How the Internet has changed the way we conduct business
Did you know that more than 82% of the UK’s population is now online and that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web? But have you ever stopped to think about how the development of the Internet has had an impact on the way that we conduct business? The fast development of technology and the ever-changing way we conduct ourselves online is something that is often taken for granted. However, when you look back at how business was once conducted, and how it is conducted in today’s society – we have a lot to thank the Internet for! This blog will take you through the main changes in the way that businesses now operate.
Communication is now instant
In a day and age where there were no emails, or tweets, or Facebook posts or even text messages, communication was often a slow process – the very first instant messaging service wasn’t introduced until the mid-1960s! However, since the development of the Internet, communication is now faster, more effective and can have a larger reach. The Internet and the development of email has allowed users to instantly contact numerous people, all at the same time, making business much easier and more effective. The Internet has also broken the barrier of distance; conference calls have now allowed businesses in China to speak with businesses in London or the USA all at once, despite the time difference! This has allowed many companies to become transnational – for the Internet, distance is not a problem and communication is something that can now easily reach all corners of the world.
We are able to really get to know our target audience
Market research is something that was extremely difficult to conduct without the Internet. Many businesses nowadays still conduct their market research in a similar way, through primary research, often in the form of focus groups, telephone or face-to-face interviews or questionnaires carried out through the mail or in person. However, whilst this is still important information to collect, the Internet has meant that there are now much faster ways to conduct just as, if not more effective, market research. Social media has meant that there are thousands of users out there whose consumer choices are ready to be questioned and analysed. Direct market research such as contacting a user of a certain product, can again be effectively carried out using several social media channels. Consumers can also be found based on their previous consumer tastes, making the research specifically tailored to those who have had experience with products that are similar. This information can really make a difference in ensuring the product in question is tailored but most importantly marketed to the right person.
Direct marketing is even more effective
The development of social media has meant that direct marketing is something that all businesses in all industry sectors can achieve. Promoted tweets or promoted accounts on Twitter can target specific users in specific locations, or using certain Twitter handles, Facebook adverts can be targeted to specific users, emails can be sent out to specific consumers, the ways in which marketing can now be tailored is extremely extensive. Direct marketing can provide much better results for businesses as they can target users based on their previous consumer choices, registered interests and even users who have the same tastes as their target consumer. This also means that users are more susceptible to marketing techniques, as not everyone is being sold to all of the time, which means consumers are more likely to engage with something that holds resonance with them.
Consumers are at the buying stage – most of the time
Once upon a time, before the development of the internet, users were rarely at the buying stage. Purchases were not instant or spontaneous, consumers would have to be present in a shop in order to purchase a product. However, consumers nowadays, with the development of e-commerce, are ready to purchase anytime they are online. This means that with a great online marketing campaign, potential customers can move from a potential customer to an actual customer in a few clicks. It also means that consumers are actively researching products before they purchase them, meaning they will be fully informed about the product before parting with their money. For businesses, this means that relevant information about your product must be easily accessible on the Internet for fear that if it isn’t, users will simply move onto the next version. The effect this has on spending is astronomical, it was estimated that in the UK alone, consumers spent £91 billion online. This is one statistic that highlights the potential profit businesses could be making when effectively carrying out e-commerce.
So there you have it, just some of the ways the Internet has changed the way businesses operate! And with the development of technology so rapidly increasing, it seems some of these techniques may even become out-dated in just a few years. But do you think there is a definitive change that has been missed off this list? Or do you agree that the Internet has had a huge impact on the way businesses operate? Whatever your thoughts, get in touch!
About Jonny Ross Consultancy
Jonny Ross has a proven track record in everything digital! He has over 15 years experience working with small businesses and specialises in digital marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, online engagement strategies and everything SEO.