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Old 05-05-2009, 5:40 PM
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easyCar.com opens new mobile phone car hire service

[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']easyCar.com has developed a bespoke transactional mobile phone platform to broaden their digital distribution strategy. [/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The move follows a review of the car hire company's distribution channels, which has shown an increasing number of easyCar customers accessing easyCar.com from their mobiles, and has the potential to broaden customer accessibility to the easyCar.com car hire site. [/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Bill Jones, CEO of easyCar[/font][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'], said “we want all our car hire customers to have a great online experience, just taking your website and expecting it to work in a mobile environment was never going to be effective, we wanted a relevant and credible solution for this channel."[/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']"You just have to look at the adoption of next generation phones and rapid growth of phone applications on devices such as the iPhone or Blackberry to see the potential there now is here, and we wanted to ensure that easyCar was at the forefront in developing this as a viable distribution channel. However, in developing this, we also wanted a solution that was usable retrospectively on earlier models of phone, and not just the latest devices.” [/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Working with mobile travel specialist Handy Group, who provide a seamless managed service, easyCar have a new strategy around mobile that enables customers to search, book and pay for car hire while on the move. [/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The mobile easycar.com car hire site can be accessed by simply entering www.easycar.com in a mobile browser, and background technology auto detects the mobile device and serves the easyCar.com mobile website – optimised for that device. As an added option, users can text ‘easycar’ to 61177 from any UK phone, and a free SMS message reply includes the link to the new mobile website.[/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Jones added; "The potential for this is much more than an alternative to browsing on a static PC, this will also give us access to new segments in the car hire market. For example there is a significant leisure market that will decide on car hire whilst overseas on holiday, they mostly do not have access to secure computing in their hotels, so customers tend to rely on the car hire recommendations from their hotel front desk or Holiday Representative - which are both going to offer car hire that is vested in their own commercial interests. Now customers have an alternative option of booking with easyCar.com car hire from their mobile phone wherever they are."[/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']easyCar.com is also considering the potential for a B2B roll out of their new mobile site to other travel organisations under a white label basis. The car hire company already has a sophisticated white label website product, that is also being actively offered to travel related partners.[/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Jones concluded; “Mobile has real possibilities and we wanted to provide our customers better access to easyCar.com through a simple application, that’s good to look at, intuitive and fast to use - whatever handset they have, network they’re on or wherever they are”. [/font]
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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Michael Lacy, CEO of Handy Group[/font][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'], who operate the service for easyCar.com said “easyCar were clear in what they wanted to achieve and the Handy managed service supports every element of their requirement, not just in the technical deployment but also in the commercial terms. Typical of the easyGroup they have been visionary and early adopters of our technology and services and we’re already seeing some fantastic results”. Lacy also commented on the fact that consumers who are serious about using their mobiles for internet access have a handset that handles the internet in an easy way. “just under fifty per cent of phones being used to access www.easycar.com are iPhones, 12% are Sony Ericsson’s, followed by Nokia at 10% and the T-Mobile Android phone 4%.” [/font]
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