Many independent car rental agencies don't fully appreciate the opportunities that exist on the Internet. They view the Internet as simply a provider of reservations, with car rental services as a commodity. Though this is the case with global distribution system-powered Web sites like Expedia and Travelocity, it’s not the case with a rental company Web site.
In fact, the Internet offers a wealth of opportunities to increase productivity, improve brand image and recognition, and nurture customer loyalty and advocacy. The Internet can help create new business streams and cross-industry partnerships, and allow independents to compete head-to-head with the major national brands -- all while increasing reservations.
Many independents have an inadequate Web presence at best. In some cases, what's posted online actually hurts their business. They’ve lost opportunities because they don't fully understand what it means to do business on the Internet -- and don't recognize all the realities and challenges that exist.
Most independent car rental companies have simply created an order-taking system. They've presumed that all they need to do is post their basic contact, vehicle and rate information, and the customer will somehow feel compelled to make a reservation. This strategy fails to recognize the dynamics of how consumers use the Internet.