Impact Of E-Commerce On The Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry stands out from many others and this is particularly because it is a very broad industry. All companies whose major aim is customer satisfaction and providing leisure or luxurious needs are classified under the hospitality industry. E-commerce has now become a very important and basic part of people’s lives and since it is the selling and buying of products and services via the internet it has not only impacted on the business industry but the hospitality industry as well. The technological innovations and advancements all over the world today have forced a great change in the hospitality industry and this is exactly what I will be breaking down for you here in this post. The hospitality industry being one of the most essential industries must move together with the evolving world in order to fully satisfy consumers and this has brought an unavoidable combination of E-commerce and hospitality. Well putting all of that aside let us no look at how E-commerce has impacted on the hospitality industry……
E-commerce has created lots of changes on the hospitality industry including both positive and negative ones but here we shall start by looking at the positive ones.
- Connects the hospitality industry with local communities
E-commerce creates quick access to the hospitality industry as it markets the best services so that people don’t have to waste too much time looking for where the best hospitality services are. Hotels, tourists’ attractions and many other hospitality facilities are displayed all over the internet making it easy for tourists from the local communities to access. The hospitality industry is majorly dependant on wildlife and natural scenes which are very easy to advertise through E-commerce and it is the local communities that visit such places therefore e-commerce has become like the middleman in between the two. From a mobile phone or computer it is now very simple for to look up for where they can find the best services which wasn’t the case back in the day.
- Link between the hospitality industry and tourism
There is very tight link between tourism and the hospitality industry because the two are very fast growing and competitive industries and the rise in e-commerce has made the bond between these two industries even stronger. As tourists look for the best places to tour on the internet they are also provided with hospitality facilities such as accommodation (hotels), social functions, foods and cultural attractions among many others that are displayed all over the internet. People who are so much interest in tourism have got the best out of e-commerce because it makes their tours more convenient and a lot simpler unlike the way it was in the early centuries where it was extremely difficult to access the best of the hospitality industry.
- Availability of information
Because of the great increase in people who use machines and gadgets everyone nowadays has the ability to find all the information about the different hospitality services. Of late hotels, lodges, and other such companies avail their most recent data bases as well as information concerning their rates on the internet therefore before tourists and other rich people that enjoy luxury plan a travel they will have all the necessary information as provided by the companies. Most of the companies that deal in hospitality services now allow customers to have their places of stay booked earlier, they make the payments online and have all of the details including where to find tickets, how they will be welcomed, what is required of them and so much more. With all this information availed there is reduced wastage of time and the whole experience is a lot more effortless.
- Excellence in customer satisfaction
With the help of e-commerce people that use much of these hospitality services can pay make their transactions up front and have whatever facilities they need as soon as they transfer the cash. The internet provides the necessary seller-buyer information, all kinds of currencies so buyers from all over the world will understand perfectly the rate at which they are being offered whichever services they are receiving. Since customers can know whatever they need to know through internet, all extra costs have now been eliminated yet made everything more convenient and thus leading to a really drastic rise customer satisfaction.
- Increase in number of customers
It is very rare to find hospitality services providing basic needs, most of them concentrate on the luxurious ones but even so the number of people ordering for these services has greatly and this all through the internet which has made accessing the industry really simple. Through the various web services, customers have been motivated to try out the most famous hotels and inns no matter how far they are and also people who were never interest in travelling are encouraged to go to destinations far away. The internet clearly explains and gives all the necessary details better than any human would do which has brought about the great increase in number of people who are interested in the hospitality industry.
- Added versatility
From the internet the number of options one has to choose from are countless and this is simply because a whole lot of variety is advertised through the internet. Rates at which services are offered are given in all currencies, there are thousands of hotels with their detailed information, so many inns, unique villas where one can have a whole new experience which wouldn’t have been possible without the internet. Everyone loves to have various options to pick from in order to have their needs perfectly satisfied and that is exactly what e-commerce has brought into the hospitality industry.
