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Late Hotel Rooms – An Ecommerce Business Close to Failure?

Will the internet die under the strain of the ecommerce boom? The huge increase in internet usage over the last few years has not only revolved around social networking but also around online commerce. The volume of people using Google was surpassed by the number of people using Facebook during the run up to Christmas in 2009/10. So what does this tell us for the future of building a business on the internet?

Let’s take an example: The online hotel booking business is huge. It naturally lends itself to an internet based platform and many of us will have noted the demise of the local travel agent in our local market town.

It is the fact that late hotel rooms can be booked from anywhere at any time using a minimum of fuss. The hotels can be assessed, viewed and booked all in a couple of minutes. But it is the increasing dependence on these online booking systems that is beginning to cause problems for the industry as a whole.

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As users of the internet become more used to using these late hotel room search facilities they also become more impatient. As we know, the risks of using credit cards online have always existed and to be honest have not really diminished despite the best efforts of the credit card industry. This puts a huge amount of pressure on these late hotel room booking websites to accept credit card payments, pre-check them against fraudulent use, accept them and take a payment all in a couple of seconds. As all online merchants know, a proportion of all online sales are fraudulent and result in charge backs; charge backs result in penalties both to the credit card issuer and to the online store operator. In fact, if too many charge backs occur in a short period of time, the card companies increase the length of time that they hold on to the clients money.

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