Consumer research identifies how sites can present travel review content to increase consumer trust and bookings

Munich, Germany and New York, USA – February 2, 2015 – New York University and TrustYou, the inventor of the Meta-ReviewsTM and global online reputation management leader, have released the results of a study on the role of reviews in the travel planning process. The study examined the preference of consumers when using reviews to make travel purchases, evaluating their time investment, confidence/trust, and mobile experience. Specifically, the study compared user experiences with review summaries versus traditional full text reviews.

The study, which is available here for free download, was conducted by Donna Quadri-Felitti, Academic Chair and Clinical Associate Professor at NYU, School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism in conjunction with TrustYou.

“Travelers want a quick way to make their booking decisions while still getting all of the information that they need from review content. The findings from this research give both hotels and travel intermediaries clear direction in how to structure their websites so that travelers can make such decisions,” says Donna Quadri-Felitti, Academic Chair and Clinical Associate Professor at NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

“This research shows that summarized review content increases consumer trust while substantially decreasing the amount of time travelers need to read and digest review content. This trend is even stronger on mobile where time and space is even more limited. Travelers have clearly articulated how they want review content to be delivered in the future,” adds Margaret Ady, Vice President of Marketing at TrustYou.

Key takeaways for intermediaries and hotels to increase conversions:

Traveler’s Review Habits

  • 95% of respondents report reading travel reviews prior to booking
  • Leisure travelers reported reading an average of 6-7 reviews prior to booking and business travelers reported reading an average of 5
  • Leisure travelers spend an average of 30 minutes reading reviews prior to booking a hotel, and 10% of travelers spend more than one hour reading reviews

How to Present Travel Reviews

  • 52% of respondents said summarized review content is the most user friendly way to read reviews
  • 80% said summarized reviews are time efficient, while only 59% said the same for full text reviews
  • 72% said summarized review content is mobile friendly, and 61% said they would prefer to see only summarized review content when booking on a mobile device

The full report is available for free download here.

The study was conducted using an online survey panel of 510 travelers, all of whom traveled during the last 12 months for leisure, business, or both. Respondents were evaluated two different presentations of reviews and described their user experience with each, rating their confidence level in making a booking decision.

For additional information about TrustYou, please contact Margaret Ady at [email protected].