- Reduction in advertisement costs
The most important way to develop the hospitality industry is advertisement which back in the day would cost quite a lot however with the evolution of e-commerce advertising has become a lot cheaper. All a company needs to reach out its ideal customers is create a website through which it can offers its services directly to customers, display each and every service they offer and also the necessary conditions and requirements without having to pay extremely high costs for it. This has thus contributed greatly to the growth of the hospitality industry due to the reduced expenditures companies can now deliver better services at a low cost.
- Ability to compare prices
There is a sudden rise in competition of the people who offer various hospitality services, companies don’t hide their rates and prices anymore. Each and every company puts out their rates in the open giving customers the advantage of comparing prices before they can actually go on to spend the money. After making those comparisons it becomes very difficult for one to go wrong and face problems of paying high prices for poor quality services. This has also created healthy competition among the service providers as they all fight to offer the best services and not at a very high price.
- Greater independence
The hospitality industry has grown into an industry of its own through e-commerce it no longer has to depend on other businesses or industries. Most of the customers that needed hospitality facilities were from the tourism industry back in the day but due to the incredible rise in use of internet the hospitality industry can now stand on its own and is now growing even bigger than the industries it used to overly depend on. Much as they work hand in hand with other industries it is now an independent industry of its own.
- Better communication between customers and suppliers
When using the internet it is super fast and easy for a customer to get into contact with the supplier of the particular service or product that they need. Using emails and different social media app chats communication which is one of the key issues in developing the industry has greatly been simplified. For a customer it is fast to make their bookings and orders and instantly get an answer for it, this has put an end to the olden trend of having to spare a whole day just find make to a particular hotel for example to make reservations from.
NEGATIVE IMPACT OF E-COMMERCE ON THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
With all the positive effects that e-commerce has brought to the hospitality industry one would wonder if there are any negative effects but yes they are there even if they are to a smaller extent. And now after looking at all the positive impacts, we can now look at the negative impact of e-commerce on the hospitality industry.
- Rise in security concern
Through the bookings and reservations done from the internet customers end up giving out way too much information something that has become overly dangerous as it exposes innocent customer’s information to unauthorized that end up using it for in wrong ways and for the wrong purposes. The internet offers very detailed information such phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses so when the wrong people get this information it causes real trouble for the owner of the information. E-commerce has created a world where it is extremely easy to rob, steal, kidnap and even more criminal offences such as killing among so many others. Because of the various transactions being made, there is always a lot of information moving around on the internet and this puts not only individuals at a very high risk but also the industry. This could end up ruining the high reputation that the industry has gained itself over the years.
- Destruction on tourist attractions
It is true that the high increase in tourists is great for the industry however these high numbers as brought about by e-commerce have a negative impact on the tourist attractions that they find in the various hospitality locations. The owners of such places must put strict security and warning on such attractions or else suffer with the unruly members who may use them recklessly. Renovating some of these attractions is either extremely difficult (expensive) or even impossible which puts the industry into losses.
- Increase in wrong immigrants to different countries
Marketing countries with overly attractive facilities has become a threat as it has overly attracted the wrong crowd, not everyone that travels into a country come into the country with the best of intentions. Some immigrants move to places with high quality facilities because they are running away as criminals from their countries of residence. The internet attracts all sorts of people since it puts out way too much information and the same way hackers get into other online businesses they have also managed to get into the hospitality industry and caused innocent countries to face huge problems with such people. Besides bringing in the wrong population, the huge crowd that brought about the hospitality industry through e-commerce has resulted into environmental imbalances.
- Poor service delivery
Since the customer never gets to meet personally with the owner of the service, a seller can easily provide them a service different from what they actually wanted, some do this by mistake while others do it intentionally due to lack of ethics. Because orders are forwarded online it would be very easy for a service provider to offer a service that will not meet the customer’s needs completely which is different when orders are made on face to face basis. In addition there is also slow service delivery from service providers, some book first and are worked after a long period of time while others book later and are worked on instantly. Service providers need to check their services to ensure that they deliver customer satisfaction
In conclusion, e-commerce has increased the popularity of the hospitality industry through the different ways of marketing its facilities and making them more accessible to the customers who are mostly tourists and people who enjoy lives of leisure and luxury. Yes there are still a few challenges that it has come with but most of them can be dealt with slowly by slowly. E-commerce of great significance in making the hospitality industry as broad and excellent as it is today.