Search Engines Trump Brand Loyalty As the #1 Way Travelers Visit Hospitality Websites: IPerceptions and HSMAI Report :: Hotel Technology Resource

The share of visitors accessing hospitality and tourism websites via an email link also increased significantly since last year from 2% to 7% in Q3 2012

iPerceptions Inc., a leading provider of online Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics derived from actual visitor feedback, and theHospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), a thought leader and catalyst for hotel revenue growth, today announced the release of their ‘Online Satisfaction and Experience in the Hospitality Industry’ report for Q3 2012.

The report discovered that the bulk (72%) of visitors to hospitality and tourism websites were repeat visitors in Q3 2012. But despite a strong prevalence of repeat visitors, most travelers accessed hospitality and tourism sites via search engines — first time and repeat visitors alike. Only about one in four visitors typed in the brand URL to reach the website, an incidence that has increased among first time visitors from last quarter and last year, suggesting that promotional efforts may have helped with brand awareness and recall.

The share of visitors accessing hospitality and tourism websites via an email link also increased significantly since last year from 2% to 7% in Q3 2012, according to the research. This indicates that marketing efforts employed by brands has been working to drive visitors to their websites. Bookmarking tracked as a distant third with only 9% of visitors accessing the website through this channel. This suggests either that brand loyalty has not been optimized, or that typing in the URL serves as a proxy for bookmarking since recalling the URL is a form of brand identification.

« The hospitality space is becoming exponentially more competitive and therefore it is imperative for brands they provide an intuitive website with content that is clearly laid out with a smooth, hassle-free booking process, » said Duff Anderson, VP of Insight at iPerceptions. « Voice of Customer data provides an excellent basis for which brands can identify what the pain points are for their customers, but understanding how they should be addressed and repaired can be complex. Usability audits serve as an excellent compliment to Voice of Customer research serves as a means to prioritize and direct usability audits, which together can provide the roadmap on guiding site improvement strategy and optimizing overall online brand health. »

The research also found that the bulk of hospitality and tourism websites were comprised of repeat visitors (72%) in Q3 2012. Since Business travelers were more frequent travelers than their Leisure counterparts, repeat website visits were more common in this group. Importantly, however, is that first time visitors within the Business cohort increased significantly since last quarter as well as versus the same period last year.

Findings from the report are based on immediate post-experience feedback from nearly 82,000 visitors to 257 hospitality websites. The data represents aggregated information obtained from iPerceptions’ webValidator and 4Q Suite surveys.

The full report can be found on the iPerceptions website at www.iperceptions.com/resource-center.

About HSMAI
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information, please visit www.hsmai.org.

About iPerceptions
A trusted market research firm and global leader in Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics, iPerceptions captures customer perceptions on the touch point of choice and at the critical time using advanced intercept technologies and proven research frameworks to deliver action in real-time. iPerceptions’ platform provides advanced business intelligence reporting and global benchmarking to assist in strategic and tactical decision-making. Also inject VoC results to provide seamless integration of customer insights into current processes and improve the overall customer experience. So from standard to custom solutions, from full service to self service, it’s no wonder InterContinental Hotels, Fairmont, Best Western, Choice Hotels International and Wyndham Vacations and over 3,000 brands trust iPerceptions. For more information visit iperceptions.com.

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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This article, Search Engines Trump Brand Loyalty As the #1 Way Travelers Visit Hospitality Websites: IPerceptions and HSMAI Report :: Hotel Technology Resource, is syndicated from Nevistas Publishing and is reposted here with permission.

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(C) Jean-Claude MORAND
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