Hotels.com Ranks Number One For Overall Customer Experience In Latest Study By Keynote Of Hotel Reservation Websites – OTAs And Provider Sites Compared In Advance Of Summer Travel Season

Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of http://www.keynote.com/ (Nasdaq:KEYN), today announced the results of a new study examining the business and technical effectiveness of hotel reservation websites. In the 2012 Hotel Reservation study Hotels.com took first place for Overall Customer Experience, while in the Technical Quality portion of the study Priceline.com scored first for Reliability and Hilton.com took first for Responsiveness (Speed). The entire study is available for immediate purchase. To request more information please visit: http://bit.ly/KCRHotelStudy.

Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are invited to participate in the company’s Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" websites as ranked in the studies. The rankings are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.

For the Customer Experience portion of the study, Keynote observed and conducted online interviews with 1,803 online adults as they interacted with the websites of a total of nine leading hotel reservation websites: Expedia, Hilton, Hotels.com, Hyatt, Marriott, Orbitz, Priceline, Sheraton and Travelocity. Each study participant had used the Web to research and/or book hotel accommodations in the past and were planning to use the Web to research and/or book hotel accommodations again within the next 12 months.

For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, Keynote performed 5,000 total measurements for each site, for a total of 45,000 total measurements, from 12 locations in the U.S. The data was collected every day over a one month period during the websites’ peak period (8:00 AM-Midnight, EST., Monday-Sunday).

Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company’s commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading websites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology.

More Information about the Customer Experience Rankings for Hotel Reservation Websites

For the Customer Experience component of the study, Keynote sent 200 U.S. resident Internet users to each of the nine hotel reservation websites. The panelists skimmed the site’s home page to form an impression of the company and its offerings, then the searched for hotel accommodations that they might be interested in booking based on their particular needs.

Next, panelists were asked to use the site to look for hotel accommodations in New York City. However, instead of starting on the hotel booking site’s home page, they started on a page they’d arrive at by searching on "hotels in New York" using a search engine such as Google and clicking on a link for the hotel booking website.

Finally, panelists proceeded through the process of booking the hotel accommodations they found, going as far as possible without actually completing the purchase, adding anything else for their trip they could find them at the site and would think to add to the booking.

The study revealed that when tested by online users, Hotels.com offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience. Other key findings include:
  • In addition to Price Satisfaction, Ease of Booking, Organization & Visual Appeal, Other Travel Services Satisfaction, Hotel Availability, and Perceived Performance predicted brand and conversion metrics;
  • While OTA’s fared better overall than supplier sites in Keynote’s Customer Experience rankings, suppliers fared best in Ease of Booking, Organization and Visual Appeal, and were more likely to be associated with the positive attributes of being “Trustworthy,” “Reliable,” and “High Quality.”

“While the OTAs fared better with consumers than did the suppliers, they had different strengths,” said Chris Musto, general manager of the Keynote Competitive Research group at Keynote. “Hotels.com achieved strong business outcomes in this study by combining the ease of use found at the top supplier sites with the price satisfaction and hotel availability found at OTAs.”

More Information about the Technical Quality Rankings in the Hotel Reservation Websites Study

In addition to evaluating customer experience with actual users, the Keynote study also examined two broad aspects of technical quality: responsiveness and reliability. Responsiveness comprises: high speed response, DSL (midband) response, response time consistency, geographic uniformity and load handling, while reliability is comprised of availability and outages. For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, using measurement computers located in 12 cities across the U.S., Keynote measured a typical transaction of searching for and reserving hotel accommodations online. Each measured transaction began at the site’s Home Page then followed the process of searching for and selecting a hotel accommodation, and ending at the reservation page that prompts the user to enter his/her personal information. Based on the thousands of transactions monitored over the course of the study, Priceline.com ranked first for Reliability, while Hilton.com ranked first for Responsiveness (Speed).

In order to collect the Technical Quality data Keynote used its Transaction Perspective® product, the leading real browser-based service for measuring and monitoring website performance from the end user perspective. With Keynote Transaction Perspective the company examines website performance from multiple geographic locations by simulating users clicking through transactions on a website. Keynote collected approximately 6,000 data points that detailed each of the sites’ technical performance in terms of page responsiveness and reliability.

The study is available for purchase from Keynote and comes with extensive analysis of brand impact, acquisition impact, reliability and responsiveness and the factors that drive sites’ performance in these areas. Clients will receive an executive presentation, extensive back-up charts and illustrations, and online access to all clickstreams, verbatims, question responses and panel facts for all panelists at all sites for all tasks and can download and use this data in their own research. To inquire about a copy view: http://bit.ly/KCRHotelStudy.

About Keynote Systems

Keynote® Systems, Inc., (NASDAQ:KEYN) is the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring. Keynote maintains the world’s largest on-demand performance monitoring and testing infrastructure for Web and mobile sites comprised of over 7,000 measurement computers and mobile devices in over 275 locations around the world that enable companies to continuously improve the online and mobile experience. Known as ‘The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™, Keynote offers three market-leading product platforms:

Keynote Perspective® provides on-demand performance monitoring for enterprise Web and mobile sites including online portals, e-commerce sites and B2B sites. Over 2,000 customers rely on Keynote Perspective services to know precisely how their websites, content, and applications perform on actual browsers, networks, and mobile devices.

Keynote DeviceAnywhere™ is an enterprise-class, cloud-based, mobile application lifecycle management (ALM) testing & quality assurance platform. It is used by over 1,000 mobile developers and enterprises to deliver mobile applications, content and services faster while reducing downtime and testing costs.

Keynote SIGOS offers active end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) testing and monitoring solutions for mobile, fixed and VoIP communications. Its SITE and Global Roamer products are used by over 200 network operators, content providers, carriers and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide.

Keynote's 4,000 customers represent top Internet and mobile companies and include American Express, AT&T, Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, Google, Microsoft, SonyEricsson, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Keynote Systems is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at http://www.keynote.com/ or by phone in the U.S. at 1-800-KEYNOTE.

Keynote®, DataPulse®, CustomerScope®, Keynote CE Rankings®, Keynote Customer Experience Rankings®, Perspective®, Keynote Red Alert®, Keynote Traffic Perspective®, Keynote WebEffective®, The Internet Performance Authority®, MyKeynote® , SIGOS®, SITE®, The Mobile & Internet Performance Authority™ and Keynote FlexUse™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Keynote Systems, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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