This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Review of past literature not only to refer as one of the main reference for this study but also to determine the detail problems arise from other researchers and to determine the kind of questions that researcher could post to a new batches of respondents. Based on researcher reading in online purchase journal, past researcher have found that there are many factors that influence customers' intention to purchase goods and services using online. Most of the past researchers have found that security and privacy are the two main critical factors related to such as reliability, familiarity, past experience, demographics factors such as age, income, gender and others.
2.1 The Internet and the travel industry
The Internet has a special characteristics and it is shared with the other marketing channels. Internet has the ability to keep large amounts of information in the different information provide to the customers and in various virtual location. Consumers usually consume through the Internet is because of few main reasons which is wider merchandise selection, convenience, and promotion offers.
In recent years, due to the tremendous improvement and usage of information technology, many tour agencies have use e commerce through the internet to offer their tour packages to the customers. Therefore World Wide Web is a very useful tool in today's business and in the future. As Khanh and Kandampully (2002) noted that World Wide Web offers the opportunity to the firms to outsource their retailing of products and services. Besides that, this author also stated that Web-based businesses have specialized in the selling service products such as hotel room nights and airline seats.
Internet not only brings a lot of benefit to marketers but also to the customers, yet there are factors influencing ICT and internet adoption. Adoption and adaption both by the marketers could be reaping the profits as the trend of internet usage in this digital age through the digital technologies has already emplaced otherwise they will lose out in acquiring market shares in online internet tours purchasing whereas the customers will feel at ease if they will to be adopt to this new technologies in purchasing. But the main barriers to internet and e-commerce is the concern of internet or the web site would not lead to more efficiency, the feeling that internet or the web site is not suitable for some of the particular business, uncertainty about real business value and the fact that the travel agencies do not clearly mention anticipated benefits and they do not feel social pressure to bring the Information Technology into their firms (Sigala, 2003; Riemenschneider et al. 2003; Vijayan, 2000).
By far in this information age, electronic commerce through internet is the only means that marketers could reap in their market shares from the non users. Internet shopping can be attractive when compared to the normal shopping. Resnick (1995) has stated that the Internet shopping is simple because they can make the purchasing more important and conveniently. For example, nowadays it is normal for the buyer to browse through racks of discs during purchase and goes through the lists of catalogues. A good database management can be found in the Internet CD store by provide easy access to this information. For example, with this good database management it brings benefit by at a time conducive to the buyer and brings benefit for the customer to be done at the home.
In the past, travel agents or tour guides were the most common sources of travel information for the consumer whom prefer to purchase tour packages. Budget travelers, student, and backpackers booking their airline, hotel, do their own research and rental car travel directly. Information Week, 1998 as stated there are different between searching and buying on the Web exists in the travel area. The Internet surfers are still using window shopping for travel, not buying and consumers do more on researching their travel on the Internet.
2.2 Definition and concepts of E Commerce and E business
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is the process of trading goods, information, or services via computer networks including the Internet (Fraser et al., 2000; Turban et al., 2000, p. 4). It can be distinguished from the broader concept of e-business that refers to any business operation conducted through information networks, such as customer services, ERP, and knowledge sharing. Although e-commerce refers to trade via any information network such as EDI, the emergence of the Internet, with its "open commercial exchange" approach (Burnham, 1999 p.214) has been the major force behind its fast growth. There is increasing consensus that e-commerce will represent a large share of retail markets in the future.
Electronic commerce describes the process of buying, selling, transferring, or exchanging to products, services, and or information via computer networks, including the Internet. Some people view the term electronic commerce as describing only transactions conducted between business partners. As Turban et.al said that E Business in a broader definition of Electronic Commerce is not just the buying and selling of goods and services, but also servicing customers, collaborating with business partner, conducting e-learning, and conducting electronic transaction within an organization. We have to understand that so long as whatever business transaction when pass through using electronic channels to the targeted market, it is to facilitate marketers and enabling them to a more easy task in serve the target market and get through the customers to gain profits.
2.2.1 Pure versus Partial E Commerce
Electronic commerce can take into several forms and it is depending on the degree of digitalization (the transformation from physical to digital) involved. Nevertheless, one has to determine the degree of digitization can relate to: the product (services) sold, (2) the process, or (3) the delivery agent (or intermediary). A product can be physical or digital, the process can be physical or digital, and the delivery agent can be physical or digital (Turban et al., 2004). Tele-marketers now could use many digital platforms to perform their task of delivering the massage to their targeted market as in the electronic commerce which later could facilitate them of gaining profits. The paperless and digital technologies really are a means to facilitating all the electronic commerce perspectives, especially in for consumers who live afar and could access to purchase the online tour packages offer to them.
2.2.2 EC Organization
The simplicity of using digital technologies in conducting business sometime depends on the ability and financial status of a company. As the old style of businesses like Pure physical organizations (corporations) are referred to as brick-and mortar or (old-economy), which still exist in this digital age, nevertheless, many are slowly moving towards using the electronic commerce as they are trying to acquire more market shares. Furthermore in this competitive business world, if one lack behind, it will definitely obsolete and phase out very fast. When the modern businesses are moving towards digital delivery system and gaining their market share in tour packages especially the develop and part of the developing nations, companies that are engage only in EC are considered virtual (or pure-play) organization. But all in all, there are still a number of small time tour companies that still conduct their business in the form of Click-and-mortar (to click-and-brick) as mention by Turban et al., (2004) which are those that conduct some e-commerce activities, yet their primary business is done in the physical world. These forms of process of conducting partial electronic commerce were those from the developing and third world countries where digital technologies are not yet fully develop or adopted.
