Travel Hotel Consumers: How Online
Research Affects Bookings
Google Compete
U.S., November 2010
Background and Objectives
Background
• Online research influences both online and offline bookings. However, there remain ...
Methodology
Recruitment
• A survey was launched to Compete panelists who had researched hotels online between
December 200...
Executive Summary
• Half of all hotel researchers indicated researching exclusively online
– Friends, families and colleag...
Hotel Market Overview
1 in 3 hotel shoppers are referred to a hotel site
by search. We see a bump up in search
referral in summer months.
Aggreg...
Search Consistently Drove Hotel Bookings

Aggregate Online Hotel Bookers & % Search Referred to a Hotel Site

(Volume of H...
Google Referred One Quarter of All Shoppers

Share of Hotel Shoppers Search Referred by Google Search
(Share of Online Hot...
Hotel Bookers More Focused Year-Over-Year

Sites Visited by Online Hotel Bookers

(Average Travel Sites Visited Among Hote...
Booker Channel Usage and Preferences
Half of Shoppers Research Exclusively Online

Offline Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers
(Share of Onl...
Half of Researchers Use Search to Find Hotels

Online Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers
(Share of Onl...
Online Sources Used More for Longer Stays

Online Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers
(Share of Online ...
1 in 3 Researchers Recall Viewing Online Ads

Advertising Recalled by Online Hotel Shoppers
(Share of Online Hotel Shopper...
1 in 6 Researchers Booked Offline

Channel Used to Book Hotel
(Share of Hotel Shoppers That Booked a Hotel in Q4, n=892)

...
1 in 5 Bookers Choose Site for Rewards/Points

Why Online Hotel Bookers Booked With Specific Site

(Share of Online Hotel ...
Searchers as Likely to Book as Non-Searchers

Searchers vs. Non-Searchers That Booked a Hotel
(Share of Total Respondents,...
Likelihood to Book Declines as Cost Increases

Hotel Bookers by Cost of Hotel Per Night

(Share of Hotel Shoppers That Did...
Singles Most Certain About Hotel Choice

Certainty of What Hotel You Booked or Plan to Book
(Share of Hotel Shoppers, n=12...
Research Time Increases with Length of Stay

Time Spent Researching Hotel Before Booking By Length of Stay
(Share of Hotel...
Higher Costs Increased Research Time
Time Spent Researching Hotel Before Booking By Cost Per Night
(Share of Hotel Shopper...
Summary
• Half of all hotel researchers indicated researching exclusively online
– Friends, families and colleagues were t...
Like what you learned?
Find more data and thought starters at

www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights
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Travel Hotel Consumers

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How online research affects bookings
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Travel Hotel Consumers

