50 years ago, people wouldn’t have dreamed of having a gadget that could play TV shows, order food, and buy groceries at the same time. The invention and development of new technology, such as the Internet and smartphones, has made this change possible not only by making traditional companies more cost-effective but also by bringing new types of businesses.
Following suit with this growth of new technology, businesses are rethinking the ways they can provide their products and services, aiming for better, faster, and more efficient.
Fancy online games
Before internet use became mainstream, gaming was only limited to arcade centers and video game consoles with only a small number of game options. Internet connectivity started to rise around the world in the early 2000s, reaching households, and is available to use for almost everyone reliably and with a faster speed.
You can use your smartphone, PC, or console to play video games. Having so many options available is something that wasn’t possible for us in the past. You can hop on any of your devices and start gaming effortlessly with no need for a console. Furthermore, developers used the internet to create games in a new light that we had never seen before.
Before the Internet use for gaming became widespread, today’s online video poker casino games were limited to machines and in casino facilities only. It also fueled the innovation of new game concepts, such as themed video poker games.
Novel features regarding payment gateways and transactions in games have also been developed thanks to the mainstream use of the internet. Payment options are no longer limited to conventional methods, incorporating technology such as cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
On-demand streaming services
50 years ago, watching movies was limited to what was available on TV, in the cinema, and through the catalog at a nearby video rental store.
While video-on-demand (VOD) businesses existed long before the Internet became mainstream, Internet connectivity changed the landscape by making streaming easier and available on multiple devices. With the use of the internet, businesses can provide hundreds of movie and TV show titles for customers to watch anywhere from multiple devices.
Starting with Netflix as the company started to shift its focus to streaming services in 2011 by having a separate subsidiary to handle this line of business, bigger players in the industry have also followed suit since then, including Amazon, HBO GO, and The Walt Disney Company.
As TV and movie streaming services start to grow, the business model is no longer limited to those modes of entertainment only. The music industry has joined in as big corporations such as Google, Apple, and Spotify provide music streaming services.
Live online shopping
Remote shopping has already long existed as a business model, primarily in mail order catalogs where customers can find the items they like through a catalog and mail them back to the business to get their product delivered.
The internet has made this process much easier by streamlining the order and payment process. However, classic e-commerce still has a disadvantage compared to brick-and-mortar stores: Customers can’t see a real-time showcase of the products.
To answer this issue, many e-commerce businesses are launching live online shopping or live commerce, where businesses hire influencers to live-stream the showcase of their products and interact with customers in real-time.
This marketing model for e-commerce businesses first started growing in China in 2016 and is spreading to other countries outside of Asia. Users in different countries cite different reasons for their preference for using live commerce over other ways of shopping.
For example, users in Europe and the United States like the interactivity and entertainment value of live online shopping, while users in China prefer live online shopping for its exclusive deals and ease of use.
The transformation in the transportation services industry first started in the form of a transportation network platform that connects customers with ride providers started by Uber.
Unlike traditional taxis that can be ordered by phone or by the roadside, these services can only be reached online through its website or mobile app.
Nowadays, some traditional taxis around the world have also gotten into the business by providing booking options through the company app or third-party apps. This technology became popular because many people find these platforms and apps more reliable and useful to get around densely populated areas, which is why it’s popular in big countries such as the United States and China.
As new technology grows and becomes available for most people to use, businesses will innovate and the industry landscape will also follow along.
Nowadays, this change is starting to show through the potential mainstream use of AI. It is essential for business owners to stay in touch and keep tracking new technology that will transform the business landscape once it becomes more accessible.