Less than a generation ago much of the world communicated by landline telephones, postal services, and telegrams.
Today anyone, anywhere in the world, is accessible instantly with a tap on a screen you carry in your pocket. It is nothing short of a revolution in technology.
This internet transformation is at the heart of a major historical change in how our lives are conducted. In the future, historians will look back and note how the web was able to penetrate every aspect of human behaviour so rapidly.
Experts estimate that around a third of the world population are now regularly using the internet. This has already had a massive effect of everything – from travel to music, from healthcare to banking.
The business revolution
One of the greatest changes in digital behaviour has happened in the world of business. With so many customers now logged onto the internet it’s no surprise that the way businesses operate has changed dramatically.
This business revolution has been lubricated by the huge advances in information and communication technology. With smartphones available everywhere and remote Wi-Fi and phone coverage, so many clients in so many markets are now able to access digital information wherever they are.
That’s why businesses across the western world are prioritising the internet for marketing and promotion of their services or products. They have been given a low-cost, highly effective way of promoting their goods and services to a worldwide audience.
In addition, businesses have started putting all their operations onto the internet. Online customer support and sales information is now the norm.
The internet is generally also used to communicate with staff and even for training and recruitment too. It all means that the web is likely to become more and more important for the world’s commerce.
The impact on businesses
An online business is always open. The latest communication technology means companies can send sales information, promotions and offers across the internet anywhere, anytime.
Systems like email, messaging, streaming and video links have transformed the way businesses link to their staff, suppliers, customers – and to other businesses.
It means geography is no longer a barrier to staff collaboration and teamwork across continents and time zones.
Workers can log into work from home – or anywhere else. Staff can be on the move and stay completely in touch.
Online businesses can now conduct financial transactions instantly, rapidly and securely via the internet. E-commerce is growing rapidly while cash transactions are disappearing.
These advances have reduced costs and manpower required for companies to operate. They have made it easier and more cost-effective for new businesses to become established.
The range of commercial activities that have been transformed by the internet is staggering. People now often expect their business dealing with everything from accessing their savings to making a hospital appointment to be available online.
Banking has embraced the security and speed of internet transactions. It has made banking online and via dedicated apps possible for millions.
Real-life banks are disappearing as more and more people run their finances on a remote screen. Experts expect further growth to occur in the direction of cash-free digital screen payment systems.
Bricks-and-mortar casinos used to be the only place offering the thrill and excitement of classic games like roulette and poker. The rise of online casinos has been one of the big success stories of the internet.
These now offer games ranging from online slots and bingo to live poker tournaments or sophisticated blackjack games. Millions have joined the thrill of this new online gaming world because of the convenience and security it offers.
To make games more attractive, most online casinos offer bonuses like no deposit bonuses to allow new players to trial their sites and games for free before depositing their own money. Bonuses has helped contribute to the success of casino games transitioning online.
Experts expect eGaming of all sorts to continue to grow, further embracing technologies like AI and VR. And increasingly liberalised rules around the world are expected to help the spread of worldwide gaming.
The rise of global sales hubs like Amazon, eBay and Etsy has helped online shopping transform the way people buy (and sell). The big operators have spread to provide a wide variety of goods while thousands of smaller specialists have switched their sales operations on to the internet.
For customers it means it’s now possible to browse a huge range of goods at any time. Sale-or-return has become common as shoppers switch to buying clothes and shoes online too.
Price comparison sites have eased millions into using online pathways for insurance and savings. Even life-long mortgages are often fixed via the internet now.
Houses are browsed, solicitors engaged, and advice sought – all via the internet.
This means that service businesses have been able to cut the costs of phone transactions and reception staff. Further cost-savings are made by reducing the need for owning and maintaining physical properties.
The future for business
Overall business has benefitted massively from internet growth. Of course, the problems along the way, like fraud, hacking and security, have provided plenty of hurdles.
Industry watchers think problems will continue to arise but overall, the trend is for more and more business to move online.
And it’s not just commercial operations. Expect public services like health screening, eye testing and benefit systems to be increasingly accessible across the internet.
The rise and spread of the digital world seem unstoppable.
Most businesses have already taken the big internet decision: if you can’t beat it, join it. And the vast majority of them are already feeling the benefits.
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