E-commerce involves transaction of business digitally via the internet between two parties. E-commerce has eight unique features. First, e-commerce is ubiquitous. Therefore, one can transact business anywhere and anytime provided he/she has access to the internet. In the case of travel industry, travelers can now obtain airline travel tickets without having to visit travel agencies. Second, e-commerce has global reach. Thus, a firm can have customers all over the globe. In the case of travel industry, one can rent a car in another country days before flying to that country.
Third, e-commerce has universal standards. This implies that market entry costs are drastically reduced since business is no longer restricted to country social and cultural aspects of the host country. In the case of travel industry consumers can network with others from different parts through networking to access best travel services. Fourth, e-commerce is rich in information. It makes information readily available to both consumers and businesses. Thus, consumers in travel industry can access information on available travel agencies and the quality of such services.
Fifth, e-commerce is characterized by interactivity. The fact that internet is ubiquitous implies that businesses can interact with anyone around the globe without being physically at the same place. Thus, travel agencies can seek opinions of their customers easily and cheaply in order to make necessary adjustments.
E-commerce is also characterized by high density of information which can be easily accessed. Thus, information can be transmitted in real time at low cost. Therefore, due to cost transparencies, consumers can easily know travel firms which offer best services at competitive prices.
E-commerce is also unique because it allows personalization and customization of marketing. E-commerce allows consumers to customize and personalize their webs in accordance to their likes and dislikes. Thus, travel firms can easily disseminate targeted information to relevant consumers in need of travel services.
Finally, e-commerce is a social technology. The internet has led to evolution of social networking. Thus, social networks such as Facebook are leveraging marketing. Travel consumers can network and share their travel experiences with different firms. Thus, firms which offer quality services benefit from e-commerce.