Booking a hotel online involves two major stages, namely, browsing and deliberation (followed by booking a hotel). A study that tracked 32 individuals’ eye movements as they worked on selecting a hotel to book found that during browsing, consumers quickly glance at many hotels (sometimes scrolling but often just taking the first screen) as they check the names and prices of available hotels. During this process, consumers apply personal heuristics to identify hotels that warrant further scrutiny. During the deliberation phase, consumers review more detailed information for the consideration set—usually no more than about seven properties—from which a purchase decision is made. During the browsing stage, consumers fixate primarily on firm-supplied information, including hotel name, images, price, and location, in addition to user ratings. Within the consideration set, consumers fixate most on images, closely followed by firm-provided descriptions. They also fixate on price and room offers, as well as user-generated ratings and reviews.
Noone, B., & Robson, S. K. A. (2014). Using eye tracking to obtain a deeper understanding of what drives online hotel choice [Electronic article]. Cornell Hospitality Report, 14(18), 6-16.