The introduction of online communication has transformed practically every sector of business, from traditional food stores and high-end fashion boutiques in the retail sector to newspapers, TV channels, and the wider world of entertainment.
The rise of the internet has had an irreversible effect that has presented obstacles and opportunities perhaps in equal measure. Many forward-thinking businesses were quick to adapt their operations to capitalize on the new possibilities, while others that were slower to evolve saw their market share dwindle, sometimes resulting in bankruptcy.
That impact has been felt on a regional level and there is no shortage of case studies to examine here in Arizona. And in this article, we will examine the lessons that Arizona businesses can learn from their online counterparts.
Perhaps one of the industries that have experienced the biggest change is retail, with shops being forced to transform how they operate to engage with changing customer habits. Market-leaders like Amazon revolutionized the online marketplace and continue to set the standard.
The online retailer, established by Jeff Bezos, introduced next day delivery as standard, including one-click purchases – and even allowing shoppers to purchase their favorite items using just their voice.
And while smaller Arizona businesses may not be able to keep up with that pace of change, nor have the resources to offer such a hi-tech experience, it’s now easier than ever to build a streamlined eCommerce platform that allows customers old and new to shop with you online.
Platforms like WooCommerce have made it relatively straightforward for businesses to sell online, with all kinds of products – including freshly prepared food – now easy to offer up to people browsing on their laptop, tablet, or phone.
The classic newspaper has been a staple of information and gossip for hundreds of years, and it has played a key role at major milestones in American and Arizona history. The first American newspaper dates all the way back to 1690 and by the time the 20th century arrived print media was big business.
But the internet has provided a major threat to the traditional newspaper model, with so much information and news now being made available to read for free online. Platforms like Yahoo and MSN offer international, national, and local news and it can be tough for traditional newspaper outlets to keep up.
The real difficulty here is getting people to pay for your product online, as there is so much available to read for free. But newspapers are gradually learning how to make a profit by observing the larger operators, with advertising banners helping to keep money coming in while online articles are published for free.
There are also a growing number of platforms experimenting with paid content and gradually introducing their readers to the concept of forking over a few cents to read content online.
The world of entertainment has certainly not been immune to the impact of the internet, and once again the impact has been both positive and negative.
Online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ have made life challenging for the traditional cinema outlets in Arizona, but the same technology is being used by local sports teams to produce and distribute premium video content, helping to create a new income stream.
While in the world of gambling, online casinos have become one of the most lucrative platforms online. Platforms like Boom Casino offer an array of colorful games available at the tap of a screen, with online and physical platforms both taking inspiration from one another in terms of the diversity of titles and accessibility, such as Arizona’s own Talking Stick Resort. Recent trends tell us that the growth of the industry online could be helping to create new players across the entire industry– rather than simply taking them away from traditional hubs.
As you can see, the emergence of online business has had a profound impact on the wider commercial landscape in Arizona. Some of the trends have been negative, while others have provided great opportunities. Regardless, it’s clear that businesses will need to adapt to remain relevant in this competitive environment.
And throughout everything, it’s clear that those ‘offline’ businesses that are bold and willing to adapt are the ones best placed to make the most of them.