SOURCE: iPerceptions Inc.

August 18, 2008 10:07 ET

As Gas Prices Rise, Customer Satisfaction Falls on Automotive and Travel Web Sites

User-Generated Feedback Collected by iPerceptions Over the Last 12 Months Shows Record Low in Satisfaction for June 2008; Hotel Bookings Plummet 26% During the First Half of the Year

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 18, 2008) - iPerceptions Inc. (TSX-V: IPE), a leading provider of web-focused Voice of Customer analytics, announced today that customer satisfaction with automotive and travel web sites hit a 12-month low in June 2008 as prices at the pump climbed to over $4.11 per gallon nationwide. According to the iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI), customer satisfaction declined from 7.54 to 7.30 on a 10-point scale between June 2007 and June 2008. Customer dissatisfaction was also pronounced on travel web sites, where satisfaction levels fell from 7.12 to 7.00 in the past 6 months.

The drop in customer satisfaction was accompanied by a sharp reduction in hotel bookings as consumers scaled back travel plans. The average number of nights spent in a hotel each year by leisure travelers plummeted 28% between January and June 2008 from 14.7 to 10.6, and business travelers slashed their hotel stays per year by 25% from 31.4 to 23.6 over this same period.

Online consumers overwhelmingly cited budget concerns and dissatisfaction with gas prices when asked for feedback during their online experience. "I find it unbelievable with the price of gas and the economy in the shape it is in that you are not making exceptions to your two night minimum stay," stated one visitor to a well-known hotel site. "Not the prices I was looking for," said another. "In a day and age where traveling is getting harder and harder to do because of gas prices, irrelevantly high priced hotel rooms just isn't part of the plan anymore."

"Feedback from millions of visitors collected over the past year demonstrates a clear negative correlation between gas prices and customer satisfaction on automotive and travel web sites," said Jonathan Levitt, vice president of marketing at iPerceptions. "As the price at the pump has spiked, consumers are venting their frustrations online. And it isn't just that satisfaction is hurting -- measurable business outcomes are falling as well. In an environment like this, it's critical that marketers tune into changing consumer sentiment in order to pinpoint opportunities to make small changes that can positively impact customer satisfaction, conversion and sales."

About the iPerceptions Satisfaction (iPSI) Index

The iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI) is derived from 60 million satisfaction and experience datapoints obtained from over four million actual website visitors in the context of their actual site visits. The iPSI covers ten verticals, including automotive, travel, and e-commerce. Based on research from Dr. Antonio Ciampi of McGill University, the iPSI features a perceptual framework to isolate and evaluate key elements of the visitor experience and predictive algorithms and modeling to uncover the attributes with the greatest impact on satisfaction. As a result, the iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI) delivers the clearest and most accurate understanding of the key issues impacting satisfaction, intent, task completion and customer loyalty.

About iPerceptions

iPerceptions is one of North America's leading web-focused Voice of Customer analytics providers. Its webValidator Continuous Listening solution and Proprietary iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI), turn thousands of data points into easy-to-understand strategic and tactical decision support for website marketers. iPerceptions' clients include such well-known brands as InterContinental Hotels, General Motors, Dell Computers, Hyundai, LG Electronics, Toshiba, Choice Hotels International, BMW and Monster Worldwide. iPerceptions has offices in New York, Toronto, Montreal and London, UK.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Media information:
    Emily Brady
    Brady Public Relations
    Tel: 415-606-9350
    Email Contact

    Investor information:
    Jerry Tarasofsky
    Chief Executive Officer
    iPerceptions Inc.
    Tel: 514-488-3600
    Fax: 514-484-2600

    Martin Faucher
    Chief Financial Officer
    iPerceptions Inc.
    Tel : 514-488-3600
    Fax: 514-484-2600