How the Internet and Social Media Changed How Businesses Succeed
Business is not in any shape or form the same as it was only a couple decades ago. The emergence of the internet and social media has changed how companies do business forever. Today, how a business succeeds is largely dependent on these very important mediums.
Previously, retail was strictly in the domain of brick and mortar stores. If no other stores were nearby, you had no competition. Today, the playing field has changed completely. With the use of online sales, any business can reach nearly any customer in the world. While competition is certainly stronger, the possible upside for a business’s success is nearly limitless. According to Internet Retailer, the online marketplace for products will expand to $523 billion by 2020.
Social Media Marketing
The advent of social media has also resulted in a significant shift especially in regards to marketing. In the past, expensive ads had to be placed on TV, on radio programs or in print. The target demographic for a product seeing or hearing an ad was not always guaranteed. These days, however, a business can inform loyal customers of new products and promotions directly and instantly through a social media followers list.
Customer and product research has also greatly improved since the inception of the internet. In the past, obtaining data from surveys required physically handing them out in a public place like a mall and forcing customers to fill them out then and there. Today, thousands of surveys can be completed online at customers’ leisure with the help of services like Interaction Metrics. Results are produced quicker, in higher volume and with better accuracy.
Digital Customer Service
Previously, customers had to either drive to a physical location or make a phone call and wait a long time on hold to receive customer service. Today, there are digital customer service options as well. This includes things like e-mail and support tickets. It also includes having employees online at all times to provide customer support through chat applications that load in browser.
Brick and Mortar Benefits
Businesses that do have brick and mortar locations have also benefited from the internet. For one, the internet can allow customers to find local businesses with pin point accuracy due to programs like Google Maps. Websites like Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon also direct millions of customers to well-reviewed restaurants, hotels and attractions.
The internet and social media’s effect on business has been very positive. It has opened up companies to millions of new customers they didn’t have before. It has also created new ways for businesses to advertise and perform market research that they didn’t have before.
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