Ryanair is a European airline company and was founded in 1985 by the Ryan family. It operates 232 Boeing 737-800 aircrafts with 41 bases and is connecting with 153 destinations. It started by 5000 passengers in 1985 and today counts up to 58,565,663 passengers every year. Currently it employs 7000 people with the sole purpose the increasing of the passengers every year.(Ryanair, no date)
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Nowadays, users use e-commerce more than anything else. So the rapid growth of the e-commerce requires the appropriate methods and strategies for being competitive in your subject. Ryanair uses several strategies in the environment of e-commerce and e-business which the main features around of the strategies are to provide low-fare prices to the consumers that generate increased the passenger traffic. So far, everything that has accomplished as a company has been due to the good management of strategies and applications which are used to promote the company to the consumers. (Ryanair, no date)
The web site of Ryanair is www.ryanair.com and from here the consumers can book a ticket and also can be aware of any offers. However, the web site can be better and the strategies also can be used for several reasons, not only for the main finding which is the low-fare prices to the consumers. According to Laudon and Traver, managers of websites must first understand what kinds of people they will find online and how those users work in the online market (Laudon and Traver, 2008). The company must develop the website considering all the kinds and needs of consumers. Ryanair using several strategies, applications and technologies tries to deliver to the consumers the value propositions of the company. In the report below there is an evaluation of these value propositions with any inconsistent strategies, applications and technologies and then there will be discussion of new strategies that Ryan air can use them to better improve the electronic business and consumer. (Ryanair, no date)
Description of Ryanair
The technology of e-commerce enables Ryanair and other businesses to exchange information in zero time and advertise their products and services to a global market. According to Shell Oil CIO Jay Crotts explains:”market knowledge is necessary for successful global IT” (CIO executive council, 2010). There are two kinds of e-commerce: Business-to-consumer and Business-to-business. Ryanair supports the Business-to-consumer commerce (B2C).
One of the main value propositions of Ryanair.com is that when users like to book a ticket for a holiday they can arrange everything about their holiday from the web site. Firstly, when a user visits the web site there is a table at the middle-top of the web site which can search directly for the destination routes. Also there is another one table in the right of the web site which there are last offers of the company. Ryanair update their web site every day providing different ticket offers to different destinations. Users can find and book a very cheap ticket which is the main strategy of company. When users booked a ticket, they can manage their booking e.g. add bags, change flights, name change and cancel ticket. Also they can do online check-in which is easy for those people who do not have enough time to be at the airport two or three hours before the flight. Furthermore, users can be register for Ryanair sale alerts which is an e-newsletter and the benefits are that users can receive the latest deals and the cheapest flight offers for their favourite departure airports to their emails. However, when users booked their ticket, Ryanair can obtain to the users to book cheap hire and cheap hotels from Ryanair’s web site. Users can select to book a hotel and then users will transfer directly to booking.com from where they can search and find the cheapest hotels and also they can see photos and locations of hotels. For the car hire, users can make a reservation where there are daily offers and especially for students there are 15% discount for every booking. Also, after the booking users can view, modify or cancel their reservation from the web site. (Ryanair, no date)
The good functionality of the main value propositions is based on how managers had applied the right strategies and applications for each part separately on the ‘website. This is an important role for the functionality of web site because managers except the discovery of good strategies and applications they must be able to implement each of them to the correct part of website.
