United States: Online travel agency focused on Gen Z and Millennials, Hopper, has expanded into a new travel vertical with the launch of short-term rental homes in its app through Hopper Homes.
Seeking to bring transparency and price flexibility to the home rental category, Hopper homes is launching with over two million properties in its inventory, with more being added daily. The brand will offer accommodation options in the same space where travelers can already book flights, hotels and car rentals.
To help travelers find their ideal property, Hopper Homes will have advanced filters such as location, number of bedrooms, amenities and price. [launching soon], while its mobile app will offer instant booking functionality.
As the number one downloaded app in North America in 2021 [ahead of Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com], Hopper Homes hopes to capitalize on the growing popularity of short-term rentals in recent years and during the pandemic. Real-time competitive intelligence firm Apptopia says the Hopper app has already been downloaded nearly 70 million times.
According to Phocuswright Research, short-term rentals have fallen from 17% of accommodation bookings to 27% in 2021, which can in part be attributed to a decrease in business travel and a desire for more original and memorable.
The same research details how short-term home renters are younger than the US traveler population as a whole, with more than four in ten travelers under the age of 35. Hopper reports that about 40% of his customers indicated that they prefer homes to hotels. and 24% have no preference between the two, while 44% of Hopper travelers book for more than two people, which is why the segment has become an even more attractive proposition.
While this is true, the short-term rental booking experience still has a number of weak points. Hopper seeks to mitigate by reducing traveler anxiety during the booking process by providing greater price transparency and flexibility by eliminating hidden or surprise fees and confusing or inflexible cancellation or payment terms through products. of financial services.
Over the next few months, Hopper Homes is set to integrate a number of its most popular fintech features, including price prediction and cancel for any reason, which aim to make travel more flexible. to meet all traveler needs.
Additionally, it will integrate its credit system, Carrot Cash, with the goal of increasing loyalty, driving repeat purchases and ultimately saving its customers money.
According to Phocuswright, 89% of travelers now belong to at least one loyalty program. Travelers who book through Hopper Homes will have the ability to choose to book any type of travel – from flights to hotels, cars and homes – and earn Carrot Cash in return.
Customers accumulating Carrot Cash will be able to apply this credit to any type of reservation on Hopper. The opportunity to earn money back on all travel purchases [not just one category of travel] will allow Hopper users to get the most out of every road trip, vacation or flight they take.
In August, Hopper raised $175 million in a funding round led by GPI Capital, bringing its total funding to date to $598.7 million and helping it achieve a $3.5 billion valuation. dollars.
The company also expects to exceed $2 billion in travel sales this year, with 30% coming from the hotel and car rental categories.
International hotel media [IHM] recently previewed the launch of Hopper Homes in its AZ room to find out what to expect from travel and hospitality in 2022.