Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't shop for travel at work

Date:
March 26, 2014
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
It is probably not a good idea to shop for leisure travel from the office during business hours, according to a new study. Using data from a major online hotel reservation site, the study examined the quality of the hotel that consumers chose for their vacations and subsequently how satisfied they were with their stay. They found that consumers who traveled farther and made reservations during business hours were more likely to select higher quality hotels but were less satisfied after their stay. More than 35 percent of those studied made purchases during business hours.

It is probably not a good idea to shop for leisure travel from the office during business hours, according to a new study from Rice University and Iowa State University.

Using data from a major online hotel reservation site, the study examined the quality of the hotel that consumers chose for their vacations and subsequently how satisfied they were with their stay. They found that consumers who traveled farther and made reservations during business hours were more likely to select higher quality hotels but were less satisfied after their stay. More than 35 percent of those studied made purchases during business hours.

"We were interested in understanding when people make more expensive purchases and their satisfaction afterward," said Ajay Kalra, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Marketing at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business. He co-authored the paper with Wei Zhang, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State's College of Business. The paper will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

The study is timely as Americans begin planning for summer vacation travel and important because of the magnitude of the United States' leisure travel industry, the paper's authors said. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the industry in 2012 generated direct spending of $597 billion and an estimated economic output of $2 trillion.

In their study, the researchers identified three circumstantial variables at the time of purchase that were likely to impact both the hotel choice as well as postpurchase satisfaction: the time between purchase and the hotel stay; the distance between the city from where the reservation was made and the city where the hotel is located; and time of purchase (business or nonbusiness hours). They then incorporated these three circumstantial variables into an econometric model.

The study consisted of a random sample of 4,582 consumers who made hotel reservations between January 2008 and October 2009. All the consumers who were studied paid for their hotel stay at the time of reservation.

The researchers found that consumers who traveled farther and made reservations during business hours were more likely to select higher quality hotels but were less satisfied than those people who stayed at the same hotel, but traveled less, and people who booked during nonbusiness hours.

"We speculate that occurs because people are either more fatigued at work and tend to buy more expensive items or that vacations seem more appealing while people are at work," Kalra said. "This kind of preliminary data indicates that people should not be making purchases when they are working."

The authors also found that consumers who book and pay earlier are more likely to select higher quality hotels and are more satisfied than those who wait till the last minute. "So the reasoning, not originally ours, is that if you pay earlier, the 'pain-of-paying' -- which is the pain you feel when paying for something -- diminishes with time, leaving people happier during their vacation," Kalra said. "This tells us that people will enjoy the vacation more if they pay before."

In addition, if the service in the hotel is bad, then the pain felt at the point of purchasing probably comes back, making people less satisfied, the authors found.

"Our findings suggest that looking at such circumstantial variables is very useful for product managers to understand and predict choices and satisfaction assessments," Kalra said. "These variables should help firms to increase their understanding of consumer decision-making and develop better marketing strategies." The findings should also help consumers by understanding the factors that impact their decisions, like the timing of purchase, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wei Zhang, Ajay Kalra. Joint Examination of Quality Choice and Satisfaction: The Impact of Circumstantial Variables. Journal of Marketing Research, 2014; 140306084400000 DOI: 10.1509/jmr.12.0139

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Don't shop for travel at work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326142216.htm>.
Rice University. (2014, March 26). Don't shop for travel at work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326142216.htm
Rice University. "Don't shop for travel at work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326142216.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins