Digitization in travel and e-commerce


PK Song, founder and president of PKFair, Pingpong Payments co-founder and chief business officer Ning Wang speaks during Day 2 of CNBC East Tech West on November 18, 2020 at LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong zhi | Getty Images

The coronovirus epidemic has forced industries to rethink how they do business, resulting in a “new normal” that is here to stay, according to the two start-up founders.

Many small retailers were forced to relocate to e-commerce platforms in an effort to avoid epidemic disruption to everyday life.

Pingpong Payments co-founder and chief business officer – Ning Wang said, “From our side, what we saw was the very first impact (the acceleration of offline to online retailing).” Processing company. He was speaking during a panel discussion during CNBC’s annual East Tech West conference, which was held on the ground in Nansha district of Guangzhou, China this year.

Wang pointed out that there has also been a category change in the way things are now being sold online.

“Some of the categories – related to comfort, definitely declined. But in the US, for example, there are a lot of household goods stores, mostly sold offline. They closed stores, so everything was happening online. Is, “he said. . “I think we’re still seeing the overall trend of digitization, e-commerce taking over offline, but somehow accelerated in a chaotic way.”

Since January the epidemic spread around the world, countries enforced strict lockdown measures and movement restrictions, with many stores temporarily closed, while large numbers of office staff were made to work from home. The travel and tourism industries were engaged in the process as people postponed both business and leisure, forcing many airlines to stay away.

While the travel industry is projected to take several years to recover, the digitization process will be pushed forward for the travel industry, said PK Song, founder and president of PKFair, which was part of the panel. PKFare is a travel trade marketplace for air tickets and other hospitality services.

Business travel shortage

Experts have said that when the epidemic is finally under control and the travel industry begins its recovery process, business travel will take longer to recover than leisure travel as corporations have now shifted to virtual methods of meeting.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company in August, business-travel spending plays an important role in the travel and hospitality industry, with spending exceeding $ 1.4 trillion in 2018. The report noted that corporate travel is important for airlines and hotels “not only in traffic but in profitability.”

Both Wang and Song said they do not expect business travel returning to pre-epidemic levels anytime soon.

Although face-to-face meetings with customers are irreplaceable, Wang said that online communication has leveled the game arena for large companies with high travel and entertainment budgets and start-ups.

“Everybody” is getting on the zoom, he said, referring to the online video conferencing service, which grew in popularity as the meetings were virtually to be held during the epidemic.

Looking ahead, Wang said that he hopes that today the reach of e-commerce in the US and Europe will be seen at a similar level in China, giving small companies an “unprecedented opportunity to do business”.

PKFare’s Song states that it expects global travel in five years to be more personalized in terms of deals and offers to travelers.



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