From OTA interface design to hotels’ revenues: the impact of sorting and filtering functionalities on consumer choices
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Using conjoint analysis and choice data from 1492 Dutch participants, this experimental study explores the impact of user interface functionalities on hotels’ customer online behavior and the subsequent economic ramifications for both the search engine service providers and their hotel clients. Specifically, it explores the impact of sorting and filtering on the relationship between a hotel’s placements on the initial search results booking page and the likelihood of being booked. The findings indicate that the availability of sort and filter functions generates a more balanced distribution of booking choices, as users pay more attention to the hotel characteristics that are subject to sorting and filtering functionality. If the sort and filter functions are applied to price, visitors are more likely to choose cheaper rooms, whereas when applied to customer ratings, visitors are more likely to choose rooms with better ratings. The functions affect the search agenda and consequently the economic value of placement in top positions. In addition, sorting and filtering increase the competitiveness of the search engine because it encourages users to apply additional choice criteria beyond merely relying on the hotel’s placement on the search result page.
Keywordsrevenue management online travel agent (OTA) willingness-to-pay conjoint analysis search engine marketing (SEM) search user interface design (SUI)
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