Sabre Holdings is to sell Lastminute.com according to their announcement. The advisory firm of Houlihan Lokey will oversee the auction of the once profitable booking platform.
Lastminute operates as a subsidiary of Travelocity, Sabre’s group of travel e-commerce businesses. These last few years, even with massive marketing and ad spend, Sabre has had difficulty squeezing performance out of Lastminute. A spokesman for Sabre had this to say about the auction:
“We are always reviewing options to make our technology company as successful, relevant and innovative as possible. If we have news to share, we commit to doing so quickly and transparently.”
Sky News reported on Saturday, “that the US company was prepared to accept a substantial loss on the roughly £600m it paid in 2005.” From an insider perspective where social media marketing is concerned, a gander at Lastminute’s Twitter and Facebook profiles reveals a broadcast only engagement.
This is not exactly what one would expect to see from a company in search of booking success. Triple postings of giveaways, unimaginative sharing of the sort, seems rather pitiful from an organization with resources. The “likes” look at their Facebook engagement above tells the tale really.
The Brandwatch mentions view below also reflects Lastminute’s fate where social media is concerned. As you can see, the preponderance of online branding mentions for the company comes from news about the various sale talk, and not from Facebook or Twitter. I’m sorry but looking at a nice travel portal like this that has to get upwards of 30,000 visits a day, I am wondering at how on Earth Lastminute failed at all. Was the call to action horrendous? Do people hate the site that bad? Were the deals off? Sorry, but I am seeing a very low bounce rate, great time on site, and only a very slow site load time as negatives.
I bet if Expedia buys Lastminute, the site blows away all other UK competition, any takers?