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E-commerce travel industry

Introduction

According to Keith Blois, (2003), lately, increasing numbers of businesses have been using the Internet in their marketing attempts. The Internet is unique because it is both a market and a medium. This means that it can effectively suppose a multi-channel role by offering as a computer-mediated market where buyers and sellers access each other, so that a medium to perform and execute business functions such as marketing, sales, and circulation.

Many e-commerce rules were pioneered by the travel industry. These include the first business-to-business digital information exchange and industry-wide electronic digital market place. This environment provided unprecedented opportunity for businesses research (OR) modeling. Travel agents continue to derive vast amounts of dollars on a yearly basis from these and derivative models. The availability of reliable, low-cost marketing communications via the web isn't only providing new modeling issues within the travel industry, but additionally it is providing similar opportunities in other market sectors [1]. Tourism industry is one of the most competitive industries within the monetary environment. Within industry's restrictions actors have more or less recently and with significantly different patterns of action undertaken efforts to attain an integration of the internet system and its own applications. On this section, we explore the effects of electronic business and its prospect of competitive edge for air travel industry by using Michael Porter's seminar work on industry analysis as a construction.

Website Comparison

www. travel companiesocity. com:

The point in time I visit the Travel city site -the first site offers me the impression that my country, Sultanate of Oman is not there in listed? And I don't like it that my country is not listed here. Relocating to the website with this unfortunate feeling in mind that my country is not posted we just do it to log in to one of the global sites as the saying goes, the nearest country, and the company wants to say way too many things at once to the customers which is something that is difficult to break down for the very first time site visitors. The first-timer is very lost to have the ability to relate to all the features in the web site. Though the local flavor and website link through the neighborhood site helps it is difficult to execute a very high degree of localization of the content to focus on all the sections of the market

www. southwest. com

The look and feel of this site is a lot cleaner than other travel companies website for example in Travel city.

The most important feature that this excellent website it that almost all of the frequently used selections are neatly tucked inside the main menus and just on the movements of the mouse they unfold in to the options. This is a good feature that helps keep up with the clean looks but still does not bargain on the functionality

www. Adrenalin. com

This Polaris group company that is offering the HR software is using the website more for servicing functionalities

The overall construction:

  • Generating demand
  • Ordering
  • Fulfillment
  • Handling payments
  • Service and support
  • Security
  • Community

Regardless which business model travel agents adopt, to reach your goals, travel companies need to understand how the Web and e-commerce influences their business [2]. Travel companies need to build up a standard strategy covering: strategic management, IT infrastructure, design, content, e-commerce systems, marketing and customer support. Travel companies also need to be creative and entrepreneurial. As every businessperson understands however, you is only going to be truly successful if you provide genuine value to your customers and solve issues for them. Since it is noticeable from the above list that it is easy to get around through the website by following the links. It's user-friendly and the house site of the airlines provides glance of the assistance provided by them and the beautiful destinations and the actions which is often performed. It also provides information about the hotels and resorts in each destination. All the record or equipments requirement of all the situations is also pointed out in the website e. g. when going with pet, journeying with children, baggage guidelines etc. Over all it offers every possible information to the people they might need to make their travel plan and throughout their stay at various areas.

Sources of Competitive Edge

Travel companies do conform to those that Porter describes: Cost Authority, Differentiation and Concentrate. The proposition is that travel companies that can effectively work in another of these areas will be able to establish and preserve a competitive edge.

Cost Leadership

Travel companies can generate significant cost benefits by sending seat tickets, newsletters, quotes, and other documents via Internet, somewhat than by post or facsimile. Travel agents can use Site to create - in a cost-effective way - public website documents such as twelve-monthly studies, product brochures, positions vacant, contact details and other important Travel companies' information. Travel agents can save well on the price tag on jogging "bricks and mortar" retailers and can reach global market segments and never have to develop a physical global syndication network. Most importantly, Travel companies can save well on customer support costs by permitting customers to serve themselves.

One of the American Travel companies CEO said that the Web site is playing a significant role in mitigating the surge in unit costs afflicted by high fuel prices. It's 10 times cheaper to provide to customers through the web service than by way of a travel company's agent and costs 5 times less than using travel companies's own reservation staff. The booking cost per passenger online is well under $1, and it is scaling down even more. He said Internet use by travellers was supporting the carrier keep fares at low discount levels [4].

Massive investment in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) information systems is expected to result in important cost savings in procurement, sales, billing and other support activities. The travel companies's totally automatic buying system, for example, should reduce order handling costs by 90%. [5].

Differentiation

E-ticketing the problem of a booking code at the conclusion online change that replaces the traditional travel companies' ticket. E-ticketing seems to be a 'win-win' solution for the travel companies business. It provides the travel agents the chance to make considerable personal savings in both trade terms as well as in invoicing and inner accountancy procedures. Additionally, it helps to combat the downward income spiral that has afflicted the industry for a long time. Secondly, it's very attractive to customers, who may benefit from a service offer both technologically advanced and of high intrinsic value.

Emphasis

The travel industry offers us a perfect exemplory case of successful Concentration strategies - this is the so-called "Integrated Providers" of the travel business. FedEx, the included cargo carrier, was the pioneer. Having developed a very efficient and totally computerized system for tracking individual parcels everywhere on its network it got the next logical step. In 1994, through its website, it allowed its customers to reserve and purchase its services without limitation via the Internet [6].

The e-Commerce infrastructure developed by travel agents allows collection and central safe-keeping of sales and marketing data. Travel agents use this data to drive decision support tools for planning and marketing.