Electronic commerce (EC) offer different new opportunities for the development of new services for business and delivery channel options for intangible goods. Besides that, service providers are offer many new services more economically with greater geographic reach and product variety and able to operate diverse delivery channels in line with their business strategy. The impact on how the introduction of e-commerce channel in traditional companies changed their operations and business strategy by three main issues which are integration, customization, and internationalization. First, e-commerce networks improve value chain integration by reducing transaction costs, facilitating just-in-time delivery, and improving information gathering and processing (Penbera, 1999;Fraser et al.,2000;Turban et al.,2000,p.15). Second, e-commerce databases and direct links between producers and customers support high levels of product and service customization (Skjoett-Larsen, 2000). Finally, the Internet's international scope allows even small companies to reach customers worldwide (Zugelder et al.,2000; Soliman and Youssef,2001)
2.2.3 The scope of E commerce
The scope of e commerce in consumers' willingness of purchase online tour packages offer by tour agents in this digital age comprises of people, sellers, buyers, intermediaries, information system specialist and other participants. They are all inter-related in this form of business. Whereas public policy, legal perspective in tour packages and other policy and regulating issues, such as privacy, protection and taxation, that are determined by the government who act as the formulator and implementers in business.
Electronic and online selling and purchasing of online tour packages involved marketing and advertising. Like any other business usually requires the support of marketing and advertising. Especially in marketing the tour packages through electronic commerce, digital technologies is a must and the important in B2C online transaction where the buyers and seller do not see each other in the business deals and could easily done through electronic means.
Consumers' purchase of online tour packages need support services. Many services are needed to support electronic commerce, such as banking system. These range from payments to order delivery and content. Those support services in the electronic commerce delivery system and platform could facilitate the functions of online tour marketing which could generate economy not only for the businesses concern but also the upgrade national economy and introduce the country to the outside world.
There are other variable in the electronic commerce especially on-line electronic tour marketing such as business partnership, joint ventures, e-marketplaces, and business partnership of various sorts are common in electronic commerce. These occur frequently throughout the supply chain (i.e. the interaction between a company and its supplier, customers, and other partners). All this are to facilitate certain functions in the tour marketing and businesses.
Welz (1995) (J3) has stated that the online marketing should follow the five components strategies which is promotion, one-to-one contact, closing, transaction and fulfillment. Promotion is referring to the advertising. Besides that, it also referring to creating awareness to the users to learn and know about the product. Secondly the component is one-to contact. One-to-one contact is referring to the Internet allows for the not in the same time contact via other way such as discussion groups and e-mail. From this method it can develop a relationship with a customer. Thirdly is closing which is closing the deal and setting the price. With this, it can be achieved the result from the collection of e-mail messages. Normally, Internet buying is about ordering from a catalogue and starts to deal the transaction with the related parties. In another way, there have an electronic record of the sales and deal the struck. The second last component is transaction. It is refers to the goods which is being paid. Until right now such transaction was difficult over the Internet. Many of the companies are introducing the systems which enable the credit card transaction being secure on the Internet during the transaction. The last component is fulfillment. It is involves the delivery of goods. Fulfillment not only includes shipping but also include the effective electronic order processing. It is because of delivery online is restricted to digital products, for example: software and electronic books.
2.3.1 Perceived security
One main variable in the consumers' willingness towards online purchasing tour is perceived security, whatever customers want is a secure package but some time due to unforeseen circumstances, they will face the security risk. The perceive security is an uncertainty in the purchase environment where consumers may consider to purchase outcomes and the importance or serious result associated with making a wrong or unsuitable decision ( Hunter et al., 2004 ). Nonetheless, any business transactions will definitely face some forms of risk, both sellers and buyers. In this online purchasing tour market or any other business packages, the perceive security some time involves threats that create circumstances, condition, or event with the potential to cause economic hardship to data or network resources in the form of destruction, disclosures, modification of data, denial of services, and/or fraud, waste, and abuse ( Kalakota and Whinston, 1997 ).
Through e commerce, to promote online tour packages to the market, web sites is the key advertising media to market the business and acquiring market share in the competitiveness business pie. This could increase consumers' online trust by decreasing perceived environmental risks or by rising security (Warrington et al., 2000). Additionally, both perceive security and perceived privacy had a positive influence on consumers' online initial trust. Only when security and privacy concerns have been promised and addressed will consumers start to consider other aspects of the web sites to decide whether they could trust and feel satisfied with transaction e-vendors (Yousafzai, et al., 2003). Normally, as the web site on marketing tour packages, with the surety and guaranteed posted by the e commerce marketers or tour vendors, customers could easily custom to purchasing any tour packages at ease.
Another risk and uncertainty for both the marketers and customers in the purchasing of tour packages through electronic commerce are immature web sites, incomplete principles of security and privacy, and news about hackers in the media that may all be reasons for online consumers to hesitate in conducting online transactions for fear of monetary losses. Cheskin Research (1999) claims that "the first and most necessary step in the development of consumers' online initial trust is to provide them the guaranteed that their personal information will be safeguarded. Both ordering and payment of online tour packages must have some forms of online security to facilitate the customers; otherwise the customers may fall prey of certain unscrupulous marketers who are preying the innocent customers. This could post business risk, goodwill as well as monetary losses from both parties. Therefore the government could impose some of the digital security to facilitate the electronic commerce businesses.
Perceived security is also a key determinant that will affect consumers' online initial trust in company. Once the marketers could build up their company's goodwill and trust with their clienteles. The marketer-consumers relationship and bond will be bounded. The management implication is that to decrease consumers' perceived risk and thus to increase initial perception of trust, companies should focus on features such as clearly stating security and privacy policies and regulations, including third-party rating of web sites, and providing delivery-and-payment services information system and data base via strategic alliance in logistic.
According to Weber and Roehl (1999), important online shopping features for online travel purchase include "security of sensitive information". Therefore any personal data that send through online must be verify twice and double check by the tour agents until the issuance of tickets in hard-copy which could be a form of double security not only for the seller but for the customers too.
