What travel eBusiness research topics would help you be most successful?

Henry Harteveldt Hi everyone.

There's no shortage of research topics on which I could write. But rather than make the decision unilaterally, I thought it would be more productive -- and fun -- to shake up the a bit.

I'd like you to tell me what research would be most useful for you. Our job as Forrester analysts is to help make you more successful everyday, but you know your needs best.

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Better eBusiness May Have Helped Hotels Avoid A Truly Lousy 1H09

Henry Harteveldt Wow, once you get into this blogging thing, it's hard to stop...

I am a fan of Travel Weekly, a truly comprehensive travel industry publication. I've been reading Travel Weekly for the million or so years I've been in the travel industry and am sincerely impressed with how its editor, Arnie Weissman, continues to take the publication in new and exciting directions.

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Julie is currently employed by Forrester Research where she is a Vice President and Principal Analyst. Her area of expertise lies primarily in telecommunications and consumer mobility more specifically. She is leveraging this expertise along with her experience in management consulting and engineering to guide clients in the development, evaluation and execution of their mobile strategies. As cell phones evolve into the most ubiquitous device owned and used by consumers, consumer product and services companies will find engaging with their customers on these devices increasingly important. Julie's research and analysis have been widely cited in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, RCR Wireless, The Onion and on PBS, NBC, and CBS.

Julie joined Forrester in July 2008 when they acquired JupiterResearch. Julie's experience in the telecommunications industry dates back 20 years with her first internship as a microwave circuit engineering intern at COMSAT Laboratories. She has since split her time as an engineer, management consultant, and analyst between Germany and the United States. Prior to joining JupiterResearch, Julie worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton where she worked with both automotive and telecommunications clients to drive product portfolio investment decisions, sourcing strategies, and broader strategic and business plan development. She also worked in business development for a wireless startup in San Francisco.

Julie holds a B.S.E.E. and a master of science in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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The shifting global online population

Delta announces smart upgrades to 2010 SkyMiles loyalty program

Henry Harteveldt Delta Air Lines (DL) has announced a slate of upgrades to its SkyMiles loyalty program for 2010. The changes are being made as part of DL's merger with Northwest Airlines (NW). Delta tells Forrester that its remains on track to fully combine SkyMiles and the Northwest WorldPerks programs by October 2009.

As a result of the merger, it's believed that the Delta SkyMiles program may have more than 70 million members (net of duplications Between SkyMiles and WorldPerks), eclipsing the perennial category leader, American Airlines' AAdvantage, which has more than 60 million members.

Some of the best benefits of the new SkyMiles program will include:

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The iPhone Is A Game-Changer For Mobile Banking

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

One job of an analyst is the separate the hype from the facts. We here at Forrester are fortunate enough to have access to customer survey information that allows us to do just that.

For the last 18 months, the hottest thing on the planet has been mobile banking. Forrester has fielded dozens and dozens of questions from clients wondering about mobile banking strategy to the point that you'd think every consumer on the planet was clamoring to bank on their mobile device.

But our surveys continue to tell us something different (at least for now). In our most recent survey from Q1 2009, 10% of US consumers with a mobile phone have signed up for moblie banking. And among those who have not banked using a mobile phone, the number interested remains low.

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Nothing Certain Except Death And (Online) Sales Tax (?) – Or is it?

Freeman Evans, Pattiby Patti Freeman Evans


As we reported back in May, online retailers should prepare to charge sales tax in certain markets, even if they do not plan to do so across the country. Cash-strapped states are looking to tap any potential source of revenue (California, for example, has been working through an onerous $26 billion budget gap) and have in recent months been proposing legislation to require online retailers to submit tax in states in which they deliver.

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Do you have a touch-friendly web site?

Met with an interesting company yesterday - Taptu. They offer a mobile search service/technology. They recently launched their iPhone application. They are in the process of indexing "touch-friendly" media. They estimate that there are about 40,000 touch-friendly web sites of which they have indexed more than 3 million pages with a goal much higher than this for the end of the year. They estimate that about 30% of the top 100 web sites as measured by traffic are touch-friendly. It is an interesting idea given the number of touch-screen mobile devices being sold today. Is your web site touch friendly? mobile friendly?

Truths And Myths About Open Source eCommerce Solutions: What The eBusiness Leader Needs To Know Now

Bkw_small_headshot by Brian Walker

Open source eCommerce solutions are increasingly on the radar of eBusiness professionals interested in, and in need of, eCommerce platform technology. There are many drivers behind this interest — from the obvious ones of lower costs, to the desire for independence from vendors and increased resource flexibility. While in the past open source eCommerce solutions were often seen as appropriate for very small businesses, I know many industry observers will agree that in the last year, the buzz around open source eCommerce solutions like those from Magento, Apache OFBiz, and OXID eShop has really picked up steam.

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Pizza Hut iPhone Application

I'm fascinated by this application on the iPhone. It is rich and entertaining. It makes ordering pizza fun. Includes a game. Includes coupons to motivate purchase - but they aren't pushed out via SMS to trigger the idea of pizza for lunch/dinner.

Is it more marketing or commerce?

The connected nature of the application allows for updates - to the menu (for the basic categories) and promotions. Look forward to seeing this evolve to the point where local restaurant managers can do their own local promotions even based on registered zip codes. I see location-based mobile advertising playing out along these lines nearer term than the auto-tagging of a user's location with an ad to quickly follow.

Would prefer not to have to sign up online. Mobile-only use cases with individuals are limited today, but I think they will grow in number. Cross-channel (Internet to mobile and vice versa) is an interesting idea, but it isn't clear that it is needed or wanted - especially on platforms as capable as the higher end devices like an iPhone or Blackberry, Symbian, Palm etc. devices.  -