Online review sites, smartphone apps, and customer feedback tools are changing the way people travel. In particular, they’re changing the way people research and find information and decide where to go, where to eat, and where to stay.
In this constantly evolving and increasingly competitive industry, hospitality businesses must be more proactive in building out their presence online – not just on their own websites, but across the Web. It’s also critical to be able to scope out the landscape and identify which digital properties and platforms are most relevant to a business and to the audience to which it hopes to reach out.
Yelp and OpenTable powering local discovery
A new study by enterprise research firm Strategy Analytics explores which apps are owned and used most by today’s consumers and travelers. According to the firm’s research, users of online reviews platform Yelp and restaurant reservations service OpenTable exhibit more than 4 times the usage of airline and hotel apps than those without the two apps installed. And for good reason: Yelp and OpenTable are two of the most ubiquitous customer feedback tools at a time when customer feedback – in the form of reviews and ratings – is powering travel and local discovery.
“It is unexpected that such a unique segment emerges by combining the cross-ownership of Yelp and OpenTable,” said Travel Analytics Research Service Director Josh Martin. “The data indicates that even though there may not seem to be a direct link between local apps and long-distance travel, there are clear connections and opportunities for travel companies in the local sphere.”
According to Strategy Analytics’ research, Yelp is ahead of OpenTable in terms of installed base and usage, yet OpenTable, with its transactional model of enabling online reservations (as well as publishing its own restaurant reviews), is more highly correlated with travel apps, such as airline / hotel / online travel agency apps (e.g. Delta). “Perhaps an interest or willingness to use apps to complete a booking,” the reports reads, “is one of the reasons for the strong relationship between OpenTable users and travel app ownership.”
The newly released data from Strategy Analytics should serve as a call for hospitality businesses to more actively engage with users of Yelp and OpenTable. If you’re getting started with your customer experience strategy, make a note to include efforts focused on these two apps. For more resources, check out these recent ReviewTrackers posts: