For the hotel and lodging industry, loyalty takes a backseat to price, according to Accenture Hospitality’s Global Consumer Pulse Research. The survey queried 12,867 customers in 32 different countries about the hotel and lodging industry.
The research found that 41 percent of customers find offers and deals as a top differentiator when choosing a hotel. These customers show the highest inclination to shop for better deals (45 percent) alongside retailing.
“There really seems to be a stagnation in the industry about the loyalty that customers feel to particular brands,” said Umar Riaz, the North American lead for Accenture’s Hospitality practice about these findings. “Even as customers think that companies in this industry offer differentiated products and services they still feel low levels of loyalty.”
Customer loyalty has dissipated with the rise of digital channels, which has made it really easy for customers to shop around for deals, noted Riaz.
Seventy-nine percent of customers made their hotel and travel bookings online, representing a 7 percent increase compared to last year. Forty-one percent of consumers use their mobile device frequently for online product searches and 33 percent use a device to make online purchases.
“Clearly customers are migrating more and more to digital or mobile channels in order to buy products and services in this industry,” said Riaz, adding that online travel agencies have made it easy and transparent to shop for deals.
“Even though customers think that a particular product might be really good, they still feel there’s a better deal out there. I think that’s been the fundamental dynamic that is changing the industry.”
Riaz said that looking across all industries, the survey found that hotel and lodging customers have the highest satisfaction levels (36 percent). “So clearly a lot of the product investments that the hotel and lodging companies have made in the last 10 years or so in terms of upgrading their hotels are paying off,” he said.
Seventy-five percent of hotel customers have conducted business with two or more providers over the last three years, and only 14 percent stayed loyal to one company. Approximately three out of four hotel customers say that they consider doing business with other comp anise more often than they had in the past.
“The product is strong and yet the loyalty is low and that is the biggest challenge that a lot of companies in this industry have right now: how to increase the loyalty levels,” said Riaz.
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