Security is another major issue when using the internet to gather information or make purchase. Many internet users are concerned about the security of personal information and whether it is used appropriately (Vincent, 2003). As cyber law formulated by the government of the developed and developing countries that could be use as another tool to security for the customers against the unscrupulous agents. Certain online security function also could be installed in the system to facilitate the sellers and customers in this perspective.
Vrana and Zafiropoulos , (2006) quoted that security difficulties and the need for social interaction are the main barriers to marketing over the internet. Although internet use presents some opportunities and advantage for travel agencies for doing 24 hours global marketing, it is also a security issues, lack of interpersonal communication and lack of experience among consumers that prevent internet marketing growth. The internet provides different marketing and business opportunities for travel agencies; however, the range of travel products and services available on the internet is confusing to customers. In response, travel agencies should display their information in a consumer-friendly way and their products/ services should be delivered on well-designed web sites. Well-planned sites will help clients easily find their ways through the internet and promote the image of the company. In particular, travel agents should pay particular attention to the efficiency and promotion of their site, efficient structure of web pages, the suitability of content, the provision of advanced services and information offered (such as online reservations and interactive features). In support, user training is essential, together with the adoption of international protocols relating to the security of transactions and the confidentiality of customer information. With the necessary security measures that has been installed, it act as hedging the security risk post to the customers and the electronic tour marketers will be at ease in acquiring the market shares.
Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2002), through focus group interviews and an online survey, have uncovered four online retailing experience factors there are Web site design, reliability, privacy/security, and customer services. Therefore e commerce of online purchasing tour packages could be utilizing all the above mention online retailing securities measures put forth. Therefore collaboration between the marketers and internet service provider are crucial in this perspective.
Concerning about the online security for the customers in online purchasing of tour packages through e commerce, customers are ever willing to purchase using online not only easy and simple but secure. As Yang and Jun (2002) have uncovered six prominent factors which are reliability, access, ease to use, personalization, security and credibility employed by internet purchasers to evaluate e-retailers' service quality and seen principal services attributes-security, responsiveness, ease of use, reliability, availability, personalization, and access that could prevent visitors from purchasing.
Those factors influencing the use of technology-enabled services is the extent to which they are perceived to be sufficiently safe, secure, and reliable to use, cited in Walker and Johnson (2006). There are two elements, first is perceive risk may be grounded in concerns with regards for the technical performance reliability of the service delivery system. Second is, concerns about personal privacy and security. In the absence of personal contact and the corroboration that is interaction permits, the use of technology-enabled service implies confidents and trust that the service delivery system will perform satisfactory, accurately and reliability, and deliver the service (s) required.
David and Gary (2003), in their findings on antecedents to internet-based purchasing suggest that more Europeans such as French and Americans perceive internet as risky, the less likely they will be to make internet purchases. Thus, managers should seeks ways to minimize the perceived risk by ensuring that the privacy of buyer information is maintained and, in particular, credit card information is never be disseminated beyond the immediate needs of the buyer-seller interaction. This may be counter by partial payment of tour packages until the very last moment of issuance of ticket as security and guaranteed to customers.
Bhatnagar et al. (2000) through their study also show that security concern, are significant when consumer shop online for high-cost product, egocentric items. Therefore it is utmost important that e commerce tour marketers should look carefully in this particular matter as to comfortably acquire the needed market shares for their tour company. Also, security and privacy factors are critical for online companies in order to build long-term relationship between customers and sellers (Schoenbachler and Gorden, 2002; Yoon 2002). Due to the consumers' concern with regards to transaction security and privacy in e-transmission, retailers are now more involved in improving e-transmission security and broader protection policies by providing customized strategies including return policies, interactivity and personalization on Web sites (Detmer, 2002; Verton, 2001).
2.3.2 Reliability of company.
Potential online consumers believe that if a company has a good reputation in the marketplace, then a web site is more trustworthy, that could be the ultimate confident of the clientales, even if it lacks tangible and physical signs (Koufaris and Hamptonsosa, 2004). Users also believe that a company's willingness to customise their products or services is an indicator of a company's capabilities, resources, and benevolence or concerns toward its consumers, as Koufaris and Hamptonsosa, (2004) quoted that, attracting consumers to engage in transactions and strengthening online initial trust. Therefore, tour Companies who act as players in the marketing of online tour packages should be trustworthy and reliable to reap in tourists of all levels not only for the local but foreign entities.
Companies' competency can also influence consumers' online trust and purchase intention (Balasubramaniam et al., 2003, Koufaris and Hamptom-Sosa, 2004), including features such as company size, good reputation, willingness to customize (Koufaris and Hamptom-Sosa, 2004), and interaction with online consumers. Whatever needed by the customers, must be entertain. Most consumers assume that a large company has better capabilities to fulfil their wants and demands (Jarvenpaa et al., 2000) but this is not true, some time smaller tour entities could provide better services and well ahead of acquiring market shares. It is also proposed that a company with positive reputation does behave opportunistically, willingness continue to maintain its reputation (Doney and Cannon, 1007; Figueiredo, 2000; Jarvenpaa et al., 2000), and responds to consumers' concerns about product or services (Pennington et al., 2003).
The perception of a company is willing to customise has a positive relationship with consumers' online trust and loyalty, and drives consumers to more actively participate in transaction processes (Koufaris and Hampton-Sosa, 2004). It is very true that many companies have their success in term of willingness to customise, not only for the sake of the profits but to take care of the wellbeing of their clienteles who actually purchase not only for the tour packages but also the trust.
The availability on inter-consumer communications assists online consumers and helps to influence the perception of trustworthiness about a company; in this way, consumers are treated as a shared "family" by sharing information/value-belief, and feeling, belongingness (Luo, 2002). Therefore, tour marketers need to prepare and entertain that.
Customer who uses web-sites to purchase tour packages, some time will have to bear certain risk. It will cost dissatisfaction among the customs. Therefore, the online tour marketers should be responsible to reduce and minimized the risk factor or bear full responsibilities towards their sincere customers if any outcome or eventuality arises. Perceived risk has thus been proposed as a determinant of e-service adoption (Ruyter et al., 2001). To reduce this risk of dissatisfaction, consumers might rely on familiar brands or Web sites, or search for other available option before making purchase decisions.
2.3.3 Perceived ease to use
Perceived ease to use refers to "the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort". Davis, 1989 quoted that the digital transaction on online tour packages offered must be easy and notably the only means that tourist of all level could easy access and look-up for and a simple way to book any tour packages. According to the Technology Adoption Model (TAM) user's decision to adopt new information technology are principally determine by their attitudes ease to use (Davis., 1989).
Lin and Wu (2002) have employed the TAM to examine the impact of online service quality on portal site usage. They have found that several key dimension on online service quality such as information content, customization, reliability, and reliability have significant effect perceive ease of use and perceived usefulness, which in turn influence attitude towards using the portal sites, and actual portal sites, and actual portal site use. More importantly, their findings have indicated that perceive ease of use is more important than perceive usefulness. Therefore adopting to digital technologies will facilitate tourism marketers in playing their function of promoting their tour packages to customers.
Another perspective in the usage of digital technology in tourism industry is the reliability in application of those digital technologies. Referring to Berry et al. (1985) and Johnston, (1995), ease to use, responsiveness and service reliability are more traditionally service-oriented and have been considered as critical determinants of traditional service quality dimension. Some of the tourism fraternities insist of having the combination of both, namely digital and manual to overcome certain short-changes arises.
Tourism marketers need to furnish with all the correct and up-to-date information and upload it in their website as well as provide a full length services to their customers, as to fulfil customers' satisfaction. Quality of service provided is the key performance indicator in achieving organizational goal, namely good tour services and reap in profits. According to Zhilin and Fang (2004), service quality dimension for ease to use the main drivers of satisfaction is "easy to use: and main sources dissatisfaction is "Web site download speed". This finding suggests that examining what leads to customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction areas an access to institutional research, advisory services, business news, and historical financial data. Doing so will avoid unwanted customers who demand dull services which could not be satisfied. In addition, firms can actively manage customer expectations of certain service attributed and determine the appropriate levels to maintain.
Besides that, Peterson et al. (1997) has argued and propose another model of Internet buying. There are various channels that catered online tour packages and it could be promoted to the customers through internet or World Wide Web. As Peterson et al. (1997) noted that marketing activities can occur by three types of channels: distribution, transaction and communication channels. The distribution channels function is help the physical exchange of product and services. While for the transactional channels it is the sales activities between the sellers and the buyers. Communication channels are enabling the change of information between sellers and buyers. When this framework put together, the Internet will come across to the economic parties that can communicate, for example: interactive, flexible and efficient medium.
Yu-Hui Chen and Barnes, 2007 also have found out the usefulness of digital application in tourism marketing was more significant and strongly-linked than ease-of-use; a less-functional web site interface can discourage users to use (Davis, 1989). Thus ease-of-use is the main perspective that marketers' need to consider properly.
Atkinson and Kydd (1997) found significant effects of ease to use on the internet usage for entertainment. Moreover, Van (2004) found that the perceive ease to use is a significant predictor of adoption intention for hedonic-oriented IT.
Another question arises from the internet or online purchase of tour packages by the tour operators is the services provided. Internet is a straight forward tool in business dealing between marketers and customers but to get the business done, still we need human being to man the transactions. Therefore services rendered to the customer are another question we need to address. A good and quality services rendered to customers will definitely get the business deal sealed, although it is currently well accepted that service quality is crucial to the success of any service organization, there exists no uniformly accepted definition of service quality (Lewis and Michell, 1990). Whoever could provide quality services to the customers will get the market shares in online tour purchase transactions.
Online tour purchase not only it act as rendering services but to a certain extent it, also provide tangible services to the customers. Kandampully (2000) has showed that in tourism it is the holiday experience comprising both tangible and intangible services that constitutes the core component. In another hand, tourist satisfaction can be achieved if a tourism firm's core offering is able to meet the expectations of the customer; peripheral offerings thus essentially assist the firm in providing added attractions to the core service. This differentiation of core and peripheral within a range of services is critical for the customer satisfaction and effective management of tourism firm. As a result of this, the concept of service packaging proffers various applications in the effectual management of tourism services.
Davis et al. (1989) proposed that perceive ease to use not only predicts attitude towards channel, but is also an antecedent of perceived usefulness. Ceteris paribus , "the less effort a system is to use, the more using it can increase job performance" (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000, p. 192), which in context relate to the extent to which a service can be integrated into people's daily routine (Kleijnen et al., 2004).
Ease of use is the prominent determinant of consumer adoption of the Internet-enabled service channel. Well-organized user interfaces allows customer to allocate their desired information easily. Therefore, the organization and structure of online content should be logical and easy to follow. The numbers of graphics and animated features on Web pages needs to be minimized because they are extremely time-consuming to download and are often the cause of computer slowdown. Additionally, adequate navigation functions such as site search engines and clear menus are critical factors in enhancing the usability of a Web site (Zhilin et al., 2004).
2.3.4 Time Saving and Cost Saving
Online purchase offers a number of advantages to suppliers or business and consumer. One principal advantage of Internet-enabled businesses over traditional businesses is its power in furnishing customers sufficient, accurate, and timely information. Nevertheless, providing quality information requires an effective, sound management system of content development and information search. It demands managers' involvement with quality control of content and linkages of online resources (Zhilin et al., 2004).
