Consumer Research Identifies How To Present Travel Review Content For More Bookings

by May 9, 2015 3:56 pm White Papers

Data from reviews and online user generated content are highly useful for consumers when making an online purchasing decision. In the travel context, where this study found that 93% of travelers read reviews, this phenomenon is particularly true. Therefore, many travel intermediaries and hotels have incorporated review content onto their websites. However, there are many different ways to present this content. This research was designed to understand exactly how hotel reviews impact a website's user experience and to understand which presentation of review content (full text, aggregated visualization, or a combination of both) is easier for travelers to consume and understand. Data about this behavior were gathered from 510 respondents via an online survey. Respondents were shown two different visualizations of reviews: 1. ten randomly selected full-text hotel reviews, 2. a graphical, visual summary of verified hotel reviews. In each example, respondents were asked to describe their user experience and rate their confidence level in making a booking decision. Following, respondents were asked about their preferences when booking given the option of reading no reviews, full text reviews, summarized review content or a combination of full text reviews and summarized content.

Findings show that:

  • Summarized review content is easier to consume than full text reviews
  • Summarized review content gives travelers the most useful overview of a hotel compared to full text reviews
  • Summarized review content is more mobile friendly compared to full text reviews
  • Travelers prefer a combination of the two to feel most confident in making a booking decision