You don’t have to look far to see that almost everything has been invaded by the internet. The traditional model of business is now being expanded to a wider demographic online—challenging the target market. To answer the question “How does the Internet change the way business is done?”, one can simply answer that it has made things more accessible and swifter. But is a business that is influenced by the internet actually more efficient? We shall discuss the ways of how the internet helps in the evolution of business. Three selective facets of business are to be expounded on— communication, research, and advertising and would be interconnected with the other complementary aspects of management.
Communication is the flow. Because the internet increases productivity, expect that most, if not all businesses, would use the internet in at least one aspect of their commerce. This is to differ internet-using businesses from online businesses. Not all internet-using businesses are online businesses, but you can guarantee that online businesses are internet-using (and internet-oriented) businesses. The nature of the internet revolves around communication and organization. It takes pieces of information and moves it around. So if you are wanting to get the word out about high quality glazing for windows, which a lot of people don’t know about, you can use the internet as a gateway to reach people and educate them on why they need your product.
Only in the 2000s did it slowly branch out to commoditizing this service. “The Internet’s function as a critical business infrastructure was thus matched or even surpassed by its importance as a site of commodification, that is, as a site of new industries capable of generating profit growth.” (Schiller, 2015). Connectivity is the word synonymous to communication. Through communication, the internet is the system that would bridge the company’s brand message to its products and services and through its clients. Through the internet, a business can have a limitless viewership. And even if you may not be able to sell a product or a service, a business’s digital visibility alone should create awareness.
A great example of a company executing this well is Essential Fitness, which is a company that sells bodybuilding and Crossfit wrist wraps and are also known for having the best knee wraps for squats on the market. They have utilized the internet is a great way by using it to reach their core audience and communicate with them in a way that wasn’t even possible just 5 years ago even.
Accessibility is the principal development of the internet in research. The ability to access the databases and documents of the best and esteemed institutions and organizations makes information the best resource for research. The advancement of having to engage with primary sources has increased. In the business context, you can have vast information sources with regards to your clients and competitors. Businesses are encouraged to have an online presence on social media sites, and through this, they can participate in the open internet where business dealings become a virtual exchange of services through e-mail, web chats, and conferences. This process saves businesses money. With the extra money, the investment could be designated elsewhere, to improve on product/service quality assurance or marketing.
This aspect of a business is the most influenced by its online environment. If communication dynamics and research gives you the same exposure as every other business, marketing will make people notice you. Marketing achieves a direct goal: that is to attract people to your business for profit. It can be a bit cold on its own. Public Relations, Advertising and Market Research, fall under Marketing. These sub-elements create relatability between the client and the business. (Canada Business Network) With the foundation of the internet being communication, abstract ideas materialize and is translated to codes, words, digital image/art, memes—a perceptible visual language that is acceptable and understood by most. This then becomes a representation of your business: a logo, word composition, vision mission, a brand theme that can be easily made or accessed using the internet.
In summary, the way the internet has changed business is that it makes a business go places. It can cross boundaries and cultures (Tourism). It makes people conscious of your product and services, and it gives them options. And options create opportunity. It gives people the opportunity to be exposed and to choose something which goes for or against traditional businesses.