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Southwest and Continental Websites Take Top Honors in Latest Study by Keynote of Air Travel Booking Websites – Latest Trends and Success Factors Revealed in Advance of Summer Travel Season

Dépèche transmise le 17 avril 2012 par Business Wire

Southwest and Continental Websites Take Top Honors in Latest Study by Keynote of Air Travel Booking Websites – Latest Trends and Success Factors Revealed in Advance of Summer Travel Season

Southwest and Continental Websites Take Top Honors in Latest Study by Keynote of Air Travel Booking Websites – Latest Trends and Success Factors Revealed in Advance of Summer Travel Season

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote Systems (Nasdaq: KEYN), today announced the results of a new study examining the business and technical effectiveness of air travel booking websites. In the 2012 Air Travel study Southwest took first place for Overall Customer Experience, while in the Technical Quality portion of the study United Continental Holding’s Continental.com site, since rebranded United.com, scored first overall. The entire study is available for immediate purchase. To request more information please visit: http://bit.ly/AirTravelStudy.

“Once again, Southwest has proven that it’s a real high-flier when it comes to online customer satisfaction”

Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are invited to participate in the company’s Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" websites as ranked in the studies. The rankings are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.

For the ‘Customer Experience’ portion of the study, Keynote observed and conducted online interviews with 2,022 online adults as they interacted with the websites of a total of 10 leading air travel booking websites: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Expedia, JetBlue Airways, Orbitz, Southwest Airlines, Travelocity, United Airlines and US Airways. Each study participant had used the Web to research and/or book a flight online and planned to do so again within the next 12 months.

For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, Keynote performed 6,000 total measurements for each site, for a total of 60,000 total measurements, from 12 locations in the U.S. The data was collected every day over a one month period during the websites’ peak period (8:00 AM-Midnight, EST., Monday-Sunday).

Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company’s commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading websites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology.

More Information about the Customer Experience Rankings for Air Travel Booking Websites

For the Customer Experience component of the study, Keynote sent 200 U.S. resident Internet users to each of the 10 air travel websites. The panelists were first asked to spend long enough on the site’s home page to form an impression of the site and gain an understanding of its unique offerings. Next, panelists were asked to complete one of two search tasks: Finding a one-week round-trip itinerary between two named cities in the next two months with dates, times and price they might consider booking, or finding an attractive round-trip itinerary between two cities of the user’s choice from among those supported by the site. After completing this search, panelists were asked to use the site to look for a flight to New York starting from a page they would have seen had they done a keyword search for "flights to New York City" using a search engine such as Google and then clicked on a link for the company’s website on the search results page. Finally, the panelists were asked to proceed through the process of booking the flight they found during the previous task, going as far as possible without actually completing the purchase.

The study revealed that when tested by actual users, Southwest offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience. To achieve the top Overall Customer Experience ranking, Southwest placed first in all of the three indices -- Brand Impact, Conversion Impact and Customer Satisfaction -- that the Overall Customer Experience Index is comprised of. Other key findings include:

  • Ease of Booking is the most important aspect of the customer experience, predicting brand perceptions and conversion;
  • Price Satisfaction, Site Organization, Flight Search Option Satisfaction, Flight Availability, and Visual Appeal are also key drivers for brand and conversion;
  • Southwest, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Continental are the top sites for Conversion, and Customer Satisfaction (along with Delta and JetBlue). (The Continental.com site has since been rebranded United.com).

“Once again, Southwest has proven that it’s a real high-flier when it comes to online customer satisfaction,” said Chris Musto, general manager of the Keynote Competitive Research group at Keynote. “While Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and Orbitz continue to perform well in our air travel study and consistently beat out the other airline sites, Southwest stands out for its ability to delight travelers with the ease of use, value, and what are perceived to be the fun and friendly characteristics of its website.”

More Information about the Technical Quality Rankings in the U.S. Air Travel Booking Websites Study

In addition to evaluating customer experience with actual users, the Keynote study also examined two broad aspects of technical quality: responsiveness and reliability. Responsiveness comprises: high speed response, DSL (midband) response, response time consistency, geographic uniformity and load handling, while reliability is comprised of availability and outages. For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, using measurement computers located in 12 cities across the U.S., Keynote measured a typical transaction of searching for and reserving a flight online. Each measured transaction began at the site’s Home Page then followed the process of searching for flights, selecting a flight, and ending at the reservation page that prompts the user to enter his/her personal information. Based on the thousands of transactions monitored over the course of the study, United Continental Holding’s Continental.com website, since rebranded United.com, ranked first in Overall Technical Quality.

In order to collect the Technical Quality data Keynote used its Transaction Perspective® product, the leading real browser-based service for measuring and monitoring website performance from the end user perspective. With Keynote Transaction Perspective the company examines website performance from multiple geographic locations by simulating users clicking through transactions on a website. Keynote collected approximately 6,000 data points that detailed each of the sites’ technical performance in terms of page responsiveness and reliability.

The study is available for purchase from Keynote and comes with extensive analysis of brand impact, acquisition impact, reliability and responsiveness and the factors that drive sites’ performance in these areas. Clients will receive an executive presentation, extensive back-up charts and illustrations, and online access to all clickstreams, verbatims, question responses and panel facts for all panelists at all sites for all tasks and can download and use this data in their own research. To inquire about a copy view: http://bit.ly/AirTravelStudy.

About Keynote Systems

Keynote® Systems, Inc., (Nasdaq: KEYN) is the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring. Keynote maintains the world’s largest on-demand performance monitoring and testing infrastructure for Web and mobile sites comprised of over 4,000 measurement computers and mobile devices in over 275 locations around the world that enable companies to continuously improve the online and mobile experience. Known as ‘The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™, Keynote offers three market-leading product platforms:

Keynote Perspective® provides on-demand performance monitoring for enterprise Web and mobile sites including online portals, e-commerce sites and B2B sites. Over 2,000 customers rely on Keynote Perspective services to know precisely how their websites, content, and applications perform on actual browsers, networks, and mobile devices.

Keynote DeviceAnywhere™ is an enterprise-class, cloud-based, mobile application lifecycle management (ALM) testing & quality assurance platform. It is used by over 1,000 mobile developers and enterprises to deliver mobile applications, content and services faster while reducing downtime and testing costs.

Keynote SIGOS offers active end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) testing and monitoring solutions for mobile, fixed and VoIP communications. Its SITE and Global Roamer products are used by over 200 network operators, content providers, carriers and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide.

Keynote's 4,000 customers represent top Internet and mobile companies and include American Express, AT&T, Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, Google, Microsoft, SonyEricsson, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Keynote Systems is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at http://www.keynote.com/ or by phone in the U.S. at 1-800-KEYNOTE.

Keynote®, DataPulse®, CustomerScope®, Keynote CE Rankings®, Keynote Customer Experience Rankings®, Perspective®, Keynote Red Alert®, Keynote Traffic Perspective®, Keynote WebEffective®, The Internet Performance Authority®, MyKeynote® , SIGOS®, SITE®, The Mobile & Internet Performance Authority™ and Keynote FlexUse™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Keynote Systems, Inc.

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