How the Internet has Influenced Businesses
The internet has transformed the way that people live their lives. You can access a wealth of knowledge from a device that fits in your hand. Yes, it’s used for pleasure and leisure, but it has made the most impact on businesses, driving growth with innovations and advances in technology.
The internet has transformed how businesses operate and enabled organizations to be more efficient and provided new ways of communication. Here’s a guide to how the internet has influenced businesses today:
Business is now faster moving
Before this technological revolution, businesses relied on traditional methods of communication (postal mail and telephones) to correspond with clients, customers, and suppliers. This led to a delay in contracts being signed, purchasing decisions and transactions being made. The burden was lessened using fax machines, but these were reliant on being maintained adequately and could be problematic.
Nowadays, businesses benefit greatly from near instantaneous communication with e-mail, and meetings with contacts completed via video conferencing regardless of the physical location of the meetings. Business decisions can be made swiftly, informed by real time data, there is no reliance on outdated figures and reports.
The internet has allowed many tasks that were previously time-consuming to be automated which has increased efficiency and allowed for operations to be streamlined, and more responsive to business needs.
It’s increased job satisfaction
Before the dawn of the internet, employees were reliant on hard-copies of paperwork and documents to complete their tasks and were dependent on their co-workers to provide accurate information in a timely manner. Human error, mismanagement, and internal business politics could significantly impact the efficiency and workflow of the organization, and bureaucracy stifled both the worker’s satisfaction and business growth.
Internet technologies have enhanced job satisfaction. With improved access to data and information and workflow efficiency, employees are now able to complete their roles more effectively and with that comes greater satisfaction. Workers are now able to collaborate with colleagues and benefit from the increased ability to communicate and work together.
An important aspect of job satisfaction is career progression, and now employees can study and earn at the same time. Online courses allow staff to continue in their paid employment while undertaking studies. Some organizations actively encourage further learning and will pay for courses; for example, if they pay for an online manufacturing degree to be undertaken, the business benefits enormously from having another qualified employee and the additional skills and expertise that they bring to the business.
Remote working is now more accessible to employees than ever before, and the possibility of a work/life balance more achievable. Happy employees equal greater efficiency and productivity which positively impacts business’s profits.
Recruitment websites help businesses target specialist candidates for roles, so they are no longer dependent on local workers alone; you have a bigger pool to choose from. This benefits the business as they are more likely to attract employees who are a better fit for the role and the business and have a greater number of candidates to choose from. More suitable candidates mean greater staff retention and business loyalty.
It’s changed the way people buy
Before the internet, people would have to physically go to a shop or an office to get the products or services that they required. This limited the reach of the business, and most consumers would only purchase from businesses within a short distance from them due to the practicalities and expense of traveling further afield.
Today, however, the marketplace is global, and the selection of goods and services that can be provided are only limited by the consumer’s budget. The global marketplace, while great for providing consumers with more choice and purchasing power, has caused a ripple effect for businesses – competition is no longer just from a neighboring store or business, but effectively every other business across the globe who offers comparable products or services.
Consumers were not only restricted by geography, but by the opening hours of the business. To purchase goods or place an order for a service was planned and deliberate. Nowadays, buying is more convenient. Customers and clients have the ability to order goods and services 24/7 and have access to information online that can shape their buying decision. There is now no longer the need to speak to a business employee about the products or services because websites provide the information that they need; they have FAQ pages, online reviews and detailed product descriptions that are constantly accessible at the click of a mouse.
It’s changed the way businesses sell
Pre-internet, businesses relied on push marketing techniques. Push marketing is a promotional strategy where businesses push their product to the consumers. They try to sell the products or services that they offer directly to the consumer, perhaps through showrooms, leaflet drops, or point of sale displays.
The internet, powered by collated target audience data, allows businesses to pull consumers to their products and services through their business websites, social media platforms, and the related SEO. Whereas push marketing is about making the consumer buy a product there and then, the digital marketing strategies that are successful today, use data to build relationships and promote brand loyalty for the long-term. Businesses are more now focused on who their target audience is, what their likes and interests are, and how they can provide solutions to the customers’ requirements.
Businesses are also held more accountable for the quality of the goods or services that they provide consumers. The status of a business can be irreversibly damaged by poor reviews, and so businesses are keener to protect their brand’s reputation. Online reviews are critical to success which has led to increased customer services and customer care.
Business owners now utilize the internet in every aspect of their business; to streamline operations so that they are more efficient and geared for business growth, to inform business decisions and to provide employees with job satisfaction and career progression opportunities.
The internet has provided organizations a radical new way to operate. There goods and services are more accessible and business conduct more transparent as they become more accountable to consumers and employees than ever before.