Unveiling the role of information levels in consumers’ evaluative process on opaque-selling hotel websites

Hsiangting Shatina Chen, Tun Min (Catherine) Jai, Jingxue Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how the levels of perceived information influence consumers’ purchase evaluations and intentions when making hotel reservations on an opaque-selling travel website. Because of the uniqueness of the opaque-selling model, consumers must book a hotel room without knowing the hotel’s identity. Thus, consumers’ decision-making process is intricate and substantially influenced by the limited information provided by the websites. Design/methodology/approach: This study used an experimental design approach that used promotional and preventative messages to manipulate the information levels. In total, 402 completed questionnaires were collected and analyzed by using quantitative research method. Findings: The results indicated that perceived risks and perceived benefits lead toward different paths in regard to purchase intentions and information inquiries. To make a final booking decision, consumers have to go through a “debating” process, which involves assessing the overall value of the hotel deal claimed on the website. Practical implications: To reduce consumers’ perceived risks and increase the likelihood of purchasing, opaque-selling websites should cautiously choose what information is displayed on their websites and also improve communications and interactions with the consumers. Originality/value: This study contributes to the limited literature on information levels and its role in consumer’s evaluative process in the context of opaque-selling travel websites. In addition, this study has presented insights into opaque-buying behavior so that hotel manager may develop more appropriate pricing strategies for their target customer group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2158
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Consumer behavior
  • Hotel bookings
  • Online travel agency
  • Opaque-selling travel websites

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