Usability of holiday sites: Virgin Holidays leads the way


According to a recent study by Google and Millward Brown Digital, holidaymakers are increasingly comparing before booking a trip. As part of their digital holiday hunt, they use a variety of devices turning looking for the next trip abroad into a multi-device experience. 67% of the users start a search on their mobile phone, keep looking for information on a tablet, and finally complete a purchase on their desktop PC.

Why do mobile holiday seekers decide not to book a trip on their smartphone or tablet. And how does the mobile device they are using influence their booking experience.

3 Countries - 9 Holiday Websites - 2 Tasks

To analyse mobile booking behaviour on holiday websites, the software provider UserZoom analysed 360 users by means of an international usability study. 120 participants from 3 countries tested 9 holiday websites in a task-based survey. Among the tested sites in the UK: Virgin Holidays, ebookers, and TravelSupermarket - Virgin Holidays achieves the highest task success and user satisfaction rates.

Book a Hotel in Paris - Find a Cruise to Greece

The participants from the UK, Germany, and Spain performed 2 tasks on one of the holiday websites. The smartphone and tablet users were asked to look for a 4-star hotel in Paris including a parking space and a 7-day cruise to Greece leaving from Barcelona. They also rated how much they liked the information and pictures provided by each website.

Top 3 Mobile Booking Barriers

When asked why they abandon a holiday purchase on their mobile device, the top 3 reasons the participants provided were:

1. Inconvenient: It is harder to navigate, type, and search for information on a mobile device, e.g. due to the screen size pictures are too small.

2. Security concerns: People perceive a booking via a mobile device to be generally less secure. Not only do they have security concerns with regards to the purchasing process, but also fear that technical issues could lead to problems. Such as the connection being interrupted mid-transaction. Others believe they might enter wrong information due to the touch screen and are later unable to go back or delete the information.

3. Impractical: Most people prefer to save a booking confirmation on their desktop and print their reservation straight away.

Virgin Holidays rated best by mobile users

On both a tablet and mobile phone it is easiest for Virgin Holiday users to either book a hotel or search for a cruise. The results suggest that this site is the most usable among the tested UK websites.

Virgin Holidays accomplishes the highest task success rates for both tasks compared to TravelSupermarket and ebookers. Having the highest task success rate also seems to influence how much the brand is valued by the users. With a Net Promotor Score (NPS) of -37,5% (tablet users) and -12,5% (mobile users) Virgin Holiday is ranked 4th in the international ranking and best among the UK providers.

On the other hand, none of the brands accomplishes a positive NPS leaving all holiday providers being rated rather negatively by the participants. All three also fail to reach a task success rate over 90% - neither for booking a hotel nor for reserving a cruise. In most cases this is due to the fact that important booking information is either not accessible or visible. Related to this, the study highlights 2 key findings: most participants complain that they can't filter their search by a certain neighbourhood, hotel characteristic, or cruise route. They also can't find out if additional services such as the parking space, Internet connection, or events on board are free or not.

Conclusion: User behaviour more advanced than holiday websites

Looking at the results of the study, it is evident that people searching for holidays online are more likely to find what they want if:

• Information on the website is accessible and
• The information provided is the same on desktops, mobiles, and tablets
• The search and selection functionalities are usable.

For most people, booking a trip is already a multi-device experience. Their user journey starts on one screen and ends on another. The study reveals that the content some of the websites offer, varies across devices. Receiving different information depending on the device you are using is a great booking barrier. Instead of providing consistent information and the same brand experience, users receive mixed content. A poor User Experience due to changing information and limited access to information or poor filter and search options can therefore lead to loosing a sale entirely.

lease find below the latest news from independent mobile ad network InMobi, who today publishes its annual report on global mobile media consumption among end users.

The report looks at the latest consumer behaviour and trends around mobile media and content worldwide, and is based on research covering 14,000+ respondents from 14 different countries.

The full report is available for download on the InMobi website at .

<< Back to today’s Digital Intelligence news

Copyright ©2000-2019 Digital Strategy Consulting Limited | All rights reserved | This material is for your personal use only | Using this site constitutes acceptance of our user agreement and privacy policy