One of the strategies which managers delivered to the website is the low-fares prices. The purpose of this strategy is to increase the demand of fares so that users can book tickets not only for holidays but and for daily flights for small distances. Delivering this strategy in the website users can book tickets anytime of the day. However, if users book a ticket one month before the schedule flight, the ticket it will be cheaper than one ore two days before the schedule flight. (Ryanair, no date)
Secondly, the customer service is one of the various roles in whether the users will be continued to visit and book tickets from Ryanair. Ryanair delivered this strategy to the web site, so that users be able to solve any queries and it seems to that company have achieved several good comments from the users. According to reports by Association of European Airlines and the airlines own published statistics, Ryan air has achieved better punctuality, fewer lost bags and fewer cancellations than all of the rest of its peer grouping in Europe. Also one important goal which is held in high position the Ryan air is that users can book tickets for short distances. (Ryanair, no date)
Furthermore, Ryanair in order to taking advantages from e-commerce transformed the reservation system from British Airways Booking System to a new system called Flightspeed. Insight Flightspeed there an internet booking facility called Skylights. This system provides to the users to have access in the booking system in a real time and to book and pay a ticket in a real time as well. The Skylight system update every second and then the reservation site refresh so that users can be aware for any available bookings. (Ryanair, no date)
Ryanair make use of several banners from other companies which can help their users for their holidays and much more. Using of banners can provide some more extra money to the Ryan air company. Usually these banners paying by click and is using by the most e-commerce sites. On the other hand, Ryan air advertises the company using banners to other sites. This strategy is a big benefit for the company because the money which take from advertising other companies banners in to web site, gives them to advertise the airlines to others sites. (Ryanair, no date)
Expected from the banners advertising, Ryanair cooperate with several travel agent’s sites. The company tries to cooperative with as more as agent’s site can because many people do not know the Ryanair airlines or they want to check for several airlines at once. (Ryanair, no date)
Moreover, one effective strategy is the e-newsletters but provided to the users as not annoying. For that reason, Ryanair asks the users to the registration if they want to receive any newsletters from the company. Newsletters inform their users via email about any offers and news of the Ryan air. (Ryanair, no date)
According to the previous section, Ryanair tries to deliver their strategies and applications to their web site, so that e-commerce it will be more easy and understandable to the consumers with purpose of the increasing of the consumers every year. The company to avoid losing their users tries to advertise the airlines with as many ways providing by the web. Banners, e-newsletters and advertise to the travel agent’s sites are some of the advertising ways which tries to publicize to the users. However, Ryanair using meta tags which is used by search engines to allow them be more accurate in the list of search engines. Some representative samples that Ryanair has choose are: “Ryanair, Ryan air, cheap, flights, bargain, budget, return, last minute, travel, destination, trip, fly, airport, airline, low cost, cheap flights, UK, London-Stansted, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, East Midlands, Book Cheap Flights, Europe, Cheap Flights from UK” view-source:http://www.ryanair.com/en.
On the other hand, Ryanair changed their booking system from British Airways Booking System to a new one booking system called Skylight. With this change, they changed everything about booking a ticket. The users to check the route map needs a program called Microsoft Skylight. Most of the users have this program on its windows or from their several automatic updates. But maybe there are some users that they have old computer and them not able to check the route map and book a ticket. This fact about Skylight is very rare but the best thing you have to think before you install an application to your web site is what the computers of users provided to them. (Ryanair, no date)
Furthermore, Ryanair to mislead the users when they trying to identified the route which wants and then tries to book a ticket, in the first price when you see for your route map, are not listed with taxes and fees included so the prices until the final booking are rising. Furthermore, Ryanair charges â‚¬5 the credit card for each person, so if one family made up by 5 people the price it will be â‚¬25 more. Also, if the users like to check in online they have to pay â‚¬5 extra. (Ryanair, no date)
According to the UK’s E-commerce Regulations, “The email address of the service provider must be given. It is not sufficient to include a ‘contact us’ form without also providing an email address”. Ryanair has no contact email address directly to the company. The company just has a several FAQ (friendly answer questions) and also telephone numbers for all the reservation centres. (Out-Law, 2002)
The design of a web site which is one strategy to attractive many users is just good. Living in a world where the Web 2.0 is a fact, for a big company with many users as a Ryanair airline, the colours looks very cheap and outdated. The compilation of blue and yellow creates quite a harsh effect on the eye and just contributes to the general feeling of a sensory physical attack that is generated by the whole website. For a company like Ryanair with high revenue, the best way is to spend some money for the website design and then the website will be more attractive to the users. (Keith’s blog, no date)
Ryanair has registered several domain names but some domains are not registered yet. The description of this strategy is that provide to the customers more ways to locate the web site when searching the internet. However, it gives more opportunities to the market and they rank and list the website to the search machines. This is very important, because users when they will search for cheap tickets to the search engines, probably they will click to the first or second link provided by search engines. So if Ryanair registers as many as domains it can it will be list to the first position to the search engines.
Ryanair is using a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising programme. PPC is a cost effective strategy for advertising included specific words. Since there is almost impossible for a site like Ryan air to be found in the first 10 results from 1.000.000.000, the manager of the site can create a campaign adwords, and promoted the first results page of this word by paying only for those who finally clicking on the advertising and reach the site.
