Like Travel sites in general, Hotel websites currently face some tough challenges. They must convince today’s rare and wary voyager that it’s safe to venture into the world — and to stay in unfamiliar accommodations once they reach their destination. And given everyone’s current hesitation to venture far from home, these sites should make it fall off a lounge chair easy for users to find and book a room before they decide instead to spend their vacation at home.
But how easy do Hotel sites actually make it to select and reserve lodging for the night?
To find out, the siteIQ team evaluated a total of fourteen sites using the Hotel version of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability benchmark. This benchmark includes 198 questions across four categories and nine sub-categories.
These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 198 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve everyday tasks, objectives, and goals.
These evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Booking industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.
The websites evaluated in this segment include: All.Accor.com, BestWestern.com, ChoiceHotels.com, Hilton.com, Hospitality-pn.com, Hyatt.com, IHG.com, JinJiang-Hotel.com, Marriott.com, Motel6.com, RadissonHotelGroup.com, StayInns.com, Whitbread.co.uk, and WyndhamHotels.com.
The results of our inaugural Hotel evaluations reveal that these sites, as a group, rank third among Travel websites behind the Airline sector, which makes it one of the poorest performing segments on the entire siteIQ Usability Index. Unfortunately, this means that Hotel websites are more difficult to use than most of the sites we evaluate.
What’s more, a detailed review of evaluation data shows that these sites are hardest to use in the most critical areas. Case in point, Services Marketing scores, which measure the effectiveness of each site’s reservation and booking resources, rate as Below Average or Poor across the bulk of sites, as do Call to Action and eCommerce features. Likewise, most sites receive a Below Average Competitive Rating for their Navigation scores.
While Dimension scoring is slightly more encouraging for some sites, there are far more cases where Hotel sites register less than stellar scores. In fact, every tracked Hotel website scores below 60% in six of the sixteen total Usability Dimensions, and at least ten of the fourteen scores below 60% in four more. Making matters worse, these lists include Ease of Locating Content & Features, Ease of Using Resources & Features, Usefulness of Resources & Features, and Logic of Features & Site Zones.
At the end of the day, all these deficiencies culminate in the poor overall performance that Hotel sites display — and send the Hotel sector to the bottom of the Overall siteIQ Usability Index. More importantly, they merge into some significant usability issues that make Hotel websites seem cumbersome, cluttered, and difficult to use. To reverse these trends, the teams managing these sites would be wise to evaluate their current offerings to identify the most critical challenges — then work quickly to fix them.
Sorry, you have to be a Library Member to access this content.
About the siteIQ Usability Index
siteIQ evaluated the thirty-four Travel Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into three industry-specific segments including:
- Hotel (All.Accor.com, BestWestern.com, ChoiceHotel.com, Hilton.com, Hospitality-on.com, Hyatt.com, IHG.com, JinJiangHotel.com, Marriott.com, Motel6.com, RadissonHotelGroup.com, StayInns.com, Whitebread.co.uk, WyndhamHotel.com)
- Booking (Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotel.com, Kayak.com, Orbitz.com, Priceline.com, SkyScanner.com, TripAdvisor.com, Travelocity.com, Trivago.com)
- Airline (AA.com, AirChina.com, AirFrance.com, CSAair.com, Delta.com, Emirates.com, Lufthansa.com, Southwest.com, United.com, VirginAtlantic.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 9 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.
The 2020 evaluations were performed during the third quarter of 2020.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Travel Industry