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The Rising Success of Online Travel

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With more people than ever favouring the internet to make their travel bookings, the future looks bright for the online travel industry. Online travel has successfully weathered the recession and it seems the industry will have hit an all-time high by the end of 2013.

The internet has revolutionised the way consumers are now booking their holiday and travel arrangements. Using the internet to book a holiday is convenient, cheaper and offers a huge amount of choice as well as the opportunity to price check deals against each other with comparison websites.

Flexibility is another key factor and many consumers will be booking their last minute holidays in 2014 only weeks before they depart, eliminating the need to book a year in advance to obtain the best deals.

Online bookings for travel agents, hotels, flights and car rentals have all undergone significant growth. The rise in sales of portable goods which rely on the web such as tablets and smart phones may also have contributed to the rise in online travel bookings.

Global online travel increase

More people on a global scale are now using the internet to make their travel bookings as opposed to using the traditional travel agencies. Britain is the world leader in online travel bookings and UK consumers used the internet to book 78% of their trips abroad last year, which is a 47% jump on 2008.

The findings from a report conducted by the IPK International’s World Travel Monitor from 2008 to 2012 show that traditional travel agents are losing out to online agencies. China’s internet bookings have doubled to 39% while in Russia the online travel market share has quadrupled to 42% in the last five years.

The Adobe Digital Index report 2013, which was based on the analysis of more than 150 mobile and worldwide travel sites from 2009 to 2013, revealed a 2013 10% increase from the previous year for the US online travel companies analysed. The US online company bookings are expected to hit $54 billion by the third quarter with an 8% to 10% year on year growth in the fourth quarter, a quarter that usually sees a reduction in bookings.

A losing battle for traditional travel agents?

The continued success of online travel agencies has resulted in a shake up for traditional travel agents and in 2011 41 UK travel agents went bankrupt. The bankruptcies are claimed to have been caused by factors such as the Arab spring and natural disasters but the rise in internet bookings is also stated as a reason. In spring 2013, the major holiday operator Thomas Cook shut 195 high street travel agents, axing 2,500 jobs.

The way back for traditional travel agents may be found in the statement made at the time of the Thomas Cook job losses. Manuel Cortes, the General Secretary of The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents Thomas Cook employees said, “The company needs new products if it is to come to terms with the age of the internet and prosper in the 21st century.”

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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You Can’t Afford An Employee Scandal In Your Business Model

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Employee Scandal

There are countless issues that business owners encounter when they are trying to aim for greater levels of success on the market. Some of the problems can knock you out of the running completely and leave your business dead in the water. That’s certainly true for an employee scandal. If you’re not worried about an employee scandal in your business, then you’re not seeing the bigger picture. A problem with your employees can cause a drop in sales, leaves you struggling to hire talent for your company and hurt the reputation of your business all at the same time. To understand the ramifications of this issue, you need to be aware of the scandals that can hit your company.

Criminal Activity 

It is possible that a member of your team is involved in criminal activity while working for your company. If this does happen then they could target your business as a whole or your clients. Unfortunately, clients won’t blame the individual employee for this issue. Instead, they’ll blame your company as a whole for not taking the right steps to vet the people that you hire. That’s why you should think about using a professional service to ensure your hiring standards are at the right level. A construction labour hire agency can help you here and guarantee that you don’t end up with any shady people on your team. 

Injuries

You also need to make sure that you are avoiding issues with injuries in your business model. Injuries can and often will occur if the right steps are not taken to avoid them. Indeed, if you want to dodge injury claims in your business, then you will need to hire a health and safety officer. They will check for hazards and ensure that you don’t have to worry about your business environment being unsafe. Businesses will bounce back for the occasional personal injury claim if they have the right insurance in place. However, if injuries are a constant occurrence in your business, then your company will struggle to get new hires. No one wants to work for a business where employee well being isn’t a top priority. 

Harassment 

Finally, you need to make sure that you don’t have an issue with harassment in your business model. Harassment can occur in a variety of forms. For instance, you could find that individuals are being harassed due to their gender or they might be being bullied. If you are worried about this problem in your business, the first step will be to set up HR support. This will provide a structure that employees can use when they have an issue that they need to deal with in your company. You should also consider adopting a zero tolerance policy for this type of problem. 

We hope this helps you understand the potential employee scandals in your business model and what they could mean. In doing so, you will be able to make sure that you avoid them and keep your company on the right track for the future. 

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How To Reduce Your Shipping Costs As An Online Seller

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Reduce shipping costs

Shipping costs are something that you are stuck with as an online seller. This makes finding innovative ways to reduce your expenditure on shipping a necessity. This keeps your profit margins high and your stream of revenue flowing steadily. Thinking strategically to reduce shipping costs for yourself and your clients is a major requirement if you want to be successful as an online seller. This is because your customers and clients expect to spend less on shipping and want free shipping in most cases. Here are five smart ways to reduce shipping costs.

