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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Betsy Stringam and John Gerdes

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how well hotel website load time performance compared against customer expectation benchmarks. In a competitive market, service…

6186

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how well hotel website load time performance compared against customer expectation benchmarks. In a competitive market, service interactions are important. As customers move to mobile devices, the time to load a website is a critical part of the service delivery. Long load times can lead to poor service experiences, customer frustration and lost business. Hotel website load times on both mobile and desktop devices were examined and compared to service expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used an online service to assess and compare website load performance using both desktop and mobile devices for 259 international hotel company and sub-brand websites.

Findings

The time to load hotel websites was significantly slower on mobile devices compared to desktops. Load times on both platforms exceeded 3 s, which is considered best practice. Long load times represent a service gap and can cause dissatisfaction resulting in a potential customer abandoning the website for a competitor’s site, thus affecting sales.

Research limitations/implications

While the population for the study was robust in size and contained most of the major hotel companies worldwide, it was not exhaustive. Data also represent a snapshot and will change over time. Load times vary based on test location, access device and network traffic. Additionally, web page load times and customer expectations will change as technology evolves.

Originality/value

Increased use of mobile devices for hotel reservations increases the importance of mobile service delivery. This is the first known study to measure hotel website load times for mobile devices, and to examine both mobile and desktop performance against best practice. The results of this study highlight a service gap, which can lead to loss of business. Given the consistency of the results, the authors suspect that this is an issue that has not been recognized within the industry. This study is valuable because it exposes an issue of website design not generally addressed in the hospitality industry, even though tools are available to monitor site performance.

Details

International Hospitality Review, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-8142

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2010

Betsy Bender Stringam and John Gerdes

Consumers as well as hotel web sites are evolving, changing the requirements and expectations for online hotel room reservations. Building on previous research, the purpose of…

2048

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers as well as hotel web sites are evolving, changing the requirements and expectations for online hotel room reservations. Building on previous research, the purpose of this paper is to explore hotel web site design's influence on site appeal and likelihood to purchase.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods. College‐age participants visited hotel web sites detailing their impressions. Using a grounded theory‐based approach and regression analysis, web design factors are identified and assessed.

Findings

The paper finds a preference for enhanced graphical web site design. This finding contradicts prior studies. The paper also finds continued importance in: ease of use, brand loyalty site content, and site aesthetics.

Research limitations/implications

This paper uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. The coding of qualitative data can be affected by researcher bias. This paper also suffers from an age and geographic population bias. While this paper suggests that certain factors influence the likelihood to purchase, more extensive definition of these factors is needed. In addition, several factors, which were important in previous studies, have incongruous findings in this paper and need further examination.

Practical implications

The results give direction to the design of effective hotel web sites.

Originality/value

Rapidly evolving internet technologies and consumer behavior generate a need for ongoing research to consumer behavior. A study with valid insight and information completed previously may not accurately reflect today's internet hotel market. The findings are significant: they suggest there has been a shift in consumer preferences.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9880

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2010

Cihan Cobanoglu

480

Abstract

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9880

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