Over the past 20 years, the internet has radicalized commerce. Historically speaking, the internet changed our relationship to consumerism in such a way not many could have anticipated. Teenagers today might even find the idea of travelling into the city center and visiting a travel agency in order to buy plane tickets obsolete and archaic. Even deciding upon a major purchase (a car or computer for example) without the aid of hours’ worth of research on the net is unthinkable.
These days, with the ability to stumble upon cheap domain registration sites like this, it seems now anyone has the opportunity to start an online business from the comfort of their own home. True to the ever-evolving nature of technology, in the constant pursuit of improvement of websites, the internet is in the midst of reinventing itself again. Here are three examples of how the internet is growing and evolving.
Expectations Are Shifting
The closest offline equivalent in the pre-internet world to e-commerce was catalogue shopping. You could have a brochure delivered to your house, pick whatever it was you wanted, then mail the request to the company and await your goods a few weeks later. Today, largely thanks to firms like Amazon, customers can expect delivery within a day or two – and often for free. This expectation has given birth to websites like Shoprunner, who act as a third party in your shopping experience, whereby they promise delivery of goods within two days from websites who don’t already offer the service – so it’s not just technology or e-commerce that’s accelerating, its commerce in general.
However, even though billions will be spent online, billions more can still be spent offline, according to Forbes, who wrote: “While we expect $150B more to be spent online between now and 2018, we expect $300B more to be spent offline in that same time. Add to that the money up for grabs that dying retailers like Sears, Office Max, Radio Shack and others will leave on the table and the opportunity for physical retail is actually quite large.”
Other Types of Online Businesses
Websites like Airbnb and Rent The Runway are continuing to grow and expand. When Airbnb was first established in 2008, its focus was providing a platform for cheap accommodation to be made available for short amounts of time, with much of its clientele coming from business people traveling to conferences. Today, the site has altered the market, evolving into a massive marketplace that has redefined short-term access to living space.