Mobile means Lastminute's time has come, says boss Crummack

By Travolution
By Travolution
January 13, 2014 08:08 AM GMT

Lastminute.com has been revitalised by the move to mobile access, according to chief executive Matthew Crummack.

Lastminute is launching a report, entitled Spontaneity: the Behaviour that Means Business, which is designed to prove that Lastminute’s time has just come.

Crummack summarised the research, commissioned from the London School of Economics as well as brand and psychology experts, with a claim:

“It’s official – Brits don’t have stiff upper lips any more, one in three of us is officially spontaneous – that’s 17 million people.”

The report shows that Britons spend £6,000 a year on travel and leisure, with a third of it booked just three weeks beforehand.

So the “last minute” market is around £26.1 billion in size.

“One in every three pounds is spent 'spontaneously’,” Crummack told the Sunday Telegraph.

“Already that’s a huge spend and a huge opportunity for us. And we also know it could be bigger – 24% of our customers said they would take more last-minute holidays if there were fewer barriers.

“Around 24% of customers told us that they didn’t trust mobile bookings.

“The demographic was pretty broad, it wasn’t split by age – there is still nervousness about mobile.

"And also you can’t see that much choice, either. So we need to be able to serve up the products in a really consumerable format.”

Crummack believes lastminute.com can come up with more efficiency and better deals for customers.

“We know there is demand that is unsatiated but there is also supply there that is unmet,” he said.

“Data shows that 17% of seats on planes leaving Heathrow are unfilled – that’s 110 planes from Heathrow every day. On average, 24% of all hotel rooms go unfilled every day.”

In a new manifesto launched with its report, Lastminute has vowed to work with the travel industry on “price and flexibility”, as well as improve mobile technology and present more attractive propositions to consumers.

But another part of his plan is based on returning Lastminute to its original focus: securing good deals for people who are happy to wait until the eleventh hour for holidays, flights, tickets or hotels.

“The travel industry is huge. It spans many different products, destinations, booking windows – you can book early, you can book late, you can do many different things,” Crummack said.

“We want to do a subset very, very well. We’re not earlybooking.com. Our focus is helping people on spontaneous decision to get away, and we know that’s important from the report we’ve done.”

Crummack declined to reveal Lastminute’s market share, explaining that the company, which employs 900 people, is privately owned by Sabre Holdings.

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