In its earnings call yesterday, Travelzoo's top brass updated investors on the company's progress in moving from a "push" model to a "pull" model.
Fifteen years ago, Travelzoo pioneered limited time travel deal e-mail alerts, where it pushed deals to subscribers. Starting with vacation packages, the company has subsequently branched into local deals and Getaways--which offers weekender trips (and is currently growing at 30% revenue a year).
Starting this year, Travelzoo has agressively moved into training its subscribers to use its websites and mobile products to pull deals for where and when they want to go. A hompeage re-design is expected by September to reflect this new priority.
For instance, the company says that between March and June of this year, one out of every five of its "local deals" vouchers were sought out by users going to its mobile platforms and searching for product rather than reacting to the receipt of promotional e-mails.
Hotel-booking platform is all systems go
As Tnooz reported in May, Travelzoo's major "pull" initiative is to launch a hotel-booking platform, which will aim at the North America market first. The booking tool will work on all devices, but will emphasize mobile.
Yesterday, the company provided a presentation for its earnings results. We're highlighting the relevant parts from it, below:
The company's mobile offerings are inadequate. For every booking, a subscriber must re-enter his or her details before closing a transaction -- not easy, especially on a smartphone.
The hotel-booking platform will attempt to solve this problem by allowing users to more quickly book hotel stays within Travelzoo’s websites and mobile products without having to re-enter details.
The moves toward building a hotel booking platform began last fall, when Travelzoo bought hotel booking portal Perfect Escapes as a distressed, value buy.
The Perfect Escapes platform earned Travelzoo nearly half-a-million dollars in the first quarter of this year.
In the first quarter, the company spent $900,000 in enhancing the infrastructure for its "pull" business. A big part of that was adding a net of 10 full time employees for its sales force for hotels, which (along with 9 other hires for local deals sales people) brings its staff total to 444.
This summer, the company plans to spend about $1.2 million on developing its hotel platform for the beta roll-out and on expanding the sourcing of its hotels and deals content.
For the full backstory, see:
Travelzoo steps closer to hotel bookings, brings in big name exec to run it