The attractive attributes of Internet shopping include time-and money-saving, convenience or easy accessibility; the shopper's ability to screen and select a wide range of alternatives; and the availability of information for making purchasing or ordering decisions (Breitenbach and Van Doren, 1998; Crawford, 2000; Ray,2001; Schaeffer, 2000; Then and Delong, 1999).
In addition internet shopping has the potential to influence consumers' likelihood of purchasing if they perceive that the Internet saves time, effort; is easy to order; provides merchandise of good quality; offer privacy of financial security; offers good site design; and provides relevant and rich information (Breitenbach and Van Doren, 1998; Shim et al., 2000; Supphellen and Nysveen, 2001; Szymanski and Hise, 2000).
Internet shoppers rate the "save time" dimension as the most important reason to buy products from home. Correspondingly, future internet shoppers evaluated the "wide" product variety" offered by the internet as the most valuable service to them. (Vrechopoulos et al., 2001).
Apart from cost savings, the corporations are also able to negotiate rates that are not always available from other reservation channels (Connolly et al., 1998). Sales promotions and low prices were found to be more effective incentives for both group Internet and non Internet users for buying trough the Internet. In addition, both group respondents stated that they would not buy from virtual store if prices were higher, although they have agreed with the existence of a minimum purchase limit for free home delivery(Vrechopoulos et al., 2001).
Information technology and Internet is by far the cheapest mean of providing tour services to the tourists as well as it act as linkage to overall tour agents and marketers in getting their business. Malone et al. (1987) argue that the use of electronic communication links between firms, in this case the internet, can reduce both the costs of coordinating economic transactions and final offering of the services (Sakar et al., 1996; Van Rekom et al., 1999). Because modern information technology lowers the costs of both communication and information processing, Malone et al. hypothesize that "the result of reducing coordination costs without changing anything else should be an increase in the proportion of economic activity coordinated by markets". That is, the expectation of reduction in coordination costs would encourage firms to outsource their non-essential operations further (Malone et al., 1987, 1989)
2.3.5 Relative Advantage
The relative advantages offered by technological means of service provision are beneficial only if experienced by the customer. If, however, websites and telephone menus are complex and time consuming to navigate, and technically unreliable, then the convenience and time saving benefits that they promise may not actually be delivered or experienced. Furthermore, if this experience is a consequence of usage born more of personal necessity than personal desire, then it is perhaps to be expected that user perceptions of relative advantages may not be consistent with how those advantages are marketed and communicated (Walker and Johnson, 2006).
Thus, regular usage may be born of reasons divorced from marketed advantages, and may not necessarily indicate satisfied use. As a consequence, negative experiences and attitudes may have the effect of detracting from the credibility of marketed advantages of using these services, Therefore, for the marketed benefits of these services to be meaningful, plausible and credible, they must delivered consistently to the satisfaction of users (Walker and Johnson, 2006).
Despite the fact that online services provide convenience to travellers for information search and purchasing, many consumers still prefer to use traditional purchase options that impede the growth of Internet shopping for travel products. Peterson et al. (1997) find that consumers are able to gather information about products and services on the internet; however, the actual distribution of goods and services is likely to be affected by the internet.
Convenience (e.g. availability of relevant information, richness of information, and ease of ordering) and competitive price or sales promotions play the most significant roles in predicting intention to revisit Web sites (Chiger et al., 2001).
Factor influencing the use of technology-enabled services lies in their perceived benefits and the extent to which these services are perceived or believed to offer relative benefits advantages over more traditional face-to-face encounters. Examples may include greater convenience and accessibility, reduced waiting time and faster response (Dabholkar and Bagozzi, 2002; Walker et al., 2002; Meuter et al., 2000; Mick and Fournier, 1998). For example, users may prefer these services because they eliminate the need to visit the service provider personally, to engage in personal discussion, and to endure the presence and behaviour of other customers.
The functionality of a web site helps users to search for goods and information; full and detailed information about goods, transaction guidance, or delivery increases online initial trust and benevolence toward a web site via experience of the web interface. Useful information can resolve or mitigate consumer doubts by narrowing information asymmetry between buyers and sellers, assisting consumers in conducting an effective and efficient online purchase (K. Rajamma, 2007)
The tourism industry organizations are requires working together as a value chain to add value and deliver product and services to the customer. According to Poon (1993) who adapted Porter's value chain concept to the tourism industry, to build this system that needs to search for customer satisfaction at every single step in the tourism value chain, needs a robust performance measurement system and the efficiency of this chain at every phase. The aim is to offer a tourism value chain performance measurement framework that coordinate their processes and activities, allows various players to communicate, and helps to measure the customer and internal performance in a mature way.
Researches also have shows that such information searches are usually limited to a few alternatives, because the costs of further searching do not justify the perceived benefits (Kolesar and Galbraith, 2000). Thus, a customer purchases through the Internet because of its potential benefits and convenience - in return for which the customer must learn to use the new technology and accept the risk of poor results (Berry, 1995). Since new digital technologies and internet may have certain hitches and unforeseen circumstances or eventually but if the marketers should have any precautionary measures, then there would not have any worry at all.
Besides that, Grangsjo (2003) shows the ways to measure the tourism value chain and ways to manage with a customer-oriented approach becomes vital. The tourism value chain begins with the customer order. Customer or tourists have the alternative before they purchase the tourism product. For example, they can arrange their travel plan with the help from the tour operators or outbound travel agents (package travel). This is the advantage of taking professional advice on holiday packages without arrange it themselves (individual travel), without any thinking, also giving them be flexible in their travel experiences.
Secondly, the incoming travel agents can used to make transfer arrangements transportation to/from the airport, for example: train station, harbor and etc. to daily excursions, hotel and others activities held at the destination. Many of the customers or tourists are focus on the transportation provided between home and destination. This is an important part of the tourism value chain.
