Now almost every business has an online counterpart or its own online version. No matter how successfully a business develops offline, without its own online version, it is most likely that it will collapse, not to mention fresh new companies, which seem merely unreal if they cannot be found on the network, at least on a page in social networks.
In the past decade, in the US, the Internet has undoubtedly become a more important source of information than daily newspapers. Most people use Internet sources, such as electronic versions of regular newspapers or specialized news sites, to read the news.
The News Media Alliance, which includes the largest and still most influential US media, claims that Google and Facebook are creating a great economic threat at the moment, providing people with free and fast news, but ignoring fact-checking and neglecting the quality of the content. The total circulation of newspapers published in the United States continues to decline rapidly.
In order not to lose their recipients, many newspapers rely on their online users, almost wholly switching to the online version (for example, many of traditionally daily newspapers start to appear as physical storage medium only once a week).
But the cases when an online version supports an offline business is just one example of how the Internet is changing the classic business models. At the same time, there are many new types of business that previously had no offline counterparts and were designed specifically for the creation, maintenance, promotion of websites and software – and, of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
But now the thing is about the types of businesses that initially were offline ones but recently are on the verge of ultimately moving online from offline. The main sign of such processes is the fact that modern-day largest and most trusted companies of a particular industry did not even start as an offline company and still do not provide their services offline.
Here are five types of business in which the acceleration of the process of transition to the network of an entire industry is particularly noticeable.
Online shopping has long been an integral part of most people’s lives. At any time of the day or night, you can order anything from any country – from food and medicine to building materials, and the latest designer fashion novelties – in general, it makes no sense to list everything.
But if previously most of the online stores were just the websites of the shops with real, physical addresses, now when it is impossible to ignore the success of the largest e-commerce market like Amazon, dropshipping companies have become especially popular worldwide.
Dropshipping is a direct delivery of goods from the supplier to the buyer, in which the seller (intermediary) does not store the goods in his warehouse, or does not have it at all. Goods are sent to the customer directly from the warehouse of the manufacturer, supplier, wholesaler or distributor.
Probably, only the laziest cinephile does not have their point of view regarding the competition of old Hollywood and new streaming services.
The activity of streaming platforms and online cinemas is unprecedented, and after Oscar-2019, the American television channel NBC-News almost directly said that a real war had begun between Hollywood and the ultra-active Netflix!
That is, the emergence of high-quality, both dramatically and visually, serials completely changed the rules of the film market. The success of a movie star does not depend on the regular participation in the movies which are released in the cinema, and the principle of the appearance of the series on the screen is violated (for example, not once a week, as on TV, but the whole season at once).
Critics predict that for 10–15 years, cinemas will predominantly release products like the heroic comics MARVEL, as well as cartoons for the family audience, that is, the online cinemas will gradually wrest part of the audience from traditional cinemas. Most likely this will be the audience for which it is important to watch cinema when it is convenient for them, and not during the weekends in the mall, where the main thing is entertainment and shopping. Optimists prefer not to consider this as a problem, because it is normal when, thanks to technological advances, the rules of the game change in many industries.
Even though legal services are directly related to the activities of the state apparatus, of course, many private companies help citizens deal with their affairs and businesses, shopping, taxes, litigation, official statuses and documents and other things which are one way or another regulated by law.
A considerable number of law firms are working online now. Online consultations are especially convenient because they do not limit a person to the choice of a specialist from their own town or city and allow a person to plan his own time more efficiently and more conveniently.
Another popular service for those who want to solve their cases without an attorney is an online company for preparing legal forms and documents. In this industry, online divorce services are the most popular, as divorce is a fairly common procedure that can really be completed much faster and cheaper by using online help in filling out forms than hiring an attorney for this purpose. Well-reputed online divorce companies like OnlineDivorce immediately customize the forms following the particular state and county laws and regulation as well as the specificity of a certain divorce case.
The same way as online consultations with a lawyer or another specialist, online education helps a person to maximize their own and productive use of time, regardless of linkages to the specific city. Now, more than ever, education is n is not related to age. Once got an education, it is impossible to stop learning. All professional sectors are changing rapidly, and new specialties are emerging – people need continuous professional development, and many of them even decide to change their careers in their adulthood completely.
Therefore, it is not surprising that online education – E-learning – is actively developing.
E-learning may be either separate online courses in various formats, tutorials, training, seminars, and workshops, verification tests, or whole online schools and universities. They develop in two scenarios: they “package” their own expert knowledge and methods into the product and are engaged in producing other experts.
One of the most famous and successful projects is Coursera, founded by professors from Stanford University Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. As part of Coursera, there is a project for publishing educational materials on the Internet as a set of online courses. Now the resource has more than 35 million registered users, 2,000 courses and more than 200 educational institutions, including world-leading universities and colleges.
Bulletin boards, auctions
It is hard to imagine that relatively recently we used the announcements and yellow pages in local newspapers instead of eBay and Airbnb. Now, instead of small specialized sections of ads, we have business giants that are used throughout the world. Each of them specializes in a particular service and passing its unique way online, so it begins to be difficult to even imagine their “joint prehistory” on paper pages.
The world grew smaller through globalization, the adjusted communication between people of different cities, countries, and continents on the various issues is essential, and the specialization of such projects is becoming ever narrower. In fact, the prototype of specialized social networks, say, Linkedin is also the usual newspapers ads, job ads in particular. And even on this subject, there are plenty of global businesses which are even more specified, for example, an online platform for artists Behance, Upwork which offers a global job search platform (mostly for IT specialists) who want to work remote, Shutterstock for photographers, and so on.