Competitive Advantage Through the Customer Involvement in E-commerce Strategies : A Multiple-Case Study in the European Airline Industry
Much research show that strategies of personalization aiming to meet customers' needs and behaviors are an important aspect to influence the competitiveness within an industry. However there is a gap of studies on how airlines use customer involvement for creating personalized strategies in the field of e-commerce while enhancing the competitive advantage. This study is aims to describe how airlines can create personalized e-commerce strategies by considering the customer involvement in order to enhance their competitiveness. In conjunction with this first assumption the study aims to demonstrate how airlines could increase their customer loyalty by implementing the concept of customer relationship management (CRM) within their e-commerce strategies. A theoretical framework has been developed derived from a review of the existing literature in order to describe how airlines can use personalization as a strategy in e-commerce to develop a competitive advantage. A qualitative multiple-case study has been chosen for this study. Three companies have been studied within the European airline industry and have been led by a deductive approach which will aim to investigate the theoretical framework.The analysis of empirical findings revealed some relevant conclusions, which can bring value to the research area, and also to the practice. The main findings show that airlines are involving customers into their e-commerce strategies in various forms and different levels regarding a specific project. One of the major result of this thesis is that airlines seem to focus on point of contacts with customers external to the e-commerce platform.
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