As internet technology progresses, so does the way that companies market their goods and services to their customers. It seemed for years that internet marketing had stagnated, with search engines and ordinary website selling with a shopping cart ruled the net. There is a burst of innovation that has caused a lot of change just in the past couple years. If you are a consumer, a business owner or an investor, here are some new trends and technologies to keep an eye on.
Near Instant Gratification
The overall bandwidth of the internet has grown exponentially over the past few years. A decade ago, a movie would have taken hours to download. Now it can be streamed without a hiccup. The days of that spinning “wait” icon are nearly over for most people. Anything that is a digital deliverable, such as movies, musics, books and software can be downloaded quickly. The DVD is about to go the way of the 8 Track tape.
For physical products, the supply chain has so improved that companies like Amazon offer 2 hour delivery on millions of products. Companies are popping up all over that offer grocery and food delivery, from many different restaurants. Now there are even connected home appliances, such as refrigerators that can order food for you when you get low.
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Amazon has conquered the world
Amazon has become the world’s largest retailer. A recent study showed that 44% of all internet searches for a specific product now start at Amazon. They represent tens of thousands of individual merchants, getting rich of their cut of the profits, but also providing valuable services for companies to market their services. Now they even offer companies end to end services, from warehousing their product, marketing, delivery and customer service. David and Goliath have teamed up.
The rise of Groupon
Just as investors were about to write Groupon’s business model off as a failed concept, they got an infusion of new blood, a new CEO and new product offerings. In addition to the original deals, they are now creating local directories that will compete with Facebook and Google + pages, Yelp and other large guides. Their Coupon section, which offers end-users coupons and percentage off codes to tens of thousands of merchants is growing rapidly, and has had tremendous SEO success. They give each merchant their own page, such as this one for Medifast, that displays up-to-date offers from that company. Since the coupon codes are always accurate, customers are learning to stop at Groupons, to check for a coupon, before making any significant online purchase.
The bots are coming
The next big phase of the internet is artificial intelligence. Self aware walking and talking robots are still in the quite distant future. However, now, bot technology, is coming in the form of intelligent software that can usually understand what you are asking it to do. Siri, on the iPhone is an early example, as is the Alexa home assistant. Bots will automate repetitive tasks and soon go out and run digital errands for you, such as buying groceries, getting ink for your printer, or tickets to a concert, for your anniversary date. The next big internet giant company will probably be the one that can dominate this market.
It is a brave new world. Keep your eyes on the new technology and enjoy the journey.