The survey polled 500 UK consumers a range of questions about their hotel shopping habits and experiences including a list of the frustrations consumers have when trying to book hotels online.
Over 50% of customers surveyed rated hidden charges as the most frustrating thing when booking a hotel online. Two other key areas include complicated booking forms and lengthy registration processes.
The data highlighted that 38% of customers use tablets and smartphones to research hotels, but when it comes to booking many swap back to desktops and laptops, with only 26% using a smart device to book. Families with children are also far more likely to use a smart device to research holidays.
The survey also reports that customers would only spend five minutes on a hotel website before giving up and looking elsewhere.
The UK’s biggest hotel brand, Premier Inn, topped the poll as the easiest website to book online with, closely followed by Travelodge and The Hilton.
Top 10 easiest hotels to book online with
- Premier Inn: 265 (29.81%)
- Travelodge: 256 (28.80%)
- The Hilton: 87 (9.79%)
- Ibis: 64 (7.20%)
- Marriott: 63 (7.09%)
- Best Western: 62 (6.97%)
- Novotel: 39 (4.39%)
- Mercure: 22 (2.47%)
- Macdonald: 16 (1.80%
- Guoman Hotels:15 (1.69%)
Mark Fells, Director of Digital for Premier Inn said: “On behalf of the Premier Inn digital team I was delighted to hear about the award. We’ve been working hard to focus on the user experience for the Premier Inn website, and embrace the wide spread use of mobile technology by our guests. The criteria and data for the award very much reflect this, and the increased traffic to our website from customers who wish to book their stays with us directly.
“The feedback we have received ourselves from guests about the ease of navigating and booking direct on the Premier Inn website has also been very positive, and we remain committed to improving the booking experience for our customers even further going forward.”
Guy Mucklow, CEO of Postcode Anywhere, said : “The study highlights a number of areas where poor user experience and website design is damaging the potential of hotel sites and dissuading visitors from purchasing. Given the unlimited range of options available to online consumers, we are becoming far more discernible about the sites we use. As a user, the solution is simple – if the website is difficult to use, we will move on with the ease of a few clicks. The importance of a professionally looking, user-friendly website cannot be underestimated.”
- Over half of consumers voted hidden prices as one of their top turn offs on hotel websites (55%) followed by complicated and lengthy booking forms (29%), basic descriptions (4%) and no reviews (4%).
- Customers rated photos (31%), customer reviews (30%), and clear pricing (29%) as the top features they’d want to see on websites.
- Younger generations (18-34) are almost twice as likely to engage with Live Chat when making a purchasing decision compared to those aged between 35 and 54.
- 38% of customers use tablets and smartphones for researching hotels but this figure drops to 26% when it comes to the actually booking.
- 3-5 minutes is the longest a customer would spend on a hotel website before giving up and going elsewhere.