Better responses to online feedback could add £3.2bn to the economy

30 May 2016

Online feedback could have a revolutionary effect on the UK’s hospitality sector, letting it contribute a further £3.2bn to the economy, a report by Barclays has claimed.

Improvements in how the sector manages and responds to online feedback could enable restaurants to better cater to demand and could generate £2bn within the sector and a further £1.2bn for the supply chain.

Barclays Feedback Economy surveyed more than 2,000 customers and 541 businesses to assess the impact of review sites on consumer behaviour and the industry.

Putting processes in place to manage customer feedback better would create a more responsive sector, attracting more overseas tourists and encouraging domestic visitors to stay longer and spend more.

“These faster, easier and simpler feedback mechanisms are a good thing for the industry – resulting in more agile businesses better able to serve the evolving needs of consumers,” said Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays.

The report said 59 per cent of UK consumers responded that reading other people’s reviews played an important role in helping them decide where to visit or stay. Amongst 25-34 year olds the figure rises to 70 per cent.

In the hospitality industry, 82 per cent of respondents say that feedback has been beneficial for their business, while 68 per cent think it has been beneficial for the sector as a whole. Benefits from online feedback include more repeat business (63 per cent) or the identification of issues within the business (61 per cent), respondents said.

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