E-Commerce Times Talkback
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E-commerce is alive and well online. Those who want solid evidence need look no further
than the online travel industry. Rather than focusing on basic survival, the industry is
concentrating on its quest for market share, saturation and profit. But what is it about
the online travel industry that continues to allow it to serve as the poster child for
Online travel is certainly the winner - and by now the largest category of eCommerce ahead of even computers and any of the other much analyzed and ballyhooed retail segments with their spectacular failures.
However, most of the online travel companies are still selling a commission-based commodity such as airline tickets, hotels and car rental as stand-alone products, albeit with a consistent standard of service delivery across the board.
The next step in the evolution towards profitability will come from the online sales of bundled products with a built-in profit margin, i.e. the merchant model. This is where the interactivity of the web will really present a great opportunity as it allows the customer to not only get great information about destinations and their products instantly but allows them to custom-design their own vacation online based on individual choice and get real-time availability and confirmation 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
This convergence of software development, broadband access and interactive information will take online travel to the next level.
Why do you invoke the word "trust" when you talk
about travel agents? Why "trust" the 'net? Why
not trust the person sitting in front of you who
has taken care of you for 15 years? I hate it when travel agents are put-down the way you did it. It's not only rude, but totally unfair. I run an honest business with honest agents.....and
you are telling the masses they can be in control
if they don't use travel agents. I had a retired computer professor here yesterday who said no to
e-tickets because "they (the airlines) use e-tickets for free bumps." Talk about trustworthy?
If you find it necessary to not trust someone, try the airlines......
For some people that is true. However, most people for the near future should/need to consult with a Professional Travel Agent, as for the most part they are a good unbiased source for good information. As good as the online sytems are, compare them to:
Do you re-sole your shoes?
Do you do your own taxes without a CPA?
Do you x-ray and fill cavities own your own?
Most people need the help of professionals.
However, if you do all of the above you are a prime user for online travel.
James R Hampton CTC
Certified Travel Consultant
With Out a Travel Agent you are on your own.