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E-Business Model Evaluation of the Mitsis Hotels Franchise

Introduction

With the rapid growth and development of the Internet space and the globalization of the world, big changes are taking place in all areas of handling business. One of these implications is the online business model, which permits a more efficient business interaction in today’s marketplace. The benefits of e-business include savings on agency fees, lower costs of printed advertising, and the formation of non-traditional distribution channels. The model is used in almost all areas of work, in particular in the hotel business. The hotel business itself is a rather saturated information industry. The development of the hospitality industry is directly related to the latest technologies, whether it is the introduction of new services or the promotion of existing ones to the market. Electronic technologies allow to increase the competitiveness of the hotel company, improve the quality of customer service, and reduce the number of employees (Song-Ee et al., 2017). Hospitality professionals who have closely monitored their company’s reputation, brand, and service attitudes should focus on the online media space. This article examines the use of the e-business concept in the Mitsis hotel chain with several offices in Greece.

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The E-business Model and Central Concepts of the Website: Its Strengths and Weaknesses

E-business refers to all forms of digital information and communication technology used designed to support or improve the efficiency of sales processes. It can be used both during the preparation phase and during the negotiation and implementation phases. E-business includes several main components: business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP). It is also necessary to consider e-commerce, intra-firm electronic transactions, collaboration, and online activity among enterprises. The intelligent combination of all these elements creates a competitive e-business model for efficient customer acquisition. There are five different B2C business models in e-commerce: direct sellers, online resellers, advertising, community, and paid (Song-Ee et al., 2017). A hotel website can be considered an online reseller that advertises and sells franchise services to customers. This feature requires a remarkably sophisticated, attractive, and user-friendly interface for the most inclusive group of users. Electronic technologies allow to increase the competitiveness of the hotel company, improve the quality of customer service, and reduce the number of employees.

The central components of e-business in this case are information, communication, and transactions. Economic partners carry out business processes over digital networks (for example, public or private communication networks), using innovative information and communication technologies to support and improve efficiency (Goldman et al., 2021). In the case of a Mitsis hotels chain, all data delivery and interactions with customers happen on the official website and its sister branches. Depending on where the tourists stay in Greece, guests can choose the appropriate hotel website. All information is accurately distributed or duplicated between the related web servers, which are accessed through requests from client programs on the network. E-business systems allow buyers not to communicate with sellers, save their time and receive complete information about products.

The Strengths of the Mitsis E-business Model

The hotel website has many strengths that put the hotel in the top echelon. The interface is made in an attractive, consistent style that will be satisfying and understandable to any user. A full-fledged perception of the site and hotel services is not overloaded with an abundance of irrelevant information, too many supplementary pictures, and intricate online tools. All information is presented in a captivating and concise format. It precisely answers all the most frequent questions from guests about additional hotel services, restaurants, room options, and local news from the hotel itself and even the city. The online registration system on the website, booking rooms process, and participating in the loyalty program has an exceptionally simple presentation. Hotels provide online payment options with a refund possibility in case of cancellation of registration. The website can be customized in the five most common languages, which will exclude the language barrier and attract customers from all over the world (Mitsis Hotels). Thus, this e-business model is formed following the main informative and advertising functions of the hotel representative.

The Weaknesses of the Mitsis E-business Model

Despite its strengths, the Mitsis hotel chain may continue to work on some aspects of its electronic presentation in the online space. First, the information can be more extensive and targeted at precise categories of users. For example, restaurant information may include menus (at least its main dishes) and particular options for vegetarians, young children, diabetics, people with gluten intolerances, and so on. The website gallery may include better-quality photos (some photos have low quality and do not fully characterize the room). Links to information on festivals and events taking place in Greece lead to articles in Greek (Mitsis Hotels). Perhaps it would be better to find information in English and adapt it more thoroughly. Small details like these don’t distract the e-business model from its core functions. It remains focused on information exchange, service distribution, networking, capital movement, pre-sales, and after-sales support. However, any additional information or improved interface detail can help a potential buyer make a choice in the proper direction.

