With the increase of internet purchasing recent years, various marketing tactics have been applied onto the shopping webpages. An online hotel booking website, the Booking.com influence consumers’ decision by utilizing different persuasive techniques.
Dickinger and Mazanec (2008) found that consumers are most likely to take recommendations of friend and online reviews as criteria for online hotel booking. These online reviews serve as a tool for word-of-mouth. Consumers evaluate a hotel usually based upon reviews. Those positive feed-backs from customers can potentially affect consumers’ perception and preference of the hotels. It has been proved that a higher costumer rating significantly increases the online sales of hotels (Öğüt & Onur Taş, 2012). Specifically, consumers have a high level of perceptual trust to the positively framed set of reviews which focused on interpersonal services (Sparks & Browning, 2001). Pratkanis (2007) suggests that a trustworthy sources are effective in persuasion. Feed-backs from experienced customers consist both pros and cons of the hotels increase the source credibility. Moreover, the review scores even breakdown into several aspects which make those reviews more preferable. The comprehensive review system maybe one of the major reason why Booking.com is so popular.
Scarcity is another persuasive technique used within the webpage of Booking.com. The ‘limited number’ tactic drive us to pursuit the goods or services. People usually perceive a product in shortage has better quality and value (Cialdini, 2001). The effect of scarcity is stronger under certain situation. Worchel et al. (1975) demonstrated that competition enhance the pursuit of limited resources. In Booking.com, the constant pop out notifying messages drag you into a competition with ‘other consumers’ automatically. As soon as you have chosen a room, the words ‘you just got the best price!’ will appear right under the ‘Book now’ button. Under the competitive situation, with the use of colloquial language styles can urge the consumer to book the hotel. Breuer (2006) proposed that language styles can influence the way we perceive the texts.
The marketing techniques of Booking.com affect consumers’ decision making from the outset and continue through the whole booking process.
Breuer, I (2006). Insight Outcomes English Year 12. Australia: Insight Publications. p31.
Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Influence: Science and practice. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Öğüt, H., & Onur Taş, B. K. (2012). The influence of internet customer reviews on the online sales and prices in hotel industry. The Service Industries Journal, 32(2), 197-214.
Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, 17-82.
Worchel, S., Lee, J., & Adewole, A. (1975). Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32(5), 906.