Choose lighter packing materials

Protecting items in transit is important, and this means you must get the best packing materials to secure them. However, not all packing materials are the same. To lower shipping expenses, consider lightweight, protective materials that offer the same level of protection as the heavier ones. In this regard, use air pillows and bubble wrap to secure the boxes’ empty spaces—the lighter the package, the lesser the cost.

Use flat-rate shipping

Make the most out of flat-rate shipping. Most major logistics businesses offer some sort of flat-rate shipping, and you can take advantage of this to save some money. If you happen to ship heavy items frequently, this could present a great opportunity to save a lot. Be sure to research your options and make the best choice that makes it economical for your business. You can get significant savings on UPS prices here.

Improve your negotiation skills

Great negotiation skills are key to saving money anywhere, and in the shipping business, your ability to negotiate will save you some expenses. You can negotiate the terms and rates of your parcel volume even if it is on the low side with your shipper to slash your shipping costs. With competition high amongst shipping vendors, being a good negotiator could secure you a good deal. However, note that not all shippers can provide certain services or guarantees. So, be sure you settle on one that can fulfill all your shipping obligations and satisfy your customers’ demands.

Buy in bulk

Buy packaging products, from cartons to air cushions, to bubble wraps, and even pallets in bulk. Buying in bulk usually comes with volume discounts that can save you some money. One more thing to consider is your product packaging. Your packaging is part of your brand, so find suitable branding methods that do not alter your products’ weight by much.

Recycle and reuse shipping supplies

It is more likely than not that you also have items shipped to you before you resell. It is best to recycle and reuse such shipping supplies, to save money on shipping costs and packaging materials. You can repurpose the cartons and packaging material for your own packages. Simply replace the shipping labels with your branded ones. This also ensures you run a green business as you reduce the effects of possible environmental pollution.

If you decide to offer free shipping to your clients, that is fine but remember that it will eat into your profits. In this regard, you must find smart ways to save money on shipping expenses as well as packaging. If not, then as much as possible, find ways to reduce the shipping costs for your customers so that they can continue purchasing your products.

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Ensuring The Best Quality For Your Customers

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Best Quality for Customers

For all businesses big and small, customer satisfaction should be the number one goal, as they’re the ones who make everything possible. Without customer satisfaction, you’re going to see sales decrease, and it’s going to be hard to operate with efficiency! There’s a lot you can do to ensure that your customers are satisfied, and it doesn’t hurt to put in that extra effort to make sure of it!

Data security

Data security is very important for many reasons, but most importantly you want to make sure customer information is not at risk! It’s a legal requirement to protect the sensitive information of customers and employees, and you’re likely going to lose sales if you have a data breach. Make sure that all of your data is secured and away from people with ill intent, else you’ll be risking your reputation and the trust of your audience!

In-house guarantees

If you work in retail, the only way you can ensure customer satisfaction is from product testing, and making sure everything is the quality you want it to be! Whether it’s by tasting products as a food retailer or making sure customers are getting what they pay for. If you sell by weight, consider investing in some scales to make sure you’re selling what you advertise – ones like these: https://www.arlynscales.com/scale-knowledge/industrial-weighing-scales/. You don’t want any mixups with customer satisfaction, and many brands have faced criticism for inaccurate advertising.

Promotions and loyalty cards

Loyalty cards and promotions are a great way to reward your customers for buying from you, they allow you to give back to the customer for their repeating patronage! Make sure to set it up so that you don’t lose out, while also giving back to your customers – you’re trying to please the customer, not sink the business!

A lot of businesses offer credit instead of a loyalty card, finance that can only be used in their stores, encouraging them to come back and buy from you again! These deals are great for building lasting relationships between you and your audience, and should be used by every retailer if they can afford it!

Customer feedback

Allowing customers to give feedback is very important if you’re trying to please them, as they can tell you exactly what you did wrong and how you can do better! A lot of businesses do this through their website with a review feature, allowing them to collect data on their customers and find a general consensus on what the audience wants. It’s never bad to hear what your customers have to say, and you might end up pushing yourself a little closer to success with each change based on customer complaints! You can read more at https://survicate.com/customer-satisfaction/tips/.

You can’t please every customer, but trying to please the majority of them is what’s going to help you climb closer to success. Trying to keep an honest relationship with your customers, and not driving your prices up too high is important if you want to keep loyalty between you; people can tell when they’ve been overcharged – and that’s not something you want!

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