Travel is moving online and so should you

Picture this. You have been grinding away at work saving up for your next big vacation. You have accumulated just enough to buy plane tickets to Greece. Where do you go first? The internet.

MakeMyTrip.com, INR 40,000, seems expensive. What are my alternatives?

ClearTrip.com, INR 41,000, but a INR 2,000 cash back. Good thing I looked at other websites! Let me check some more

GoIbibo.com, INR 42,000, ClearTrip it is.

Wait a minute, how about my friends travel agency. I mean my company uses it for corporate travel all the time. Maybe they can get me a good deal?

Travel Agent X, INR 39,000. Hmm, fairly priced AND they will pre-book my seats and help me check in and manage my trip end to end.

As easy as that

Why did I waste my time with these aggregator sites?

THAT is the power of the internet. In today’s tech driven economy, our natural instinct is to go online first.

So why are YOU not online?

The usual answers to this particular question is,

  1. ) We are a B2B business
  2. ) We are a relationship based business.

Both are fair responses. But the reality of the matter is nothing lasts forever, ‘even no November rain’.

When was the last time you visited the Samsung store at a mall and made a purchase? Invariably you will check out the gadget at a physical store, find it a little bit more expensive and go home and buy it online.

Dell Computer realised this soon enough and is in the process of shifting to selling on the Internet. It won’t happen overnight, of course, but you can visualize the day when most of Dell’s business will be done on the Net. (Currently the Internet accounts for about 50 percent of the company’s revenues.)

For Dell the Internet has paid off in more ways than just increased revenues. It has helped the company cut sales and administrative costs from 15 percent of revenues five years ago to an estimated 9 percent currently.

Cisco Systems, the world’s largest supplier of network equipment, has also moved to the Net. Today Cisco conducts more than 75 percent of its business over the Internet. The move to the Internet has reduced the lead time needed to fill orders from three weeks to three days. While total revenue has grown 500 percent, the number of employees required to service requests has grown by only 1 percent.”

Now I understand that shifting to the internet may seem like a radical idea to most. Why would you want to change something that has been working so well for you?

Well you could do nothing,

The TV industry is still working, despite the advent of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. You can continue to inch forward towards a slow painful death or you could resurrect yourself as swanky new internet brand and compete with the big boys.

Let me give you a real life example:

“Larry Latham was an auctioneer specializing in selling repossessed single-family homes from hotel ballrooms across the country. In spite of booming sales of $600 million a year, he decided to shut down his company’s fourteen branch offices and move to the Internet. He hired a staff of twenty-two computer experts and renamed the company “Homebid.com.” In a test of the site he sold 136 out of 147 homes over the Web at prices that averaged 97 percent of list.”

Now THAT is the power of the internet.

We will see you online.

Greece here I come!