The Competitive and Digital Business Strategies of the Mitsis Chain

Present e-business opportunities can be considered a source of increasing competitive advantages for modern companies. E-business has become a widespread model because e-transactions have enabled companies to build effective relationships with consumers and efficiently cut costs. The era of the electronic economy is characterized by the fact that the capitalization of companies and other representatives of electronic business directly depends on the number of users (content consumers, participants) and the growth rate of their number. As practice shows, e-business representatives have the most significant value in the competitive resistance process, as they play a central role in ensuring sustainable growth (Saura and Correia, 2019). Thus, one of the first goals of the Mistis competitive strategy is the increase in the number of customers and lead generation. Mistis hotels use all social media platforms to reach the largest possible audience. To better understand customer demand, the system asks the consumer, what he needs, and gets the prepared solution. For this, Mistis posted its contacts and a form for complaints and suggestions. The franchise is moving from expensive marketing research to crowdsourcing when customers indicate how to get around the competition.

In today’s global world, sustainable competitive advantage is achieved by offering customers a system of interconnected and easily accessible services. This particular case requires an appropriate digital strategy and the creation of a powerful networked platform that reduces the effort of handing over the customer to the manufacturer of the service. The emotional component of the user audience also plays a vital role (Saura and Correia, 2019). The performance branding strategy can be successfully used in travel applications offering hotel and rental, entertainment, and restaurant services. To tackle the two areas of branding and performance at once, Mistis can organize user-generated content with reviews and suggestions that other users can revisit. Mistis are successfully working in this direction; however, the section with comments and advice of satisfied customers can be more extensive and livelier. The website page can include videos and photos from the hotel with enthusiastic comments and practical tips. It helps site users to perceive the life experience and natural emotions of real people through the lens of Mistis branding. On the other hand, users studying potential routes can simultaneously book hotels, restaurants, entertainment services, fulfilling the performance function.

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The Digital Marketing Strategies and Options

The digital strategy, mainly based on media distributors, relies on online marketing tools and mechanisms. These include the website, mobile version, landing pages, applications, social media accounts, email newsletter services, CRM system, and so on (Farmania et al., 2021). The Mitsis hotel’s internet presence in the online space is strong. It can be seen on TripAdvisor, Booking, online advertising banners, and commercials. Several relevant web searches can result in a pop-up advertisement urging the viewer to move to the official site. The hotel brand is used on all popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; it invites customers to receive email newsletters with the latest news and offers. Clients have every possible way to get information and potentially purchase services online, which is one of the central areas of the digital marketing strategy.

In this case, the recommendation may be about more active communication with clients and maintaining social networks in the context of tourism in Greece in general. Electronic social occasions such as responding to surveys, creating group chats among customers online, and posting more comprehensive data regarding excursions can shift into permanent rubrics. It may construct a decent base for more engaging content and a sense of community among the clients. In a highly competitive and oversaturated hotel market, basic marketing tactics are no longer enough to attract customers. The personal attitude towards the buyer may become a new trend that brings a sense of involvement and the authentic experience to the fore.

The Customer Traffic Data

Similarweb showed that the sum of all visits on the website through computers and mobile devices last month was 130,000, which is relatively low for a luxury hotel during the Christmas break. On average, users view at least three pages of the site, but almost 50% leave after the first page (Similarweb). The average period spent on one page is less than 2 minutes, which indicates that the user is not interested in the additional content offered by the site (Similarweb). The official website of Mistis hotel is ranked 1580th among the most relevant requests for accommodation reservations and tourism (Similarweb). A search was the most effective marketing channel, with nearly 56% of people finding hotel information using keywords (Similarweb). Direct traffic accounted for nearly 26 percent, while display advertisements only accounted for 10 percent (Similarweb). The most ineffective channels were social networks (just over 3%), and email which showed 0% (Similarweb). These moments especially require particular study and change of strategy.

