Hilton admits $3M hole due to web error

Online consumer insight specialist Speed-Trap claims that it real-time analysis of hilton.co.uk helped the hotel chain close a $3m revenue gap.

The posting of a generic error message during the booking path was prompting customers to abandon the site, Speed-Trap found.

The error message appeared when a particular rate was unavailable on the day requested, rather than suggest alternatives.

Suniel Curtis, online business analysis manager at Hilton Hotels, said: “This error, if it had been left uncorrected, could have led to a potential loss of bookings equating to $3 million per year.”

Speed-Trap’s software helped Hilton identify a number of other issues, although the major discovery was the number of exits when the message appeared.

Malcolm Duckett, vice president of marketing and operations explained that the web analytics business had moved on over the past few years, and that businesses such as Speed-Trap were now able to offer relevant and specific information.

“Unique user and hits data can be used to produce seemingly detailed graphics and charts, but clients are now saying ‘so what?’ The demand is a depth of data capture that can be analysed in real time.”

In the current climate, e-commerce businesses were paying more attention to this enhanced level of analysis. “Online represents a  big opportunity for businesses in all sectors to reduce costs and increase growth,” he said.

“We’ve not seen any drop in our business, in fact, our revenues this January were three times what we achieved  a year ago.”

Other Speed-Trap clients in the travel sector include P&O Ferries and TravelTainment.

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