The internet has managed to spread its influence into all corners of people’s lives, and there’s very little that’s been left untouched. Whether it’s the taxi collecting you after a night out or the new clothes hanging in your closet, products and services bought online are making modern life easier and simpler in so many ways.
From a business point of view, the internet provides an opportunity to access a gold mine. With services such as Amazon seeing year-on-year revenue growth of over 25% and countless small businesses also benefiting from the tech revolution, there’s plenty to be gained if you’re in the know. This article will look at what the precise impact of tech has been on the business world – and how it can affect you as a business owner.
Perhaps the most obvious way that internet technology has changed how businesses operate is through the range of choice that it offers consumers. In the past, the only choice that consumers had was to go down to one or two local stores in their town or neighborhood. While that changed somewhat from the 1960s onwards as stores got larger and products became more widely available, choice was still negligible compared to the present day.
Now, it’s believed that Amazon alone sells over five hundred million different products. For the consumer, this sort of choice means that you can find not only the product you want but also several different variations of it, and you can filter the range based on price, functions and more. However, for businesses, it means a whole host of new revenue streams – and a race between sellers to be the one that is able to supply the most products at the cheapest prices. While the impact of this on those further down the supply chain – such as manufacturing workers – may not have been great, the impact on profits has risen for those firms that have seen success.
The internet has also changed the way that businesses market their products. In the past, marketing was something that was restricted to an advert in the local newspaper or a systematic, expert-led flyer drop on a certain neighborhood or area. Now, though, there’s all sorts of choice – and businesses can pick anything from search engine optimization to social media marketing.
Content, in particular, is now king, and everything from videos to images are powerful tools in an online marketer’s arsenal. Ideally, every firm would have well-read blogs that promoted their business – but that’s not always possible, not least because there are so many businesses out there and so many demands on the modern internet user’s time and attention. While it may be difficult for a company to build its own online audience to a suitable degree, though, a guest posting service can both create content and publish it on a reputable third-party blog instead – which is a handy solution.
Looking to the future, it’s likely that one of the major ways that business will change is through the impact of mobile technology. This is already happening to some degree: customers can’t get enough of the convenience that being on their mobile brings, and it’s no surprise that major clothing, homeware and leisure changes are now developing apps that allow users to shop on the go.
For businesses, this is in many ways a boon because it means that people will shop as and when they like – leading to more sales, more profits, and also increased brand loyalty on the part of the customer thanks to the convenience. However, it does pose a problem in that it requires businesses to be savvy on technical issues.
Product photos, for example, need to be a suitable size and shape for mobile as well as for desktop and laptop, which causes an extra headache for product teams and marketing teams. However, the problems with mobile are mostly easily solved, which means that it’s definitely worth it for a business to get involved in this crucial consumer buying stream.
The power of technology really is something to behold. There are few Americans left who haven’t seen their lives changed for the better by it, and it’s something that is only likely to grow and grow in influence. For the world of business, there are many advantages. By providing consumers with more choice than ever, companies are able to use technology as a profit driver and take their businesses to the next level.