Every sector has become challenging and the airline industry offers several challenges. Without compromising on profitability, services have to be immaculate. At the same time, passengers are lured by several options from different airlines. Thus Qatar Airways has been able to position itself very well in the industry with the use of e-business applications. QA is a model e-business company as it uses 3 of the 4 e-business models of Rappa. It follows the merchant model, the buy-side model and the manufacturer models of e-business. This suggests that the airline is connected to its upstream and downstream suppliers, vendors and customers.
Even though they are able to directly reach out to the customers through their effective website, they have not done away with the travel agents or the tour operators. They understand that survival in the industry has to be through mutual association and hence they even train he travel agents for their e-business applications. To enhance its e-business, QA engages in several e-marketing activities. Through SEO they are able to extract statistics on how the traffic is generated and then they can apply techniques to convert the traffic to sales.
Using the internet as a platform, QA is able to offer a wide variety of services through its website. Its website is very well designed and caters to different customers providing valuable information with ease of navigation. The layout of the website is very well laid out and has links at each point with several drop-down menus. They have used advertisements and images effectively to hold the visitors to their website. The most remarkable feature is their online duty-free shopping which allows the visitor to pre-order and the goods would be delivered during the flight.
This is a very good strategy because during the flight many may be unable to take decisions. QA claims they may not always have all the goods during the flights and hence pre-ordering also ensures availability. The website does contain a host of FAQs but there is no information on duty-free allowances.
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