Online based hotel agents top latest eTravel Benchmark results

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Online based hotel agents are leading the way in the digital travel sector according to the latest eTravel Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch. Hotels.com and Booking.com topped the website and mobile App league tables respectively, demonstrating the importance of digital for brands as travel high street branches continue to suffer.

The eTravel Benchmark measures user satisfaction across the entire end-to-end customer journey, from first impressions all the way through to customer contact. The Hotels.com website claimed the number one spot for their clean and simple homepage, clear navigational links and extensive range of search filters. Meanwhile Booking.com were rated highest in the App league table (expanded in this latest study to cover a greater range of Apps) by successfully offering users the opportunity to do everything they could do on a desktop site, and more.

The results also show, however, that travel Apps still have some way to go to equal their online counterparts. When excluding customer contact ratings, Hotels.com score a near perfect 90%, whilst the top rated app Booking.com only reaches an overall satisfaction score of 85%.

Derek Eccleston, Commerical Director at eDigitalResearch, explains, “The online and mobile markets are becoming increasingly important for travel brands. As recent news stories highlight, and other eDigitalResearch studies point out, the use of in-store travel agents is declining. Instead people are turning to the internet, whether through their desktop computer, smartphone or tablet, to browse and buy travel products. The way we research and purchase our holidays has fundamentally changed. For the travel sector, it’s important that brands adapt to these changing trends and shape their business effectively to provide customers with the best experience possible across all available channels, including their online and high street presence”.

Recent consumer research from eDigitalResearch found that almost 3 in 4 (72%) online shoppers use the internet to research and book their holidays and 29% of these said that they expect to use the internet more for their holiday planning in the future. In comparison, over half (56%) of consumers said that they do not use in store travel agents at all, a number which is growing year on year. Just over a quarter (26%) of smartphone owners are also using their mobiles to browse holidays and travel related tickets, representing a significant number of travellers who will expect a quick, simple and seamless experience no matter what channel they use.

Industry comparisons also suggest that, on average, travel brands still need to improve their online and mobile experience if they are to better their retail counterparts. Retailers were the first to take the leap into mobile channels after the surge in popularity of smartphones with consumers, and there are many best practice lessons, such as predictive search text and clear calls to action, that the travel sector can learn from.

To download a copy of the eTravel Benchmark results, including the full league tables, please complete the following short registration survey: https://ecustomeropinions.com/survey/survey.php?sid=750158355

ENDS

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Lisa Bonczyk
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