Price, reviews and ratings: How consumers evaluate a hotel room purchase in a social world
While the unstructured text data (reviews) is more difficult to access and analyze, it is essential in understanding consumer buying behavior, and will ultimately be key in pricing and positioning strategies.
NB: This is a viewpoint from Kelly McGuire, PhD, Executive Director of the Hospitality and Travel Global Practice for SAS, and Breffni Noone, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University School of Hospitality Management.
Most industry insiders agree that social media impacts consumer buying behavior, particularly reviews (text descriptions of a hotel experience) and ratings (aggregated score based on individual consumers’ scores).
However, exactly which form of user generated content (UGC) influences consumer buying behavior, the degree to which it influences the decision making process, and how it interacts with the price of the hotel room has been the subject of much debate.