To book or not to book: the role of hotel web site heuristics

Phelan, Kelly Virginia, Christodoulidou, Natasha, Countryman, Cary C. and Kistner, Leonard J. (2011) To book or not to book: the role of hotel web site heuristics. Journal of Services Marketing, 25 2: 134-148. doi:10.1108/08876041111119859


Author Phelan, Kelly Virginia
Christodoulidou, Natasha
Countryman, Cary C.
Kistner, Leonard J.
Title To book or not to book: the role of hotel web site heuristics
Journal name Journal of Services Marketing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0887-6045
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/08876041111119859
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 25
Issue 2
Start page 134
End page 148
Total pages 15
Place of publication Bingley, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose
– This study aims to examine web site heuristics and their influence on the likelihood to purchase.

Design/methodology/approach
– A convenience sample of 28 participants was assigned a list of 30 hotel web sites to evaluate according to predetermined criteria and open‐ended questions.

Findings
– Results indicated that booking decisions are positively related to a web site's aesthetic appeal. The study found the presence of photographs on a hotel web site was the most significant factor impacting site appeal and influencing the booking decision. Other features affecting purchase decisions included ease of use, color, link availability, lack of web site clutter, and sites unique in appearance.

Research limitations/implications
– Research limitations included the size and composition of the sample. Respondents were college students, thus they represented a younger demographic and one which may be more tech‐savvy than other age groups. Also, the hotel web sites which were evaluated were located in one popular US tourist destination, meaning generalization to a larger population or to another industry may be limited.

Practical implications
– Results showed four variables; pictures, ease of use, neat/uncluttered and plain/boring; were most significant on both site appeal and site influence. Practitioners would be well served to improve these web site elements to better accommodate customers and realize the greatest return on investment.

Originality/value
– The paper investigates heuristics of hotel web sites. Findings identified areas for improvement by practitioners as well as areas for future research.
Keyword Web sites
Hotels
Reservation computer systems
Buying behaviour
United States of America
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 12 Apr 2016, 10:32:02 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School