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Dynamics of hotel website browsing activity: the power of informatics and data analytics

Irene Cheng Chu Chan (Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao, China)
Jing Ma (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Rob Law (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Dimitrios Buhalis (Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)
Richard Hatter (Hotel ICON, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 29 July 2020

Issue publication date: 7 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the temporal dynamics of users browsing activity on a hotel website in order to derive effective marketing strategies and constantly improve website effectiveness. Users' activities on the hotel's website on yearly, monthly, daily and hourly basis are examined and compared, demonstrating the power of informatics and data analytics.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 29,976 hourly Weblog files from 1 August 2014 to 31 December 2017 were collected from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong. ANOVA and post-hoc comparisons were used to analyse the data.

Findings

Users' browsing behaviours, particularly stickiness, on the hotel website differ on yearly, monthly, daily and weekly bases. Users' activities increased steadily from 2014 to 2016, but dropped in 2017. Users are most active from July to September, on weekdays, and from noon to evening time. The month-, day-, and hour-based behaviours changed through years. The analysis of big data determines strategic and operational management and marketing decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding the usage patterns of their websites allow organisations to make a range of strategic, marketing, pricing and distribution decisions to optimise their performance. Fluctuation of website usage and level of customer engagement have implications on customer support and services, as well as strategic partnership decisions.

Originality/value

Leveraging the power of big data analytics, this paper adds to the existing literature by performing a comprehensive analysis on the temporal dynamics of users' online browsing behaviours.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by a research grant funded by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. An early version of this paper was presented at the APacCHRIE and EuroCHRIE joint conference in May 2019, Hong Kong, China. (Law, R., Ma, J., Chan, I. C. C., Dimitrios, B. and Hatter, R. (2019), “Temporal dynamics of hotel website browsing activity”, Proceedings of the APacCHRIE and EuroCHRIE joint conference in Hong Kong, China, 2019, pp. 319–330.).

Citation

Chan, I.C.C., Ma, J., Law, R., Buhalis, D. and Hatter, R. (2021), "Dynamics of hotel website browsing activity: the power of informatics and data analytics", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 121 No. 6, pp. 1398-1416. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-12-2019-0709

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited