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E-commerce in the hospitality industry: Uncertainty under COVID-19 (by Vivian Tan)


How E-commerce helps Hospitality Industry?

 

E-commerce (also known as electronic commerce) is any type of business transaction that interacts with consumers through the internet. It helps consumers to purchase or sell a product/ service through an online source. When the world evolves with new things and with new technologies, the hospitality industry must follow up with the trends that are happening in the world. The reason is to satisfy customers’ needs, wants, and expectations when they are staying in a hotel or on the road. E-commerce has changed how hospitality companies attract tourists and how tourists choose where they will stay for a trip.

 

In the hospitality industry, e-commerce includes customers booking a hotel room, an airline ticket, and searching for places to visit. Consumers can use their electronic devices such as smartphones and computers to find deals and other information related to a trip. The hospitality companies need to create attractive websites to encourage consumers to book a room or buy an airline ticket from them. It is also important for businesses to create a unique, friendly, attractive, and an easy-to-navigate website. 


Many customers, however, are concerned about the safety of their personal information. It becomes critical for hospitality companies to make sure their websites are safe and secured.

 

Through e-commerce websites, businesses collect data from their customers, including what the customers like or dislike. Such information helps the business further improve their websites in the future. E-commerce helps hospitality businesses reduce costs on operation supplies and allows them to reach out to local and international customers. 

 

According to Hospitality Marketing Management 6th edition David C. Bojanic, Robert D. Reid, consumers often use e-commerce to purchase airline tickets or book a room. They usually receive their confirmation about their order information immediately in their emails.

 

E-commerce sites within the Hospitality Industry

 

There are many e-commerce websites within the hospitality industry. The most popular ones might be Expedia.com and TripAdvisor. Consumers that visit Expedia.com and TripAdvisor websites, for example, can easily search for things to do, restaurants, flights, car rentals, cruises, and hotels at places that they are going to visit. On Expedia.com, it includes recommendations of places to visit on the next trip. Customers can choose their native language if they do not understand English. I believe this is the best way to reach out to international customers.

 

TripAdvisor does not provide consumers the option to change the language. It will be hard for international tourists to navigate on TripAdvisor if he/she does not understand English, needless to mention room or flight reservations. Nevertheless, TripAdvisor provides local recommendations to consumers. 


E-commerce sites help customers find what they want, save time and money, and it is convenient. Travelers can pay for their flights or hotel rooms through e-commerce websites without waiting in line or calling to book a flight or room. There are many more e-commerce sites available for consumers. Customers will most likely find all the information they need on e-commerce websites.

 

For myself, I usually visit an e-commerce site, such as Expedia.com, to book a hotel room. There are many choices at a great price. E-commerce sites also provide good information about what things I can do at a destination. I think that is a very convenient and great way to attract customers as now many people have access to the internet. Many people will likely search for information about the place they are planning to visit beforehand.

 

·       Do you think e-commerce sites are as effective as before now that we are facing the pandemic?

·       What other recommendations would you make for e-commerce sites to stay current and relevant to the customers? 

 

About the author

 

Vivian Tan was born and raised in Mexicali, Baja California. She moved to the United States back in 2013 when she was a teenager. In addition to English, she speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese fluently, as well as Spanish. She is currently a second-year student at the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona with a focus on lodging operations. She has a passion for helping others and making people feel comfortable around her. She aims to become a hotel manager in operations soon.


Vivian Tan @ Collins College of Hospitality Management


Citation

 

·       Bojanic, D. C. (2018). Hospitality marketing management. Brantford, Ontario: W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library.

·       Expedia Travel: Search Hotels, Cheap Flights, Car Rentals & Vacations. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://www.expedia.com/ 

·       Read Reviews, Compare Prices & Book. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://www.tripadvisor.com/

·       Smirnov, A. (2011, December 6). E-Commerce for the Hospitality Industry. Retrieved from https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2011/12/06/e-commerce-for-the-hospitality-industry-a11256

·       Yiga, P. (2017, January 6). Impact of E-Commerce On The Hospitality Industry. Retrieved from https://www.yosaki.com/impact-of-e-commerce-on-the-hospitality-industry/

Picture Source: https://www.timpeter.com/2015/05/26/are-hotel-brands-doomed/

 

 

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