Case Study: La Quinta increases Online Revenues by 83%

Situation Overview

La Quinta is a limited service hotel chain with over 370 properties in 33 states. The process of online bookings has become increasingly important to La Quinta as the availability of the Internet has grown. Additionally, customer loyalty to the company’s Web site, LQ.com, is a key component of La Quinta’s profitability.

With ever-increasing importance placed on online bookings and brand loyalty, La Quinta’s Web site management team needed to better understand the behavior of their site visitors and identify opportunities to increase brand loyalty and online bookings. La Quinta retained the services of Usability Sciences to perform a website assessment. Together Usability Sciences and La Quinta established the primary goals as follows:

  • Determine who is visiting the Web site
  • Establish primary visitor intent
  • Establish site awareness
  • Measure site visitor success and satisfaction
  • Measure brand affinity
  • Measure likelihood to return
  • Capture visitor-suggested changes to the Web site
  • Improve each site visitor’s experience

Usability Sciences’ Solution

Usability Sciences recommended Attitudinal Analytics, a WebIQ-powered service, be deployed to capture meaningful user experience information from LQ.com site visitors. La Quinta and Usability Sciences collaborated to develop an entry/exit paired WebIQ-based survey, which collected visitor demographics, visit intent, what drove visitors to the site, visit success, brand affinity, and next intended action. The project was implemented over the course of 30 days. One out of every three site visitors was invited to participate in the project, resulting in 885 collected responses.

At the completion of data collection, Usability Sciences’ analysis team performed a comprehensive examination of the data, segmenting responses by user type, satisfaction with the site, visit intent and visit success.

Usability Sciences’ analysis team recommended 17 actionable changes to the website to increase visitor success. For example, for first time visitors, there was a significant gap in the “likelihood-to-return” between Successful and Unsuccessful first-time visitors. The study helped to identify an opportunity to improve conversion rates by addressing the issues raised by these visitors, such as:

  • A segment of the active customer base (Returns members) did not have an online option for obtaining online account access. Therefore, a visitor who became a Returns member offline didn’t have a method to obtain online account information.
  • A major issue stemmed from visitors having to reselect their date and preferences each time they wished to view a hotel rate. The site did not remember visitors’ previously entered preferences.
  • One of the most frequent visitor comments was the desire to have more pictures of the hotel included in the details of a property.

Results

La Quinta implemented the changes recommended by Usability Sciences along with other site enhancements in phases over the ensuing eight months. Attitudinal Analytics was then initiated on the site again, with the objective of measuring the impact of the site enhancements. The same question set was employed with an invitation rate of 1 in 8 to generate 933 responses.

Analysis of the data collected during the second run of Attitudinal Analytics demonstrated substantial improvement in results. Most important to La Quinta was the year over year revenue growth of 83% compared to branded web site growth within the industry of 33% for the same time period. Every metric of success and satisfaction on LQ.com was raised considerably.

La Quinta Revenue Increase ChartThe most significant user experience changes to the site for La Quinta were:

  • Success improved by 48%
  • Satisfaction improved by 28%
  • Likelihood to Return experienced a 17% improvement
  • Conversion experienced a 15% improvement
  • Retention improved by 14%
  • Brand Affinity experienced a 50% improvement

La Quinta Percentage Chart

Ongoing Analysis

Attitudinal Analytics is an integral part of La Quinta’s continuous website enhancement process. Attitudinal Analytics operates on a continuous basis on LQ.com and provides insight into key problems. It helps La Quinta prioritize website improvement efforts and measures the impact of those improvements. The process of measuring, understanding problems, making improvements and then measuring the impact of changes is the foundation of improving site visitor success and conversion.

About Usability Sciences

Usability Sciences provides clients with insight and resolution to problems users have with their websites, software, or technology products. We gather insight through analysis of the user experience. We deliver resolution based on nearly 20 years of experience in helping clients improve the performance of their products. We employ a combination of technologies, methodologies and skill sets and have solved usability problems for clients in every kind of industry, in every part of the world. For more information please Contact Us or call us at 972-550-1599.

About La Quinta Corporation

LQ Management L.L.C. is one of the largest operators of limited-service hotels in the United States. Based in Dallas, Texas, the Company operates and provides franchise services to more than 500 hotels in 41 states and Canada under the La Quinta Inns and La Quinta Inn & Suites brands. For reservations or more information about La Quinta, please visit www.LQ.com.

 

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