The internet has drastically changed businesses and how they run for good, with many differences between the businesses of twenty years ago and today. When considering investing in or setting up your own business, it is important that you understand these developments to utilize the internet and technology to its best effect for your business.
Physical Stores Moving Online
Once, if you wanted to set up a business, your only option was to run a business from a physical store, with the rise of the high street becoming one of the most critical factors in commerce. However, now, physical stores are beginning to close up and head online, where consumers are attracted to the ease of access, lower prices, and larger choices. Many start-ups instead create their businesses online instead of in physical stores, which helps to reduce start-up costs such as rent and energy bills.
Case Study: This is what happened to traditional betting stores, where people used to travel to a destination to place their bet and see the odds. Websites such as Unibet have replaced these, allowing gamblers to make bets and play gambling games online from any location.
Ease of Communication
Not only this, but the internet is also changing how businesses run in terms of communication, with many businesses now opting to use applications such as the Cloud to share work with employees, store data instead of keeping paper files, and ensure that employees can access data at any time. Communication has also been improved by internet-based communication application such as Whatsapp and social media apps including Facebook, which allow free and instant messaging that are perfect for holding conference and business calls from any location.
Case Study: This has led to an increase in the number of people that are self-employed due to the ease of communication, finding jobs, and connecting with clients online. There is now a significant proportion of people in the Netherlands who are self-employed.
Creation of E-Commerce Platforms
The internet has allowed businesses to buy and sell their wares online, meaning that anyone can now set up a business and begin to trade their products. Through payment applications such as Paypal and Apple Pay, businesses can now offer multiple payment methods to their clients, making the transfer of money easier.
Case Study: This has led to an increase of online marketplaces such as Etsy which allow anyone to buy and sell their creative crafts and homemade items through their third-party platform.
The internet has also changed advertising, with many businesses now opting to advertise their products online rather than through physical marketing methods such as banners and door-to-door marketing. This has led instead to common digital marketing methods such as utilizing SEO, e-mail marketing, and using social media to drive traffic to your website.
Case Study: Business giants often create their own hashtags to get themselves trending on social media and spread awareness of special deals, promotions, and products. Many charities use these hashtags to promote their causes and generate awareness and donations.