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Managing the Smiley Face Scale Used by Booking.com in an Ordinal Way
Universidad de Valladolid, PRESAD Research Group, IMUVA, Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Valladolid, Spain
Universidad de Valladolid, PRESAD Research Group, BORDA Research Unit, IMUVA, Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Valladolid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(2), 128-139; https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-18762021000200109 (registering DOI)
Received: 7 March 2020 / Revised: 1 July 2020 / Accepted: 24 July 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
User reviews are a new source of information in the hospitality and tourism sector. Usually, these reviews contain comments of users and assessments expressed through ordered qualitative scales. The website Booking.com uses a smiley face scale to ask users the degree of satisfaction regarding several aspects of accommodations. The scoring system of the website assigns numerical values to each item of the smiley face scale. However, when users perceive different proximities between pairs of items of an ordered qualitative scale, these numerical codifications are because they may misrepresent the original ordinal information. In this paper, we analyze the drawbacks and limitations of the scoring system of Booking.com and we manage its smiley face scale through a purely ordinal procedure. This procedure avoids assigning numerical codifications to items of scales and it takes into account how users perceive the proximities between pairs of items. The findings show the importance of considering how users understand qualitative scales when they face subjective assessments through ordered qualitative scales.
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