Online from: 1987
Subject Area: Marketing
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|Title:||To book or not to book: the role of hotel web site heuristics|
|Author(s):||Kelly Virginia Phelan, (College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA), Natasa Christodoulidou, (College of Business Administration and Public Policy, California State University - Dominguez Hills, Carson, California, USA), Cary C. Countryman, (School of Business, Brigham Young University - Hawaii, Laie, Hawaii, USA), Leonard J. Kistner, (Macon State College, Macon, Georgia, USA)|
|Citation:||Kelly Virginia Phelan, Natasa Christodoulidou, Cary C. Countryman, Leonard J. Kistner, (2011) "To book or not to book: the role of hotel web site heuristics", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 25 Iss: 2, pp.134 - 148|
|Keywords:||Buying behaviour, Hotels, Reservation computer systems, United States of America, Web sites|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/08876041111119859 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||Received November 2008Revised: June 2009Accepted: August 2009|
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.
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