Study: Reducing traveler friction matters to guests

Wellness Tourism Association
The Online Travel Friction Index research identified key factors that reduce traveler friction through a “friction reduction index,” a weighted average numerical score rating more than 15 experience attributes. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Travelers want suppliers to offer a seamless travel experience, and to quickly and effectively handle any challenges during their travels, according to the Online Travel Friction Index from the Expedia Group and business strategy firm Magid.

Expedia Group’s Innovation Lab tests new products, leveraging advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning, eye tracking and face reader technology to understand travelers’ focus on a web page and the emotions they experience while booking travel. These tests recently uncovered the attributes travelers value the most that provide an easy-to-use, or frictionless, online booking experience. 
 
The Online Travel Friction Index research identified key factors that reduce traveler friction through a “friction reduction index,” a weighted average numerical score rating more than 15 experience attributes that nearly 850 online travel users, ages 18-55, used to rate their experiences related to research, shopping and booking of travel products on various travel websites. Results from this research identified the top five most impactful friction reduction attributes as: 

  1. An easily navigable booking website.
  2. Inventory that is the best value.
  3. Ability to filter and sort a specific room type.
  4. Option to redeem special offers.
  5. Ability to quickly filter and sort specific hotel location criteria. 

According to the survey, friction reduction index score results are:

  • Expedia Group 816
  • Other online travel agencies 799
  • Hotel direct sites 792
  • Metasites 788
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