Elements of personalisation are creeping into online travel sites as demonstrated by a recent study by eDigitalResearch.
The eTravel Benchmark looks at the digital travel experience across a number of criteria including first impressions, search, booking process and design and usability.
Booking.com emerged came top of the research for the fifth time running for its performance across all channels (desktop, mobile and mobile application).
In second place was Thomson which came out favourably for its content sections and Hotels.com was third.
However, budget chain Premier Inn was equalled booking.com when it came to the mobile web experience and Expedia saw off other competition for its app experience.
And, a number of brands including Premier Inn, IHG and British Airways, are seeing satisfaction with the mobile experience overtake the desktop equivalent.
Personalisation features in the study for the first time with three-out-of-five of booking.com's users aware of the content being personalised to them.
According to the survey, 'personalised digital experiences' (e.g. saved searches) are a growing trend although most consumers aren't really aware yet that content is personalised with only 20% recognising those features.
It's a difficult balance to strike - overt personalisation might seem creepy and put a lot of people off while more subtle features might go unnoticed but probably impact the bottom line.
A number of hotel chains and other travel businesses are seeing success with personalisation strategies however with CitizenM commercial chief Lennert de Yong recently advising the industry not to ignore customer data.
Google head of travel Anna Sawbridge also laid out the search giant's framework for user experience at a recent event, stressing how different customers come to websites and apps with different needs.
See below for graphs of the eTravel Benchmark survey while the full study can be downloaded here.
NB: People image via Shutterstock.