  1. 1. Travel Hotel Consumers: How Online Research Affects Bookings Google Compete U.S., November 2010
  2. 2. Background and Objectives Background • Online research influences both online and offline bookings. However, there remain challenges in quantifying the role of the online channel – whether via search, display, or non-advertising content – in driving bookings. Objectives • Assess the online and offline resources shoppers use when shopping for and booking travel as well as the relative importance of different resources • Quantify the impact online research has on consumer purchase (both online and offline) • Analyze differences between bookers who purchase online and bookers who purchase offline Google Confidential and Proprietary 2
  3. 3. Methodology Recruitment • A survey was launched to Compete panelists who had researched hotels online between December 2009 and April 2010 • Surveys were fielded to 1,266 Compete panelists in April/May 2010 targeting consumers who completed and qualified for the survey under the following requirements: – Respondents who indicated they had conducted online research for overnight accommodations at a hotel within the past six months – Respondents indicated they researched for personal (non-business) travel Significance Testing • For 2-variable significance testing, two asterisks (**) indicates significance at the 95% level and one asterisk (*) indicates significance at the 90% level • For multiple variable significance testing, uppercase letters indicate significance at the 95% level and lowercase letters indicate significance at the 90% level • Base sizes under 30 were removed from the study and any base sizes between 30-50 marked as low sample Searcher vs. Non-Searcher Segment Definition • A “Searcher” is defined as a respondent who was search referred to a hotel supplier website or OTA hotel path within the 60 days prior to booking (based on observed online clickstream behavior and not self-reported) Google Confidential and Proprietary 3
  4. 4. Executive Summary • Half of all hotel researchers indicated researching exclusively online – Friends, families and colleagues were the most-used offline sources to learn about hotels • Half of hotel shoppers reported using search engines in their research – Online clickstream behavior indicated that a third hotel shoppers are referred by search to a hotel website • Price was the leading reason for why consumers booked on a specific hotel website – Receiving rewards/points was also a strong driver • Higher costs per night and longer stays increased the length of time consumers spent researching hotels online – The share of researchers using online sources also increased for longer hotel stays • Nearly a third of hotel shoppers indicated viewing an online advertisement during their research process • Booking online was the most dominant channel – Only 1 in 6 bookers indicated booking over the phone or in person • Hotel bookers are using fewer travel sites to conduct research than year-ago levels indicating more focused shopping activities Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 4
  5. 5. Hotel Market Overview
  6. 6. 1 in 3 hotel shoppers are referred to a hotel site by search. We see a bump up in search referral in summer months. Aggregate Online Hotel Shoppers & % Search Referred to a Hotel Site (Volume of Hotel Shoppers & Share that were Search Referred to a Hotel Site, Jun 2009 – Jun 2010) 40M 31% 31% 35M 31% 29% 28% 28% 29% 28% 35% 30% 31% 31% 30% 29% 30% 30M 25% 25M 20% 20M 34M 15M 30M 31M 30M 27M 25M 10M 23M 23M 23M 25M 33M 27M 15% 29M 10% 5M 5% 0M 0% Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Hotel Shoppers Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Share of Hotel Shoppers Ref erred by Search Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 6
  7. 7. Search Consistently Drove Hotel Bookings Aggregate Online Hotel Bookers & % Search Referred to a Hotel Site (Volume of Hotel Bookers & Share that were Search Referred to a Hotel Site, Jun 2009 – Jun 2010) 4.M 3.5M 30% 24% 26% 23% 23% 24% 24% 23% 23% 22% 22% 22% 22% 23% 25% 3.M 20% 2.5M 2.M 4M 3M 15% 4M 1.5M 3M 3M 3M 2M 1.M 3M 3M 4M 10% 3M 2M 2M 5% 0.5M 0.M 0% Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Hotel Bookers Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Share of Hotel Bookers Ref erred by Search Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 7
  8. 8. Google Referred One Quarter of All Shoppers Share of Hotel Shoppers Search Referred by Google Search (Share of Online Hotel Shoppers, Jun 2009 – Jun 2010) 40M 35M 30% 24% 24% 23% 24% 22% 22% 23% 23% 23% 24% 24% 24% 23% 25% 30M 20% 25M 20M 15% 34M 15M 30M 31M 30M 27M 25M 10M 23M 23M 23M 25M 33M 27M 29M 10% 5% 5M 0M 0% Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Hotel Shoppers Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Share of Hotel Shoppers Ref erred by Google Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 8
  9. 9. Hotel Bookers More Focused Year-Over-Year Sites Visited by Online Hotel Bookers (Average Travel Sites Visited Among Hotel Bookers Within the Month of Booking, Jun 2009 – Jun 2010) 25 20 15 10 20 22 20 20 20 19 17 18 13 14 14 Feb Mar Apr 16 16 May Jun 5 0 Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 9
  10. 10. Booker Channel Usage and Preferences
  11. 11. Half of Shoppers Research Exclusively Online Offline Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers (Share of Online Hotel Shoppers, n=1266) Family, f riends, or colleagues 29% 800 or toll-f ree numbers 16% Magazines 14% Inf ormational brochures or catalogs 14% TV 8% Travel agents 8% Newspapers 7% Travel groups 7% 51% used no offline sources Books 6% Radio 3% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% S5. Thinking about the last hotel you researched, which of the following sources of information did you use in addition to the Internet, if any? Please select all that apply. Online hotel shoppers, n=1266 Google Confidential and Proprietary Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 11
  12. 12. Half of Researchers Use Search to Find Hotels Online Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers (Share of Online Hotel Shoppers, n=1266) Hotel websites 76% Online travel agency websites 61% Search engines 50% Travel review websites 30% Travel guide website 13% Travel-specif ic websites 13% Video sharing websites 4% Social networking websites 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Q1. Specifically, which of the following online sources did you use to research this hotel? Please select all that apply. Online hotel shoppers, n=1266 Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 12