Furthermore, one strategy which gives only advantages goods to the Ryan air and keeps it to the high positions of airlines is the book of tickets for small distances. This makes it more competitive because of the short distances used daily by many users. (Ryanair, no date)
Moreover, the developments of the site created a language tool on the top of the web site from where users can change the language of the site in any language they want. This application gives the opportunity to the company to promote their web site worldwide and to be able to receive users who are not familiar with the English language. (Ryanair, no date)
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Overall, Ryanair tries to deliver to the users all the ways that internet can provide for the advertisement and for the usability by the users. According to the critical evaluation the positive elements of the Ryan air website are that using several ways to advertise their website. Banners, e-newsletters, meta tags, pay-per-click (PPC), small distances tickets, language tool for several nationalities. On the other hand, there are and negative elements which are the booking system which needs Microsoft skylight to use it, the extra charges for payments, the communication services, some domains are not registered and design of website which looks very cheap. By adding a few more strategies, applications and technologies, all the negative elements of the website can be replaced and then the website of Ryan air will be more attractive and easier to use from the users. (Ryanair, no date)
New E-business strategies, technologies and applications
In our days, to say that one e-commerce website works perfectly, companies must use all the ways that internet provide to the companies for the marketing promotion. These ways may be applications, technologies and strategies. Ryanair can be better and can increase the popularity of users if it adds some more strategies for the web promotion and for the ease of user. There are lots of opportunities to advertise online but some of them are a waste of time. The company must figure out how to advertise online their products with the same reasoning as advertise in conventional media. In order to define new strategies that are will be useful for the company you have to think the strategy analysis for instance, the impact to the external and internal environment. The objectives for the strategy needed for the vision and mission of the company. Third step is the strategic definition which consists from the option generation, option evaluation and option selection. The definition of strategy is very important because is one step before the implementation of the strategy and the purpose of this it’s to renew the strategies and find out the best strategy for the next step. And the finally step of strategy selection is the implementation which required a control to check the strategy problems and to regulate the implementation. (Chaffey, 2007) (See appendix 1)
One important marketing promotion strategy is the online discussion. “Many of the unique features of e-commerce and the internet come together in a set of applications and social technologies referred to as Web 2.0.” (Laudon and Traver, 2008, p.18). There are lots of users who are registered to forums, blogs and to the social networks machines like facebook, twitter, my space etc. However, there are some forums and blogs which are specific for one object. For instance, Ryanair can register to the forums and to blogs which are for travelling and give an answer to the user’s questions. Additionally, the company can provide some helpful advices to the users, who want to book a ticket, can advertise the web site and can show and speak for the routes map. However, managers of Ryanair must be insert a link of the website to any forum, blog or any social networking from where the users will be able to connect directly to the Ryanair website. Also, the company before add any topics to the forums and to blogs must make sure that knows the terms and conditions of each forum, to avoid adulteration their reputation. Social networking strategy included to the marketing promotion strategy. From the social networks sites can promote all the company and can find and attract new users to your website. For example, Ryanair can make a group which can join users who are interest about company and can update their group whenever it wants and the users will be able to inform directly.
One function which missed from the Ryanair web site is the RSS feed. RSS is a service which provides to the users to collect all the new entries from the Ryanair without visit the website. Users are able to receive every new entry the time when Ryan air submits it. The users to be able to read the RSS must select from the site to be a receiver of RSS and they need just an RSS reader. With this application all the users are able to inform about Ryanair without visit the web site.
Furthermore, when the users booked a ticket sometimes they have some queries. Ryanair expected the FQA (friendly questions answer) is not able to solve the queries of the customers. So for the better functionality of the company, is better to make an online chat 24 hours per day from where the customers will be able to contact with Ryan air staff and get answers for their queries. Also, the online chat application must be 24 hours per day because Ryanair website provides their services to the internet users every second every day.
For a big company such as Ryanair is better for the website to include web 2.0 technology. So, it will be more easy and eye-catching to users if they have their own account to the Ryanair web site. However, the developments of the website must create one platform where users will have their own username and password. Users will register and log in into their personal accounts where they will can change the interface, control their transactions and to check how many times have flight and where with the Ryanair. This tool it will attract many people who using other airlines because if they check that Ryanair web site can provide to them more applications they will be more happy and interested to use Ryanair web site.
Ryanair’s developments can produce one application or even a small forum where users can gives a feedback for the cooperative with the airlines or even any recommendations about the web site. Ryan air can ask the users to recommend the airlines web site to their friends and if the user’s response company can thanks them with a voucher that can be used to the web site.
