In 2006, the total e-commerce spending by customers and businesses would reach and even surpass five trillion Dollars according to e-marketer (2004). This astonishing number confirms that e-commerce and e-business must be taken into consideration now by firms in order to be competitive. Even if e-commerce and e-business seem to be rather new phenomena for customers, that is to say clients have not been used to buy online for a long time; the Internet has already a long history. In the late sixties (1969), the American department of defence created ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) group in order to install secure networks among computers. In 1973, Great Britain is connected to ARPANET. Then in 1984, JANET: joint academic network, is installed in United Kingdom. But the big step is the introduction in 1990 of the World Wide Web, which is considered to be one of the most significant contributions to business activity. By the end of 1992, the Internet and the World Wide Web have already more than one million users over the world.
[...] Indeed firms have to cope with a strong competition that the Internet has increased with the low cost airlines. But there is not only a price challenge, e-commerce is also challenging in other ways. Indeed, firms have to prove their reliability in order to reassure clients about their privacy and the security of the web payments. So their image and organisation are very important and sometimes they have to overhaul their entire way of working. One of the keys of success is that before embarking on e-business initiatives managers have to identify clearly the organizational changes required to make them work. [...]
[...] Now we wonder what the opportunities the Internet had brought for airlines industry are. The opportunities linked with the rise of the Internet are numerous; indeed there are opportunities in term of costs, marketing and geographical boundaries. First of all Graham Curtis et al outline the features that a product must have in order to be sold on the Internet, these are: the product needs no advice from the seller, the name of the desired choice is not ambiguous, the product can be sent easily, there are no differences of quality between products from one seller and another. [...]
[...] In other words, the Internet had brought many opportunities to the transport industry such as cost competitiveness and has helped this industry to broaden its market, but the Internet has also increased competition between firms. Thus, in the one hand e-commerce has strengthened traditional business models by helping firms to decrease their costs but on the other hand it has increased competition between firms. The Internet has brought many challenges to the airlines industry, first airlines have to cope with a fierce competition and then they have to adapt with the changes implied with e-commerce. [...]
[...] So, one of the opportunities brought by the Internet to airlines is the one to save money and as a matter of fact to increase their price competitiveness. But there is not only price competitiveness at stake. Indeed, the Internet gives many other opportunities to airlines, in terms of marketing for instance. With the internet it is easier for firms to know their clients; they have a better knowledge of their expectations and demands, indeed e-commerce provides new methods for them to acquire this knowledge. [...]
[...] - Graham Curtis and David Cobham Business Information systems, analysis design and practice. FT Prentice Hall. See Laudon & Laudon: Management Information Systems, managing the digital firm. Chapter ed Pearson, Prentice Hall G. Curtis, D. Cobham in Business Information Systems, analysis, design and practice. Page 169, Ed FT Prentice Hall. C. Hsu, S. Pant in Innovative planning for electronic commerce and enterprises, a reference model. Page 14. P. Morath, in Success@ e-business, profitable internet business and [...]
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