September 16, 2013

Booking.com tops first multichannel travel benchmark


Covering just those travel brands that offer customers the ability to search and book online, on a mobile or via an app, a new benchmark study found that Booking.com offers users a consistent experience across all three touch points.

Online travel specialists Booking.com have topped the very first eTravel Multichannel Benchmark from eDigitalResearch after users rated both their online and mobile experiences highly.

Multichannel and digital strategies are becoming increasingly important for brands as consumers continue to shop when they want and how they want. eDigitalResearch’s eTravel Multichannel Benchmark asks users to rate their experiences across the customer journey for websites, mobile sites and apps, measuring their satisfaction from their first impressions all the way through the booking stages of their purchase.

Covering just those travel brands that offer customers the ability to search and book online, on a mobile or via an app, the benchmark found that Booking.com offers users a consistent experience across all three touch points. Booking.com performed particularly well in the early stages of the customer journey, including coming out on top for the first impressions of their app, as well as the initial research and search stages of their website and mobile site. Users also highly rated Booking.com’s app and mobile site for the usability and design, signalling how well the brand have managed to suitably combine, integrate and optimise a range of key features across all three channels without compromising on the look, feel or image of the brand.

The hotel sector performed particularly well in the multichannel study with Hotels.com coming a close second, followed by Expedia, Ebookers, Premier Inn and Late Rooms all in the top six.

The results also highlighted that, like their retail counterparts, travel mobile sites and apps continue to be outperformed by their more established websites. Mobile sites and apps scored particularly badly for the initial research and booking parts of the customer journey, with many users left uninspired by the lack of images or frustrated from having to input a lot of details on a small mobile screen.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “Multichannel strategies, especially digital initiatives, are becoming increasingly important for all brands, no matter what sector they operate in. Some of our recent consumer insight shows that over 10% of smartphone owners have already purchased travel related products through their smartphone and that a significant proportion (56%) are also booking their holidays online.

These results show that consumers want to be able to do all that they can on a website on their mobile without feeling like that have had to compromise on key features or the overall experience that they have come to expect from their favourite travel brands. Businesses must therefore make sure that they are actively creating strong digital strategies that integrate all of their customer touch points if they want to increase their customer base and grow revenue streams”.

Download the full report at eDigitalResearch (requires completion of a short survey)

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