For the more easy use of the website by the users, Ryanair can create and implement the self service applications. Because there are many users that have not an internet connection on their home and may they would like to book a ticket, Ryanair can provide to users free telephone line directly to the offices of the company and then users can choose the fare that they would like and can process out the transaction via the telephone. Furthermore, Ryanair can create small kiosks into malls, airports or even to the big streets where will be provide free access to the internet and users will be able to book, change or modify their bookings. These applications can provide better usability to the users who don’t have the economical ease or the time to stay at home for waiting a response from an email, so automatically the functionality of website improvement with the free telephone line and free internet connection that users can use from anywhere. (searchCRM, 2002)
The fact that every year the mobile technologies are increasing with the consumers using PDA technologies in their life, it will be easier for them if the managers of Ryan air development a mobile platform which users can download it to their phone and they will log in directly with the Ryan air website. Furthermore, the mobile device application can use and from the employees of Ryanair because may they need to make changes to the website or to add some important information to the site and they will be able to do that from anywhere. According to IBM to support wireless mobile devices, companies needs the following services ” Security wireless access, solutions that deliver applications and data to mobile users, device management and extensibility support through a service oriented architecture (SOA)” (IBM,2009). For instance, some PDA can install platforms to the system but on the other hand some can not. For that reason I check out the Ryanair website from an Iphone to see if the media of the website are simple and it can run on a mobile platform. The result it was satisfactory, Ryan air runs normally on the phone and the media of the page it was simple. But again it’s better if the developers of Ryanair create mobile platforms which users can download it into their phones. (See appendix 2)
When users booked a ticket Ryanair used to ask them if they would like to receive the ticket booking confirmation to their phones as a message. Furthermore, Ryan air sends and an email confirmation letter to their users. However, this strategy using by the most of airlines companies so Ryan air must do it something to discriminate between the other airlines companies. So expect from the email confirmation to their users email accounts and to their phones, Ryanair can send all the details of the flight (flight time, terminal etc) to their user’s phones some hours before the schedule flight. Also, users for be up to date, when a flight ends Ryanair is better to send a message to all the users about the destination (e.g. code of calls, etc).
METHODS OF MARKETING AND PROMOTION
First of all, because Ryanair not works only with the internet, have to advertise the website on all brochures, business cards and advertising of the company. The most important strategy is wherever managers they promote Ryanair airline they should promote and the web site as well.
Furthermore, the managers of Ryanair have to keep an eye on their competitors and learn from the success of them. Managers must not copy them but have under surveillance the other airlines web sites for any news strategies that they used. Managers must find out the attributes which using by the others airlines and have success.
As we know, the main purpose of the company is to increasing the passengers every year. But on the other hand, the company have to think and for existing customers. It must be encourage them to be continuing travelling with Ryanair. So expect the special offers and the vouchers which are for all the users who visiting the web site, Ryanair managers can provide to the users who use travel with the Ryanair airlines travel bonus. For instance, managers can make an application which for every one kilometre of the flight equals with 10 bonuses. So that, if the users collects 1000000 bonuses then we will have a free flight to France or discount to a long distance flight. The users will able to check their bonuses from their personal account and from there they will collect their bonuses as well.
As I said above, the managers must keep an eye on their competitors and learn of the success of them. It is illegal and unethical to copy them but have under surveillance the other airline web sites for any news strategies that they using. For instance, Easyjet airlines have personal account for users from which you can log in even if you do not book a ticket. Users can change the personal details and the personal password. They can manage their bookings and also can check in online On the other hand, Ryanair has just the manage booking from where users can make changes just for their booking and also the users can check in online. It misses the personal account for the better services for the users. The result of this comparison is that the Easyjet has the personal account for their users and all the services when user booked a flight are into the personal account. Ryan air has these tools on the home page and it is not look nice to the users and also is complicated if a user want to manage their booking and then wants to check in online must go back to the home page and from there have click to the check in application. So the main result is that is better all the applications for bookings to be all in one place to provide the best service to the user. (Easyjet, 2008), (Ryanair, no date)
To conclude, the technology of e-commerce enables Ryanair and other businesses to exchange information in zero time and advertise their products and services to a global market. Ryan air increase the passengers traffic every year with the help from the ISP (internet service provide). The managers of Ryanair trying to utilizing the internet as marketing tool with a combination of several marketing strategies, applications and technologies. Living in a world where the web is a fact, managers must be dividing the strategies into several parts for analysis before they implement them. Managers of Ryanair try to deliver the value propositions to the consumers via the internet marketing and via the good functionality of the existing strategies, applications and technologies of the web site. The value propositions can be improved if the company add some new strategies, applications and technologies. In the previous section I suggested some marketing strategies, technologies and applications that will be useful for the improvement of the Ryan air web site. These new strategies such as social networking, mobile technology, and bonus to the existing users are some of the most important strategies plan which Ryan air website must add to the near future.
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