Statistics indicate that the hotel franchise should still rethink its approach to advertising and content uploaded to the official site. The decrease in numbers may be since users are quickly moving to subsites according to their final destination. However, the official page should be influential and unique that the clients want to stay on it and learn about the information offered. All the best deals and discounts should be on the surface, and the main display should include colorful, attractive slogans and images of the best places and services.

The Company’s E-CRM and Social Network Channels Linked with the Website

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is an application software designed to interact with customers to increase sales, optimize marketing and improve customer service. The principal purpose of utilizing a CRM strategy is to create a unified ecosystem for attracting new and developing existing customers. Relationship management means acquiring new customers, turning neutral customers into loyal clients, and building business partners. CRM tools assist keep all customer information in one place, log service issues, identify sales opportunities, managing marketing campaigns, and many other options. New clients can be attracted through different channels: organic search, online advertising, email newsletters, media events, online events. The system identifies the source channel and helps to analyze the effectiveness of each of them. CRM calculates the number of leads by channel and their conversion to sales (Farmania et al., 2021). The collected analytics show which channels need to be strengthened and which ones should be disabled.

Examples of e-CRM tasks for every hotel are regular emails to customers and instant responses to web requests. Electronic customer relationship management may include setting up an autoresponder whenever a customer makes a web request. Autoresponders are emails that usually thank customers for their requests and provide a time frame indicating when a customer service representative will contact them. Hotels use all the most popular social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and their private blog Unique Destination. Examining such a full-fledged system, it is difficult to give precise recommendations for improvement, other than expanding the loyalty program to keep customers more interested. The current program has a good system of discounts, but hotels may try to establish closer contact with the most loyal customers. For example, invite them on a big tour of the location with local food tasting and authentic cultural representation, offer unique services, and so on.

The Cyber Security Measures of the Company Website

Information security (IS) is the state of an information system in which it is least susceptible to interference and damage from third parties. Data security also includes the management of risks associated with information disclosure or exposure to hardware and software security modules (Mishra and Gupta, 2020). Mitsis also has a strategy to protect its information data from unwanted leaks and speculation.

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Conclusion

Mistis Hotels is a well-designed, robust e-business model with many strengths. The franchise has a clear digital and marketing strategy that requires more attention to developing self-promotion and attracting new users to compete in the market. This electronic business model combines all the most popular channels of communication with users, is sufficiently represented on the Internet, and has a remarkably user-friendly informative interface. It performs specific information and advertising function, provides the customer with registration services, and operates as an intermediary between the hotel and a potential guest. The main recommendations relate to the development of attitudes towards the customer base on a newer personal level. It can be achieved through regular communication with feedback processing and more captivating content on the official website. There is the demand for prosperous inclusion of real-life comebacks, honest experiences of people, and a sense of admired community.

Reference List

Goldman S. P., van Herk H., Verhagen T., and Weltevreden J. W. (2021). ‘Strategic orientations and digital marketing tactics in cross-border e-commerce: Comparing developed and emerging markets’, International Small Business Journal, 39(4), 350–371. Web.

Farmania, A., Elsyah R. D., and Tuori, M. A. (2021). ‘Transformation of CRM Activities into e-CRM: The Generating e-Loyalty and Open Innovation, Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity 7(2), p.109. Web.

Ferrera, C. and Kessedjian, E. (2019). ‘Evolution of e-commerce and global marketing’, International Journal of Technology for Business (IJTB), 1(1), pp. 33–38. Web.

Saura, J., Pedro P. S., and Correia, M. (2019). Digital marketing strategies based on the e-business model: Literature review and future directions. IGI Global. Web.

Song-Ee H., Sparks B, Wilkins, H. and Xin Jin. (2017). ‘E-service quality management of a hotel website: Journal of hospitality a scale and implications for management’, Marketing & Management, 26(7), pp. 694–716.

Mishra, O. N. and Gupta, S. (2020). ‘Antecedents and impact of e-commerce adoption among new venture firms: Evidence from tourism and hospitality industry’, Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 24(4), pp. 431–440. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "E-Business Model Evaluation of the Mitsis Hotels Franchise." November 25, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/e-business-model-evaluation-of-the-mitsis-hotels-franchise/.

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