Airbnb and Expedia beat Thomas Cook for user experience, as 85% prefer to book their travel online

Airbnb topped the list of travel provider’s websites

Over three quarters (85 per cent) of Brits prefer to book their holidays online, but 79 per cent have given up and switched to a different travel provider due to challenges in the user journey, new research claims

The survey of over 500 British travel buyers by Webcredible also discovered that 60 per cent have eventually given up and abandoned their purchase.

Webcredible then mapped the online user journey and evaluated the usability of top travel providers' websites and mobile applications to discover how each site ranked at different stages, from discovery and inspiration to making a decision and then booking.

Airbnb topped the research, with Webcredible putting this down to its “exceptional website usability, simple booking processes and research options”.

Thomas Cook ranked last, having “delivered the worst booking process, a poor iOS app and a number of inconsistencies across the site”.

Webcredible Founder and CEO, Trenton Moss, said: “Brands are generally providing a very high standard of online and app usability. There is room for improvement in some areas particularly among traditional/longstanding providers, possibly due to more complex internal operations. With mobile and social usage only set to increase, there is a new generation of providers ready to fill the niche in the online travel market.

“It is no longer enough to simply have an online presence. The travel industry needs to capitalise on the vast opportunities available to interact and guide the consumer at every digital touchpoint and stage of their journey when booking a holiday.”

Expedia ranked highly for providing recommendations based not only on the current product the user is viewing but also on previous searches and saved products. TripAdvisor was praised for its consistent look and feel across desktop, mobile website and apps.

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