, the push has been successful as the number of bookings made through Orbitz mobile app has jumped 8 percent, rising from from 22 percent a year ago to 3o percent today.
The travel company has also launched a Visa credit car this quarter, that will allow customers to accrue additional rewards points (Orbucks.)
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