Internet and the Virtual Marketspace: Implications for Building Competitive E-Commerce Strategies in the Hospitality Industry

By Sigala, Marianna | Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, June 2002 | Go to article overview

Internet and the Virtual Marketspace: Implications for Building Competitive E-Commerce Strategies in the Hospitality Industry


Sigala, Marianna, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management


During the last years, research has focused more on the tactics surrounding Internet development such as the development of web site content and design, and only recently on the competitive dynamics of the Internet and on building successful e-commerce strategies. This article aims to provide a conceptual framework for developing competitive e-commerce strategies in the hospitality industry. To this end, the new competitive environment (the virtual marketspace) fostered by technological developments and in which hotels have to compete is examined; specifically, three features of the virtual marketspace, namely, reach, richness and digital representation are analysed. Competitive e-commerce strategies in the hospitality industry aim at addressing and managing the challenges fostered by these three features. Successful examples from the hospitality industry are also provided.

**********

During the last few years, we have been overwhelmed by new ideas, concepts, facts, opinions and even buzzwords surrounding the spectacular development of e-commerce business. It can actually be said that knowledge development in this arena has replicated the image of its own evolution: speediness and a perpetually fierce race. Carried over by the flood of innovations, research has focused more on the tactics surrounding Internet development such as the development of Web content, design interface and/or the digitisation of business operations on the Internet (e.g., Cunliffe, 2000; Gilbert, Powell-Perry, & Widijodo, 1999; Huizingh, 1999; Liu & Arnett, 2000; Procaccino & Miller, 1999; Weeks & Crouch, 1999) and only recently on the competitive dynamics of the Internet and on developing successful e-commerce strategies for the Web (e.g., Sigala, 2001; Riggins, 1999). Moreover, confused about developments on the Internet, many hotels are developing e-commerce strategies that are short-lived or not profitable. Thus, there is a need to investigate and identify the strategic issues that can be considered as the pillars for the development of competitive e-commerce strategies, which in turn can form the basis for developing web site content and design.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for developing competitive e-commerce strategies in the hospitality industry. To this end, the Internet features and the new competitive environment that they generate and in which hotels operate are analysed. When immigrating from marketplaces into marketspaces, three features become important, namely, reach, richness, and digital representation. The management of these three concepts underpins the development of a conceptual framework for building competitive e-commerce strategies which: (a) pulls together and unifies all the previously identified but scattered best practices on the Internet; (b) provides the objectives and reasons for developing innovative Internet services and offerings; and (c) identifies the managerial implications for implementing such practices.

Internet Features and Their Applications

Sigala (2001) identified three distinct capabilities that make the Internet a very powerful tool--interactivity, connectivity and convergence. The Internet allows real-time, online true interactivity, which is crucial since much business activity consists of interactions. Interactivity enhances the richness of customer relationships and creates new paradigms of product design and customer service (e.g., the customer can customise the product/service and the supplier can learn from the customer). Moreover, the Internet is an open, global network that everyone can easily get connected with. The increased connectivity enables new communication and coordination mechanisms both across organisations and customers as well as within groups of customers themselves, while, according to the "network externalities" phenomenon, as the number of connections increases the value of the network grows exponentially (Gosh, 1998). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Internet and the Virtual Marketspace: Implications for Building Competitive E-Commerce Strategies in the Hospitality Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.