Eighteen months after its initial launch, Hopper is applying some of the secret sauce learned from flights to its hotel search and reservation service.
The US-based company claims to have more than 270,000 hotels worldwide now available to users of its mobile app.
Inventory is sourced from a number of different vendors and also through direct relationships with properties in 1,600 cities around the world.
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The standard metrics of online travel agencies aren’t something Hopper shouts with his latest announcement – plus, how it introduces a number of special features that have been implemented elsewhere in the business.
A price prediction tool for hotels was first launched in New York City as part of a beta test in 2018, but is now being rolled out worldwide.
Hopper tracked historical rates and combined them with real-time prices to “accurately predict prices” of his inventory.
He claims that users will also be able to get private rates for properties that are not normally available online.
Other cheaper prices of flat-rate products, member-only, geo-fenced, user-closed, and pre-purchased rates are also secured through the app, according to the company.
The artificial intelligence-based technology behind the scenes will also learn preferences over time to create personalized recommendations for a user in a destination.
CEO and Co-Founder Fred Lalonde said he works with vendors to “identify the rules associated with each type of rate, then using our personalization AI, Hopper only displays the rates for each user that the ‘user is allowed to see “.
He adds, “Hopper is unique because of his conversational business model. We send 600 million push notifications per year and 90% of our sales result from these private push notifications.
“Because we have such customization capabilities, Hopper is able to target private rates and provide users with offers they might not even know they were eligible for. “
While much of the learning from its airline product has been used to bolster its hotel capacity, Lalonde says the sectors are very different in terms of securing fares for users.
“Unlike airline rates, there is a lot more fragmentation around types of hotel rates and this initiative only applies to hotel inventory,” he said.
“Because we are only mobile, we are able to leverage our closed private ecosystem to connect users to hotel deals to which they may be eligible.
“Over time, Hopper’s AI will also learn your preferences and send you personalized recommendations on other hotel deals that may be of interest to you.
“It is at the discretion of the hotels if they want to offer this type of inventory.”
The focus on hotels comes just over six months after its $ 100 million Series D investment round, led by OMERS Ventures.
The company claims to have exceeded $ 1 billion in sales in 2018, with more than 40 million downloads of its app.
In total, some $ 18 billion in flights and hotels are tracked each year, he said.
* Check out this interview with Lalonde, recorded at the Phocuswright 2018 Conference.
PhocusWire @ Phocuswright 2018 – Hopper on NDC’s Growth Plans and Impact