Could travel sites like Airbnb be doing more with their content?

Airbnb offers a superior user experience to its more established competitors in the travel sector, according to a new report.

The research from Webcredible includes findings from a survey of 500 consumers, which found that 85% prefer to book their holidays online.

However it also shows that many travel sites still aren’t catering correctly for their customers, with 69% of respondents stating that they find it difficult to compare options and results, while a third (31%) feel they aren’t given enough information about their destination.

Airbnb was adjudged to deliver the best overall user experience thanks to its social integrations, wishlists, range of photos and use of personalisation.

Webcredible study strengthens case for ‘social customer service’

User experience company Webcredible has conducted what it calls a ‘Twindex Review’ into customer satisfaction with brands following the Christmas period.

The company looked at the top ten UK retailers according to traffic statistics from Hitwise, and analysed the last 450 replies to each retailer’s Twitter feed in the seven days after December 25th.

Boots tops multichannel retail report after huge rethink of customer care

Boots provides the best multichannel user experience, according to a new report, just a week after announcing a major overhaul in this area.

The retailer introduced a “massive shift” in the way it trains and rewards staff last week, with the focus moving from sales figures to customer care measures.

According to Webcredible’s 2011 Multichannel Retail Report, Boots offered the best overall experience, followed by M&S, Debenhams and Waterstones in joint second place. 

Price comparison sites need to work on usability

Some of the UK’s leading financial comparison sites need to work hard at improving the user experience on their websites, according to a new study.

According to Webcredible’s Future Comparisons white paper (pdf), presentation of search results, and the ability to manipulate and sort was one major area for improvement, while customer trust issues were often not addressed adequately.

The report looks at the five main financial comparison sites in the UK: Moneysupermarket.com, Gocompare.com, Comparethemarket.com, Confused.com, and uSwitch.com.

Price is important online. But not as important as reputation.

Getting the cheapest deal possible is made easier online, but it’s not neccessarily what consumers are looking for. According to a new survey by Webcredible, reputation now counts more than price online.

The user experience consultancy found that 28% of the 1300 online shoppers polled are most likely to make a purchase based on the reputation of a website. That number was followed closely by price: 26% of consumers surveyed said that price was the most important factor when making a purchase.

But it proves that consumers are shopping with brands they trust online. And that leaves an opening for retailers to win new customers without simply cutting into their profit margins.

Budget airline websites fail usability test

The websites of some of the UK’s budget airlines are some of the worst to use, with four of them scoring 50% or less for usabilty, with Ryanair coming last with just 41%.

This is the verdict of Webcredible’s Flights Online study, which looks at the websites of 20 airlines and travel agents in the UK. British Airways topped the table with 71%, closely followed by Expedia and Virgin Atlantic on 70%.

UK e-tailers improve on accessibility

Some of the UK’s top online retailers have made improvements to the accessibility of their websites over the last 12 months, with Boots and John Lewis the top performers in a Webcredible study. 

The average accessibility score increased from 57% to 62%, but some online retailers’ scores have slipped since last year, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.