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Comment: The evolution of online business

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It is the natural order of things that as technology evolves and develops, there comes a time when the archaic systems that had previously been so prevalent fade, as the needs of the user change.

While it may not seem possible right now, from an online business perspective, traditional websites could already be heading this way as users and retailers turn to apps as the primary source of content and commerce.

The main reason for this is that in the past ten years there has been an explosion in mobile technology, from the wide range of smartphones available to the introduction of tablet computers and faster and more accessible Wi-Fi.

This in turn has led to an insatiable demand for app-based content. While apps were originally seen as a resource for gaming, the growth of strong distribution channels such as iTunes and the ease and speed of usability meant that increasingly, users have been utilising apps to connect with retailers that they use on a regular basis.

In turn, retailers have woken up to this demand and the ability to directly reach a captive and highly engaged audience has led to much investment in building app programmes. The growth has been such that the marketing slogan ‘there’s an app for that’ turned out not to be hyperbolic at all, but a very real summary of the state in which the market finds itself.

From a retail perspective, deciding on whether or not to build an app will depend on the end goals of your business. As a company that relies on delivering quality content to a loyal group of users, we at JustBook have identified that an app is the preferred option for users to receive content.

App users appreciate technology which allows them to make a quick and informed decision on anything from what product to purchase to where to stay for an evening. As such, apps must be able to deliver information quickly and regularly to an individual for a very specific purpose.

Most importantly, all of this is done ‘on the go’. This simply cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser. The desire to have access to services and content while mobile, as opposed to planned web usage at home or in the office is a vital element of consumer consumption in the present age.

In addition, from a business reporting point of view, an app allows you to take data and manipulate it with ease as well as to report back effectively to partners and respond more effectively to the needs of your customer base.

The debate over ‘app vs web’ will continue while the mobile and tablet markets develop. But with growth in the market still accelerating and new technology arriving on a monthly basis, it is becoming clear to many businesses that m-commerce is far more effective than e-commerce and as such, website development is a secondary condition for many businesses these days.

While we are not yet in a position to declare the ‘death of the website’ we are seeing an evolutionary step in the way that many businesses develop content and reach out to their customer base. If this trend continues, who knows, might we eventually see the end of e-commerce all together?

Published on Wednesday 26 September by Editorial Assistant

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