Additionally, the tourism agents must includes their package travel model such an alternatives of either taking the whole holiday package, which is the most popular places, any part of the travel, for example: airline ticket, car rental at destination or combination of both, hotel reservation and etc. On another way, the consumers can organize each step of their travel by themselves by buy the airline ticket, hotel reservation, sightseeing tour car rental, etc from the individually companies directly without using any intermediary.
The communication structures provided by the Internet have also given customers a new role (Wright and Jayawardhena, 2001). Due to their connectivity and interactivity customers can become more empowered as they surf the Web for the best prices or value for money and the latest consumer innovation or special offers (Jayawardhena, Tiu and Masterson, 2003).
Internet shopper is convenience-oriented (Donthu and Garcia, 1999; Korgaonkar and Wolin, 1999), innovative and variety-seeking and not appear to be brand-or price-sensitive (Donthu and Garcia, 1999). These described consumer characteristics borrow heavily from the concepts of shopper orientation and retail patronage mode.
188.8.131.52 Ability to do comparison
When the tour industry gearing up using internet in online promoting and online sales of their tour packages. There are infecting competing among them. According to Rohm and Swaminathan (2004), they mention that the ability to do comparison shopping online increase customers' variety seeking behaviour. The customers are free to do comparison in the product search in term of pricing, quality and etc.
The internet allows customers to do innumerable such comparisons just a click of mouse (Alba et al., 1997; Shanker et al., 2003). Since search costs in an online environment are much less than in an offline context, it becomes easiest and cost effective for the consumer to engage in comparisons (Nelson, 1074; Stingler, 1961; Jensen et al., 2003).
Kim and Stoel (2005), have found that availability of comparison shopping is another important in customer service dimension. Singh (2002) also supports the critical role of comparison shopping to facilitate the purchase design.
The digital technologies and information technologies adoption could contribute to businesses tremendously especially the promotion of online purchasing of tour packages, in particular, with an application to the adoption of IT in travel agencies' supply chains and the influence of B2B interactions and environmental factors on IT adoption for business performance, including sales performance, efficiency, and relationship development. Being a part of the service sector, the travel and tourism industry has inevitably been associated with developments in new technologies, for example: global reservation systems, computer reservation systems, and the internet. Although some of the researchers argue that the diffusion of IT leads to a process of disintermediation, for example (Buhalis 1998) mention that the adoption of IT provides significant opportunities for tourism intermediaries (Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003). Specifically, the ability of a travel agency to build and sustain relationships with its suppliers and customers, together with the adoption of IT in order to upgrade its distinctive competencies, for example: intelligence-based intermediaries to meet customers' interests, support the importance of analyzing IT in travel agency' supply chain relationships.
2.3.6 Information Search
Regarding Wolfinbarger and Gilly's in formativeness dimension of goal-oriented shoppers, the Internet also provides a rich source of information for many products (Evans and Wuster, 1999). Online shoppers are using the Internet as one of many sources of information in their pre-purchase search activities.
Businesses nowadays has gearing into electronic commerce, businesses not only sells direct to customers through various promotional methodologies but with the existing of digital technologies such as internet and world wide web, only line purchasing has already gaining its pace. Rowley (1996) has quoted that an increasing number of shopping malls, selling an ever widening selection of products, are becoming available on the Internet. There are, still a number of challenges facing the Internet by the retailer and shopper. These include: locating the shops, security, comparison shopping, the customer base and profile, especially in relation to financial transactions, the nature of the shopping experience, and legal and marketplace control or lack of them. It can be make money on the Internet without selling, but by using the Internet to support other business processes. Recently, many retailers are exploring the potential of the Internet, but the market place is still in its infancy process. Retailers do, however, report has increasing sales and has a positive contribution to marketing from visibility on the Internet. Thus, to have an effective on-selling on the site, the travel agency should offer the product search engine, tourism information, interactive communication company information, on-line catalogue, electronic board, membership registration and site link (Beirne and Curry, 1999;Liu and Arnett,2000).
Lu (1997, in Yung (1998)) also mentions that, in the site, it should have a brief introduction of the agency itself. With this brief introduction on the agency itself, it can bring trust to the customers itself to consume their tour packages. They also have to introduce marketing activities and safety protection in transaction. Marketing activities can make the consumer know which tour agency promote to which destination. Tour agency has to guarantee the safety protection in transaction to avoid from the hackers. Other example tour agencies need to provide is promote what is new in the site, electronic media functions, questions and answer services to help the consumers understand better, online product purchasing and do know the frequent visitor programs tend to be preferable items for consumers.
It is in fact customer centered services provider to acquire market shares in online purchase of tour packages. Yet there are many facet of customers purchase their tour packages through internet. Therefore marketers need to understand the various characteristics of the customers who use online purchasing of tour packages. Lewis (1997) has identified five kinds of Web visitor, each with different needs and wants. It is directed information seekers which is a desired services for this group include the relevant information on specific topics or events and availability of timely. Secondly, Undirected information seekers. This group likes to browse, something unexpected or looking for anything of interest. Thirdly is Bargain hunters. A bargain hunter is a group looking for give-away such as samples and prizes. Bargain hunters are search for free merchandise in order to justify their online investment. Fourthly is Entertainment seekers. These visitors are looking for an entertainment. They like the ability to interact with the Web site, and feature that interest them include the availability of animation, online puzzles, sound clips and games. The last one is Directed buyers. The main objective of this group is to buy while online; they may be looking for a particular item or gift idea. A company Web site must provide features and services that are in demand and directly address to the needs of these different classes of visitors. As inside a group, Web site visitors demand an experience which is engaging, interactive, and memorable. The Internet marketer must know to balance the needs and wants of the typical homepage visitor with his or her objective in marketing the particular offering. A brief review of classical marketing objectives is in order the techniques used to further a particular marketing objective are in concert with and exploit the inherent nature of the Internet media.