  13. 13. Online Sources Used More for Longer Stays Online Hotel Research Resources Used by Online Hotel Shoppers (Share of Online Hotel Shoppers, n=1266) 62% A 51% 46% 14% AB 13% AB 2% Search engines 3% Video sharing websites 1-2 Nights (n583) (A) 3-5 Nights (n520) (B) 1% 3% Social networking websites 6 Nights or More (n163) (C) Q1. Specifically, which of the following online sources did you use to research this hotel? Please select all that apply. Online hotel shoppers, n=1266 Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 13
  14. 14. 1 in 3 Researchers Recall Viewing Online Ads Advertising Recalled by Online Hotel Shoppers (Share of Online Hotel Shoppers, n=1266) Online ad * 29% TV ad 19% Magazine ad 15% Inf ormational brochures or pamphlets *Online ad includes the following: •Online website ad: 22% •Paid search engine listings: 13% •Online video ad: 8% 11% Newspaper ad 8% Billboard or outdoor ad 6% 53% do not recall any advertisements Radio ad 5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Q3. In addition to all of the research that you did to learn about your most recently researched hotel, which of the following advertisements do you recall seeing or hearing, if any? Please select all that apply. Online hotel shoppers, n=1266. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 14
  15. 15. 1 in 6 Researchers Booked Offline Channel Used to Book Hotel (Share of Hotel Shoppers That Booked a Hotel in Q4, n=892) 100% 2% 15% 17% Booked Offline 80% 60% In person Over the phone 40% 83% Online 20% 0% Total (n=892) Q5. How did you book this hotel? Please select one answer only. Online hotel shoppers who booked a hotel in Q4, n=892. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 15
  16. 16. 1 in 5 Bookers Choose Site for Rewards/Points Why Online Hotel Bookers Booked With Specific Site (Share of Online Hotel Bookers That Did Not Select “Other” in Q6, n=711) Best prices 34% I received rewards/points 21% Good promotions and of fers 12% Easy to f ind hotels 9% I was able to view videos 5% Best selection 4% Able to book a package 4% Able to select hotels f rom a map 4% Able to read reviews by other travelers 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Q9. Which of the following best describes why you booked this hotel on a/an [type of site]? Please select one answer only. Online hotel bookers, n=711. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 16
  17. 17. Searchers as Likely to Book as Non-Searchers Searchers vs. Non-Searchers That Booked a Hotel (Share of Total Respondents, n=1409) 100% 90% 9.5% 12.0% 80% 26.5% 26.6% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 61.4% 64.0% Searchers (n=391) Non-Searchers (n=1018) 20% 10% 0% Yes No, but plan to No, and do not plan to Q4. Did you book your most recently researched hotel? Please select one answer only. Total respondents, n=1409; Searchers n=391, Non-Searchers n=1018. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 17
  18. 18. Likelihood to Book Declines as Cost Increases Hotel Bookers by Cost of Hotel Per Night (Share of Hotel Shoppers That Did Not Select “Not Sure” in Q24, n=1239) Read as: Of shoppers who researched hotels priced $150+ per night, 65% booked 85% 80% 67% 65% 60% 40% 20% 0% Under $75 Per Night (n=297) $75-$150 Per Night (n=676) $150+ Per Night (n=266) Q4. Did you book your most recently researched hotel? Please select one answer only. Online hotel shoppers; Spent < $75 per night, n=297; spent $75-$150 per night, n=676; spent $150+ per night, n=266. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 18
  19. 19. Singles Most Certain About Hotel Choice Certainty of What Hotel You Booked or Plan to Book (Share of Hotel Shoppers, n=1266, Top 2 Box) 70% 60% B 60% 53% 51% 53% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Total (n1266) Single (n251) (A) Couple (n450) (B) Family (n173) (C) Q10 - Which of the following best describes how certain you were about what hotel you would book or booked with at the beginning of your research? Online hotel shoppers, n=1266; single stay, n=196; couple stay, n=636; family stay, n=434. Significance testing does not include Total segment. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 19
  20. 20. Research Time Increases with Length of Stay Time Spent Researching Hotel Before Booking By Length of Stay (Share of Hotel Shoppers That Booked a Hotel in Q4, n=892) 100% 10% 21% 14% 80% 27% 48% 15% 18% 18% 2 Weeks or more 60% 1 Week to less than 2 weeks 21% 31% 40% 26% 11% 3 Days to less than 1 week 1 Day to less than 3 days 20% 24% Less than 1 day 19% 20% 12% 27% 19% 11% 9% 0% Total (n892) 1-2 Nights (n452) (A) 3-5 Nights (n324) (B) 6 Nights or More (n115) (C) Q25. How much time passed from when you first started researching for a hotel online to when you actually booked it? Please select one answer only. Online hotel shoppers who booked a hotel, n=892; 1-2 night stay, n=452; 3-5 night stay, n=324; 6+ night stay, n=115. Significance testing does not include Total segment. Google Confidential and Proprietary Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 20
  21. 21. Higher Costs Increased Research Time Time Spent Researching Hotel Before Booking By Cost Per Night (Share of Hotel Shoppers That Booked a Hotel in Q4, n=892) 100% 18% 16% 12% 21% 17% 40% AB 80% 15% 15% 60% 2 Weeks or more 24% a 21% 13% 1 Week to less than 2 weeks 3 Days to less than 1 week 40% 31% C 21% 24% 24% 1 Day to less than 3 days Less than 1 day 20% 18% 23% C 19% 20% C 8% 0% Total (n892) < $75 (n251) (A) $75-$150 (n450) (B) $150+ (n173) (C) Q25. How much time passed from when you first started researching for a hotel online to when you actually booked it? Please select one answer only. Online hotel shoppers who already booked a hotel, Total n=892, Significance testing does not include Total segment. Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 21
  22. 22. Summary • Half of all hotel researchers indicated researching exclusively online – Friends, families and colleagues were the most-used offline sources to learn about hotels • Half of hotel shoppers reported using search engines in their research – Online clickstream behavior indicated that a third hotel shoppers are referred by search to a hotel website • Price was the leading reason for why consumers booked on a specific hotel website – Receiving rewards/points was also a strong driver • Higher costs per night and longer stays increased the length of time consumers spent researching hotels online – The share of researchers using online sources also increased for longer hotel stays • Nearly a third of hotel shoppers indicated viewing an online advertisement during their research process • Booking online was the most dominant channel – Only 1 in 6 bookers indicated booking over the phone or in person • Hotel bookers are using fewer travel sites to conduct research than year-ago levels indicating more focused shopping activities Source: Google/Compete Hotel Online/Offline Study, Nov 2010 Google Confidential and Proprietary 22
  23. 23. Like what you learned? Find more data and thought starters at www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights
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