THE BUSINESS ENTERPRISE Theories and concepts:

The old pillars and new meanings

The Laudon and Traver framework 2005 is very elaborate explaining different pillars which may have contributed to the introduction of the E-Commerce construction.

This framework at the very top of the list has E-Commerce application you can use for the introduction of businesses in the foreseeable future. These applications may appear first like out of any science fiction book but are indeed realities.

The disintermediation and Reintermediation:

The travel companies for example it was believed that will eventually lose their careers when more folks are interested on online business but interestingly the use of these web-enabled features have only increased the use and conveniences of these businesses.

For example two of the three websites that contain been adopted for examination by our group are Travel websites. These are supposed to wipe out the businesses of the intermediary called the travel agent but interestingly, these have put into the convenience of the travel agent hence creating a new intermediary.

The Grover V and J Teng (2001) model of the infomediaries and information circulation model provides more clear idea about the various channels that carry information between your clients/sellers and the infomediaries.

The Designs:

Hence the themes that emerged up to us were the B2C models and we were considering looking specifically at the travel related websites. There is one website travel that people cannot get an authorization for but the group was pleased to consider the business model of B2C

B2C:

The group was of an extremely uniform judgment that web sites need to be B2B only since some of the data that was discussed were like $ 250 billion earnings in 2005 from B2B as against 6. 3 trillion in B2C. Although difference is huge the group came up to a strong consensus that the gap will be bridged and it will be worth seeking with all the hopes for new business models in the future happening in the B2C portion as opposed to the B2C section.

The loss of life of the Physical travel agent or the concentrate on creation of new intermediaries

Considering the new intermediaries that are being changed due to e-business it is was talked about if web sites will clean away the travel agent.

But the conversation pointed in the direction of all websites have been playing a supportive tasks in the B2C entry and the travel agent themselves are employing these websites to help customers and present them an improved service.

The Adrenalin. com website that offers software has been using the site to reach away to the resellers as well. In the business where there is a very high connection on the internet, this is a unique feature that company is using it build customer loyalty as well as expand the route of circulation.

The criteria for evaluating the websites:

 

Adrenalin

South West

Travelocity

Site Design

6

8

6

Navigation

6

8

6

Customer Interface

9

7

7

Business Model

8

7

6

Criteria

Explanation

Navigation

Is it possible for people to find their way around the site?

 

Does the website adhere to three click rule?

Consistency

Are design elements, especially appear and feel, consistent from site to page?

 

Will the website and contents appear the same on all guests' displays?

Performance

How long does it take for the page to appear?

 

Doest site comply with the 12-second guideline? Using the 4-second guideline?

Appearance

Is the site aesthetically pleasing?

 

Does the site's appear and feel express the business's desired image?

 

Is the site readable, easy to get around and easy to understand?

Quality Assurance

Do the site calculators, navigation links, guests' registration process, search tool etc. wok properly?

 

Are all the deceased links fixed rapidly?

 

Is the site available for the full service 24 hours per day, 7 days a week?

Interactivity

Does site encourage visitors to play an active role in studying the business's products?

 

Are all appropriate contact details available on the Website so that guests can submit reviews and have questions?

Security

Is the client information guarded?

 

Does the client feel safe in actions such as submitting credit card information?

Scalability

Does the website design give a seamless route for improvements or upgrades in the future?

 

Will site development and increased use protect the initial investment in the site construction?

The Criteria for examination were decided on after deliberations about how the client will view the details of the site. The conditions customer user interface was included to assess the way the company was documenting the facts of the client traffic and recording them in to usable data source.

In the situation of Southwest it was very clear that the website is a place for building the commitment programs of the airlines. The Adrenalin website is a good place using its feature of blog, for many troubleshooting and specialized whitepapers

How SITE Visitors Evaluate "Content"

Criteria (and related "subcriteria")

Explanation

Relevance (relevant, related, clear)

Concerned with issues such as relevancy, clearness and "goodness" of the information

Timeliness (current, consistently updated)

Concerned with the money of the information

Reliability (believable, exact, steady)

Concerned with the degree of accuracy, dependability and steadiness of information

Scope (sufficient, complete, protects a wide range, detailed)

Evaluates the degree of information, selection of information and degrees of details provided by the web page.

Perceived usefulness (informative, valuable, instrumental)

Visitors' examination of the chance that the information will enhance their purchasing decision

How SITE Site visitors Evaluate "Web Site Design"

Criteria (and related "subcriteria")

Explanation

Access (responsive, load quickly)

Refers to the speed of access and the option of the website at all times.

Usability (simple layout, easy to use, well organized, aesthetically attractive, fun, clear design)

Concerned with the scope to that your website is aesthetically appealing, consistent, fun and easy to use.

Navigation

Evaluates the links to needed information.

Interactivity (customized product, search engine, ability to make a set of items, change the list of items and discover related items)

Evaluates the search engine and personal features (e. g. - shopping cart) of the website.

Recommendation:

Website should become more informative. It should be easy to find their way through various web pages even for the new online users. Because the Travel Agency is providing lot of products because of its customers so must have "Search" function must have drop down menu so that even the client who aren't aware of all products and services of the Travel Organization can get information about it. May be it can help the Travel Company to have more customers as sometime customers are not aware about all the merchandise offered by the Travel Agency.

As it is clear from the financial article of Travel Organization which is available on website that the latest statement is not available i. e. for third quarter. So that it should be taken care that the website is up to date regularly.

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