Digital technologies in this information age has also offer as a very useful tool in electronic commerce apart from the old delivery system still practice by certain quarters from the tour operators fraternities throughout the world especially the developing and under-developing countries. Internet market has since created an efficient platform as "a virtue realm where products and services exist as digital information and it can be delivered through information-based channels" (Meuter et al., 2000).
Businesses in today's perspective must be in line with digital age since internet has provided an easy platform between marketers and customers to enter into any business transactions. The only shortchange maybe come from its connectivity, certain under-developing countries still couldn't provide a 100% electricity may not be able to have their connectivity of e commerce through internet even though digital technologies has already exist for quite some time now. Many businesses from develop and developing countries has already done through this process. According to the Wymbs (2000), the prospective for global connectivity on the Internet empowers consumers, provide the customers with the necessary information, to convert intensions into the purchases transaction.
2.3.7 Willingness to use
Purchase intention is defined as the situation which manifests itself when a consumer is willing and intends to become involved in online transaction (Pavlou, 2003). Online transactions have three different characteristics from traditional transactions which is interactions use extensive technology, the uncertain, temporal, impersonal character of the online transaction environment and the open, unpredictable, and technological infrastructures during the processes of online transactions (Ba and Pavlou, 2002; Pavlou, 2003)
Recently in Malaysia itself, tour organizers throughout the country has reckoned with the promoting or tour packages is of utmost important in reaping in business and eventually profits must be through web-sites and internet. As Bernstein, et al. (1999) have quoted that travel is the fastest growing segment of online commerce, with no sign of slowing down. Therefore there is a selected list of travel sites to help librarians, and the travelling public, locate information to fit their needs. The sites are arranged in ten major categories, namely mega sites, practical matters, lodging and restaurants, budget travel, specialty travel, transportation, maps, regional/country/city-specific links, the travel business, and travelogues/current news/journal articles. All the above said web-sites will facilitate the travelers both local as well as foreign in choosing their dream destinations.
The unique nature of internet environment is relevant to the acceptance of e-commerce and consumers' purchase intentions (Pavlou, 2003). Consumers evaluate a web store through online trust positively influencing their attitude toward conducting online purchases at the site: moreover, their attitude affects their purchase intentions (Wang, 2003). Online trust postitively influences purchase intention (Yoon, 2002: Grabner- Krauter and Kaluscha, 2003; Pavlou, 2003; Gefen and Straub, 2004):
Huizingh (2000) has mentioned that the main web site customers will normally visit of an agency's site is for the information or content. The term "content" is the information services or features that are offered in the website. With this, the customers can read through the content of the web sites of travel agencies' packages, tourism information and etc. these information must already put in as data-base by the marketer themselves or through the services of an IT expert. This website would also post as pulling factor or attracting the customers to surf the sites for whatever reason to purchase.
As mention earlier, many customers has moving from the conventional shopping to a new invention, namely internet purchase marketing of all business concern. Example like College Stores Research and Education Foundation (CSRE) has conducted a survey on college student shopping online on a regular basis and their online shopping is estimated to grow significantly in the future. Besides that, Yoo and Donthu, (2001) recently has done a studies relating to online shopping base on college student demographically and it has symbolize one of the most active online shopper segments. The example conducted on the student online buying habits shows that the student average age is 22.6 years. On average stated these students spent 7.72 hours per week on Internet for a numerous of reasons. For example: checking e-mail, conducting research, chatting with friends, checking sports' scores, shopping online, registering for courses, getting travel information, checking concert tour schedules/tickets, getting course information, downloading software, getting more times/tickets, getting course information, and playing online games. Concerning 49.2 per cent from the respondents indicated their online shopping will remain about the same and the most important percentage stated their online shopping would increase (42.8 percent) or significantly increase (5.3 per cent) in the next year. About 33 per cent respondents who did not shop online, at the same time, it indicated their online shopping would either increase or substantially increase in the future year. Therefore it shows how important online purchase or online business will steadily grow in years to come and eventually, all business transaction will conduct through online.
The adoption and use of technology-enabled services implies an international willingness to engage. This may be influence by prior experience (Au and Enderwick, 1999; Dickerson and Gentry, 1983; Fishbein and Azjen, 1975); by the perceived benefits offered by these services and their manner of delivery (Polatoglu and Ekin, 2001; Au and Enderwick, 1999; Karahanna et al., 1999); and by attitudes towards technology generally (Curran et al., 2003 Meuter et al/, 2003; Dabholkar, 1996; Azjen and Fishbein, 1980).
Furthermore, willingness may be voluntary or non voluntary: people may engage voluntarily because they prefer to do so or non voluntary because they feel they have to, or that they have no choice (Wakler et al., 2002). In both circumstances, however, usage behaviour still implies a degree of willingness that motivates and characterizes the behaviour.
Purchase intent, a behavioural intention to buy is a good predictor of actual purchase behaviour (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). Empirical studies show that good products and companies (Babin et al., 1995), and contributes to satisfaction with the purchase experiences and future purchase intention (Taylor and Baker, 1994: Westbrook, 1981) or subsequent purchase behaviour (Cronin and Taylor, 1992).
According to Ajzen (1991), behavioural intention are "assumed to capture motivation factors that influence a behavioural", and also measure the amount of effort one is willing to exert to perform a behaviour. In online shopping, attitudes towards online customer service may influence how motivated online customers are to purchase online. The more favourable attitude toward online customer service, the more likely one is willing to purchase online.
Some time, consumers who purchase tour packages through online need macro and micro aspects as the changes in online tour agents are inevitable. It might be the combination of both that influences the customers buying behaviour. They thence to choose and customers are always right in their choices. Gharivi and Sor (2005) stated that Change becomes a combination of setting macro boundaries influencing the overall direction of change and evolution follows by a micro-level strategic differentiation amongst individual travel agents. Therefore, the dynamics of change is far more complex than mere determinism and/or strategic choice.
