Internet has radically changed the business environment. Since its inception, Internet has grown into a powerful tool both in doing business and in the social realm. It is true to say that life is not and cannot be the same without Internet as it is today. Internet has had both positive and negative effects in the business environment. For instance, it has greatly improved the efficiency and the effectiveness of business transaction more so in the delivery of both goods and services. However, Internet has its own negative impacts on the business environment. For instance, because of the increased access to information, customers can now shift from one seller to the next with great ease based on the advantages they are likely to reap from the new seller.
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This has tremendously reduced customer loyalty and increased competition among producers. The increased ease in the customers’ access to information has led to pricing transparency. This has restricted companies from increasing prices to increase their profit margins without losing their customers. Competition has also become cutthroat and mostly based on price advantages. This has motivated companies to try their best to make products in the most cost efficient ways in order to remain competitive and relevant. This paper analyzes a scholarly article concerning author’s discoveries, description of the problem and a detailed discussion why it is a scholarly research article.
Central Research Problem
This research seeks to address the effect of the negative impacts of Internet affecting the travel industry. The negative effects include reduced customer loyalty, increased price competitiveness, and increased online pricing transparency. It seeks to achieve this goal by coming up with a strong E-Business strategy whose aim will be to strengthen the relationship between the companies/producers and their end customers.
This is mainly because the stronger the above-named relationship the lesser the chances that the consumer will purchase from another company or supplier. Therefore, this ensures that the companies will perpetually have their customers. Consequently, the company will continually register profits. Customers while purchasing goods and services online direct the research towards developing a conceptual framework that will determine the factors affecting decisions. This is with the aim of applying the findings of this research today in future studies (Wen, 2009).
Theory of Planned Behavior
The researchers found out that attitudes play a very important role in shaping the behavior of the consumer. Attitude is a person’s evaluation of a product or a situation either favorably or unfavorably. The attitude of a consumer towards a travel product will be central in developing the intentions to purchase the product or not. It also includes whether to purchase once or many times. Therefore, creating a positive attitude in the consumer towards a company’s product is a process as vital as selling thousands of units of such a product. This is because a customer’s positive attitude towards a product will ensure customer loyalty. Eventually, this positively affects the company’s profitability (Wen, 2009).
Consumer Trust in E-Commerce
Trust is the belief that one party can count on the other’s word to do something. It is because of the amount of information a party has about the other party. If the consumer has more favorable information about the system than unfavorable information, he is more likely to trust the system. The researchers found out that trust is very effective in reducing doubt/uncertainty in the minds of the consumers about a product. Trust also helps to cement the relationship between the consumers and the travel companies. Therefore, it is critical for the companies to establish different factors that affect trust in the consumer so that they can effectively exploit them to create a strong customer relationship.
Web Site Design Quality
The quality of a web site has three dimensions namely the quality of the system, the quality of information and the quality of service as presented on the travel web site. The scholars found out that a good travel web site should serve the purpose of communicating to the consumer to ensure a strong customer loyalty to the company. It should, and more importantly, have the ability to convince the customers to purchase the company’s products. This way it ensures the company has continued existence (Wen, 2009).
Quality of the System
A web site is an information system whose main purpose is to communicate. Therefore, the web site should be user friendly so that the consumer finds it enjoyable or not tiring to use the web site. This is possible by minimizing the number of steps, procedures, or clicks that one has to follow to achieve his or her intention. It should also be adaptable to the ever-changing environment. A web site should also be readily available in the Internet so that the consumers can access it at their own convenience. It should also have the minimum response time possible. That is, consumers should not have to wait for long before information loads on to the web site once he or she clicks on it.
Quality of Information
A web site is the ultimate tool that travel and hospitality companies can employ to communicate to their consumers and vice versa. Therefore, it is paramount to ensure that the information on the web site is rich and up-to-date. The information that these companies provide on their web sites should be attractive. It should also have the capability of attracting the consumer and creating a positive image of the company and the products it is offering.
It should also have the capability to trigger desire to visit their destination. Additionally, the information should be adequate and specific to every other destination offered by the company such that, by surfing through the web site, the consumer can actually result to a transaction. The quality and quantity of the information provided on a web site is critical in helping the customer make the decision to purchase a product. Therefore, there should not be any compromise when dealing with the quality of information on a company’s website. Failure to ensure the quality of information will result to lost opportunities and market (Wen, 2009).
Quality of Service
Service quality is the comparison between consumer’s expectations and the product a company offers. The researchers discovered that quality service delivery has a critical effect on the attitudes of the consumers and on their behavioral intentions. As a result, this affects their buying decision-making process. Consequently, the effects of quality service delivery trickles down to the company’s Balance Sheet and its Statement of Income. High quality service delivery also provides a competitive edge in a company. This is especially so because of the high levels of pricing transparency. Companies that offer high quality services attract more and more loyal customers.
Customer Satisfaction in E-Commerce
Customer satisfaction is the consumer’s evaluation of their needs and expectations against what the product has to offer. The higher the product meets the needs of the consumer the higher the level of consumer satisfaction. Therefore, travel and hospitality companies should specifically seek to know the needs of every consumer and try as much as possible to meet these needs. They should also try as much as possible to offer personalized services. Customer satisfaction ensures customer loyalty as it leads to initial and repeat purchases.
Reasons Why the Article Is a Scholarly Research
The following reasons indicate that the article is a scholarly research.
- It follows an abstract format. It has an abstract, an introduction, a literature review, a conclusion and references. This is the official format for scholarly writing.
- The publication is for the purpose of education. In other words, it is for students, lecturers, researchers and other academicians.
- The findings of the article are because of in-depth research. The writer cites the various sources from which he has derived his conclusions.
- The author is a professional or expert with significant knowledge of the field of research.
- It employs the use of graphs and table as a means of illustration.
- Its appearance is serious with little color and uniform fonts and font sizes. It also has no advertisements.
The research serves to inform the present and future academicians and businesspersons about the negative effects of the Internet on travel and hospitality sectors. It also seeks to provide solutions to the problems by citing various works carried out in the area of study and offer conclusions on the same. It has achieved this goal by providing an in-depth background and references towards solving the problem at hand. For that reason, it is appropriate to say that the research fits its audience.
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In summary, the article deals with a current problem experienced in the business world. That is, the negative effects of the internet. Its findings are of great use in dealing with the problem today and in future. It provides a background of information and citations that offer different solutions to the problem at hand. Therefore, it can be a reference when dealing with this problem and other related problems. However, it is not entirely conclusive and may not offer permanent solutions to the problem by itself. It is also not thorough enough. That is, it has not exhaustively dealt with the problem.
Wen, I. (2009). Factors Affecting the Online Travel Buying Decision: A Review. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 21(6): 752-765.