Developing a hotel mobile website performance evaluation model with application to hotels in Hong Kong

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Developing a hotel mobile website performance evaluation model with application to hotels in Hong Kong

 

Author: Wong, Man Ling
Title: Developing a hotel mobile website performance evaluation model with application to hotels in Hong Kong
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2016
Subject: Mobile commerce.
Hotels -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: x, 262 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2949946
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8850
Abstract: The number of mobile phone users has increased steadily since the first commercial mobile phone entered the market in 1984. In 2014, mobile phone users were estimated at over 4.5 billion worldwide, and within these numbers, 2.23 billion mobile users were using mobile Internet and 1.75 billion mobile users were using a smartphone (eMarketer, 2014). The mobilizing and accessibility functions of smartphone enable users to access the Internet anywhere at any time. Moreover, these functions provide an opportunity for the hotel industry to communicate and provide personalized services to customers (Ngai & Gunasekaran, 2007). In response to the overwhelming number of smartphone users, hotels have expanded their Internet marketing campaign to mobile devices and developed mobile apps and mobile websites to communicate, promote, sell, and offer services to customers (Fossel, 2013; Hotelmarketing, 2013). Research on the application of mobile technology in the hotel industry is still in its nascent stage. Most mobile technology literature in the hotel industry has focused on investigating mobile apps, and research that investigates mobile websites remains scarce. Mobile websites serve as important sources for smartphone users who are seeking information or making purchasing decisions (Nielsen, 2013). A well-designed and managed mobile website is required to satisfy customer needs, whereas a poorly managed mobile website can make users feel frustrated and dissatisfied (Kim & Hwang, 2012). However, no mobile website evaluation model has been developed specifically for the hotel industry, and no study has investigated user requirements for hotel mobile websites. Hotels cannot develop an effective and efficient mobile website to satisfy the needs of users, create a favorable experience for them, and influence their intention to purchase via mobile websites without understanding their needs with regard to mobile websites. To fill in this research gap in mobile technology literature, this study applied qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect primary data to develop a comprehensive mobile website performance evaluation model for the hotel industry. This model comprised usability and functionality dimensions identified from existing literature on mobile website and hotel website evaluation. All the identified dimensions and attributes were validated by a group of hotel suppliers, information technology experts, hotel mobile website users, and smartphone users. The 47 attributes and seven dimensions were rated by 456 hotel mobile website users to determine their importance. The weighting score of each dimension and attribute were analysed using a numerical computation method. The developed model was applied to evaluate the performances of 88 Hong Kong hotel mobile websites. The performances were then compared according to the star rating and brand affiliation of the hotels.
The findings indicated that users preferred an easy-to-use mobile website design and structure as well as simple information on hotel mobile websites. Moreover, users perceived all functionality dimensions as important, and thus, an excellent hotel mobile website should present simple information but should also allow users access to detailed information if necessary. Furthermore, the study found that the average performance of Hong Kong hotel mobile websites was neutral, and that the evaluated websites tended to have better usability performance than functionality performance. This result indicated the lack of awareness of hotel managers on user requirements with regard to information and services on mobile websites, and thus, the performance of such websites should be improved further. Moreover, the findings indicated that star rating and brand affiliation were not directly associated with the usability performance of hotel mobile websites, but organization size influenced the user-perceived usability performance of the websites. The model presented in this study fills in the research gap in mobile website literature by adding functionality dimensions and associated usability attributes. This model can be used to investigate further the relationship between hotel mobile website performance and consumer behavior, which extends knowledge in hotel mobile marketing. Moreover, the developed model comprises both functionality and usability dimensions and attributes. It can accurately reflect hotel mobile website performance, and scholars can use it to examine further the effect of different mobile website development technologies on user-perceived performance. Consequently, accurate knowledge on mobile website development and evaluation literature will be generated. The findings presented in this study benefit hotel industry. Hotel management can compare their mobile website performance with those of other hotels and improve their mobile website to maintain competitiveness. In addition, the constructed model can be used as a guide by hotel managers in developing a mobile website that satisfies the needs of users.

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