2.4 Demographics factors
2.4.1 Education level
Vincent (2003), has found that Internet and non -users differed in terms of education level, annual household income and country residence. With regards to respondents' education levels, those Internet users with better education (80 percent), at university or postgraduate level, were more likely to purchase travel products online than those non-Internet users at a comparatively lower education level.
Refer to Easman and lyer (2004), people with higher education levels are less willingness to buy online. These consumers worried about the security and safety of using the Internet; whereas, consumers with lower education levels might not have considered or thought about the safety and security issues of buying online.
Several analyses of consumer behaviour suggest that males and females differ in their processing of information (Holbrook, 1986; Palmer and Bejou, 1995); particularly, males and females respond differently to alternative consuming tasks and stimuli (e.g. Pictures versus words) (Meyers-Levy, 1989).
Females respond to non-verbal stimuli by evoking more associative, imagery-laced interpretations and more elaborate descriptions than males (Gilligan, 1982). This phenomenon suggests that the fundamental gender differences may contribute to the moderating role for attitudes and online purchase intentions, because products promoted online bring about different stimuli and imagery-laced interpretations versus those of products demonstrated in a physical store.
Accordingly, females are more sensitive to relevant information online than males when making judgments (Meyers-Levy and Sternthal, 1991), causing subsequent purchase attitudes and intentions rendered by males and females to vary. As genders adhere to alternative sex roles, individuals with stronger feminine or masculine identities make different consumption choices accordingly (Costa, 1994; Fischer and Arnold, 1994). It has been summarized that males are guided predominantly by controlling tendencies and stress self-assertion, self-efficacy, mastery and avoidance of insecurity and uncertainty (Meyers-Levy, 1988).
This phenomenon implies that the influence of personal awareness of security on attitudes and online purchase intention may be moderate by gender, and such as influence is hypothesized to be stronger for male consumers than for females.
Compared to traditional purchases, online purchasing is an innovative way to acquire goods and services for consumers. Hence, the personal innovativeness of an individual consumer becomes critical to his/her attitudes and online purchase intentions.
Specifically, the self-indentifies innovativeness of females is found to be more influential than that of males in a previous study (Goldsmith et al., 1987), indicating that level of innovativeness among females could be expected to lead to more positive attitudes and online purchase intentions may be moderated by gender, and the influence is hypothesised to be stronger for female consumers than for males.
From the early days the commercial use of Internet, studies have continually shown that there are gender differences in the usage of Internet (Pope et al., 1999). Moreover, evidence exist that males make decision differently. Shim (1996) found that teenage boys were more utilitarian, whereas teenage girls are more socially conspicuous. Other research shown that men see shopping as being unpleasant and undesirable (Dholokia, 1999), spend less time than women and generally do not take responsibility for food and clothing purchase (Miller, 1998).Jayawardhena et al. (2007), find that gender has a significant influence on online purchase intention.
Accroding to Trocchia and Janda (2000), senior citizens who do not use the Internet, avoid it due to an aversion to technology that may be based on misperceptions (such as thinking that the Internet as difficult to use). Additional concerns are the privacy and security of online activities Pastore (2001). Thus, if marketers can reposition the Internet from being high tech to user friendly, safe, and with significant benefits (such as keeping in touch with loved ones and learning new things), more senior citizens would be likely to utilize the Internet.
Modahl (2002), suggests that the elderly are less likely to use the Internet due to the pessimistic attitude towards technology: .... The consumer's attitude toward technology itself as the single most important determinant of personal computer buying and internet use.
Joines et al. (2003), found that age does not impact search behaviour but does impact purchase behaviour and younger consumers purchase more than older customer.
2.5 Purchase experience
Since online shopping is a relatively new activity for vast majority of consumers, online purchase still perceive as riskier than terrestrial ones (Loroche et al., 2005) and online shopping consumers therefore relies heavily on experience qualities. These can acquired only through prior purchase. Shoppers who never bought online are more risk-averse than those who have bought before (Lee and Tan, 2003).
Moreover, prior purchasing experiences are positively related to purchase intentions in e-commerce (Shim et al., 2001; So et al., 2005). "Familiarity deals with an understanding of the current actions of other people or of objects, while trust deals with benefits about the future actions of other peoples" (Gefen, 2000. P. 727). Familiarity provides two approaches to building trust, namely, Offering a framework for future expectations and creating substantial ideas of consumers' expectations based on previous interactions (Gefen, 2000).
Online consumers with strong purchase intentions in e-commerce usually have previous online purchase experiences that assist in decreasing their uncertainties (Shim and Drake, 1990).
Prior experiences of online shopping present a vital and direct influence on online purchase intention; previous or similar transaction experiences assist consumers in predicting future information searches, in shopping format choices, in satisfying online purchase experiences, in developing a trusting attitude towards a web site, as well as in decreasing consumers' levels of perceived risks (Shim et al., 2001).
Interestingly, familiarity with online transactions has a more influential impact on purchase intention than online initial trust; consumers with prior online purchase experiences are more likely and willingly to conduct transactions and have a positive attitude toward the web site (Bruner and Kumar, 2000).
Familiarity is a function of regularity and the history of experience that people have with a give stimulus and is associated with consumers' purchase likelihood, cited in (Kuhlmeier and Knight, 2005). It is likely that the familiarity obtained from ongoing usage, as well as past experience, with the internet should positively influence the likelihood that people will purchase good via the internet. This tendency is partially rooted in the "mere exposure effects", in which continuous exposure tends to increase peoples' liking for given stimuli, cited in (Kuhlmeier and Knight, 2005).
At the affective level, the more an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus, the positive his or her attitude becomes toward that stimulus, cited in (Kuhlmeier and Knight, 2005). Similarly, people are known to become increasingly comfortable with given technologies the more they use and become familiar with them. This tendency should hold true in consumers' usage of the internet as well.