A quick study into what goes on in users’ heads when they open up a travel website has thrown up some interesting results.
Usabilla based the research on hotel, airline and what it terms, price comparison sites, asking participants what they liked and what they would remove?
The Facebook ‘like’ button was widely disliked across almost all sites involved in the study with respondents finding it silly and questioning how liking a company on the social network would help them.
The only exception was within the hotel sector where brands such as Hyatt used the Facebook widget to show how many fans it has and participants felt this instilled trust.
The other element of homepages that consistently received negative feedback was promotions and best offers advertisements.
Respondents felt they were distracting and did not want to click for a better deal when that was why they had visited the site in the first place.
On this element, Priceline, which received positive feedback for the innovative bidding elements of the site, and Expedia, were the only exceptions.
How deals were displayed made a difference forÂ Expedia with 42% of respondents saying the deals and offers button was a strength butÂ 38% said they did not like the Groupon Getaways or the association with the flash sales provider.
In addition,Â 51% did not like the use of internal ads on the far right on the site.
Other key findings:
- Hotels – clean sites with a strong logo and easy navigation deemed more trustworthy and attractive. Easy to find contact numbers, affiliation with sister brands and geographic locations also reassuring. Social media such as Hilton’s follow-us on Twitter widget and Hyatt’s Youtube link also popular.
- Airlines – prices displayed with asterisks made respondents feel they were being tricked. Weather updates and other useful information suggested as a replacement to airline’s own promotional ads.
- Price Comparison – search boxes were popular overall as were characters such as Travelocity’s gnome although Priceline’s William Shatner received mixed feedback – liked by 30% , disliked by 23%. Inspirational elements deemed to provide additional value.
The study involved 800 participants and 18 travel websites.