Since the arrival of the modern-day Internet, a number of new and exciting business models have emerged. Made possible by increasingly fast broadband connections, powerful computers and smartphones, these sectors have grown quickly in just 20 years or so. Now, they’re some of the largest and most lucrative models in the world.
The entrepreneurs behind these 21st-century business models innovated and researched their way to commercial success — tapping into new technologies and predicting market trends along the way. And seven models in particular currently lead the way.
This is a guest post by Julia Meier
1. Mobile app development
It is estimated that more than 80 percent of Internet users access websites on a mobile phone at least some of the time. Users want quick and simple access to the information and services they’re looking for — and apps allow just that. In the early days, only programmers and coders with knowledge of languages such as java, C++ and Objective-C were able to get in on the act. Now, however, automated app design software and development companies are bring app development to the masses.
2. CPA marketing
Cost-per-action (CPA) marketing is one of the fastest-growing business models on the web today. This lead-generation systems charge the customer every time a consumer completes a desired action — such as purchasing a product, clicking a link or signing up to a newsletter.
Publishers create landing pages to capture leads from specific sectors. When a potential consumer lands on the page and performs the necessary action, the publisher receives a payment. In most cases, a sale isn’t needed to secure a payment — only an action.
Perhaps the original and most successful Internet business model to date, e-commerce blazed a trail for the World Wide Web back in the 1990s. It was the success of online retailers such as Lastminute.com and Amazon.com that led to the famous “dotcom bubble”, and these companies and others like them are still innovating and re-inventing themselves all the time.
The early days of e-commerce were enjoyed by large companies with huge resources. Now, however, anyone can get involved in the e-commerce miracle, thanks to DIY services such as Shopify.
4. Online casinos
The online casino has revolutionised the way people gamble. It introduced millions of people to poker, roulette and blackjack for the first time, as getting involved was as easy as making a deposit. According to media research specialist Technavio, the global market for online gambling grew by around nine percent in 2015 alone. Online casinos also paved the way for the legalising or deregulation of gambling in more than 85 countries.
By the year 2020, the online casino business model could be generating more than $60 billion a year around the world. Why is this happening? Well, there are a few issues that are contributing to this enormous growth. Some of the most exciting include the advent of mobile gaming apps, the ease of making deposits, the sudden surge in demand among women, more effective marketing and bonus initiatives and the changing habits of traditional gamblers.
5. Amazon FBA
No company has developed a more successful Internet business model than Amazon. The online store is much more than a retailer now — it is a global marketplace for goods and services. Although directly linked to e-commerce, the “fulfillment by Amazon” model utilises huge amounts of traffic to give smaller companies and individuals everything they need to set up an e-commerce business of their own.
While Shopify provides retailers with the basic tools to open an online store, Amazon FBA includes payment processing, handling and shipping, product storage and everything else required to sell products directly to consumers on the Internet.
6. Email marketing
Some say that email marketing has had its day — in part because of the introduction of Gmail’s Promotions tab. However, it is still an inexpensive, relatively simply process that delivers huge returns. People sign up for marketing materials willingly (in most cases), and receive news, discounts and updates periodically. This gives companies the opportunity to tailor their marketing strategies according to specific demographic groups, including age, geography, income and marital status.
Delivered straight into the inboxes of consumers, email marketing messages are as powerful now as they were at the very beginning of the digital age. You can market absolutely anything with just a message and an email account — with no need for programming skills, web design tools or expensive advertising agencies. For these reasons, the email marketing business model remains one of the most profitable.
This is the new business model on the block, and it’s currently taking the world by storm. Bitcoin has led the way in recent years, but there are now dozens of alternatives, and many of them are soaring in value. The likes of Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are expected to soar in value over the next few years — thanks to the security and anonymity they offer Internet users.
Cryptocurrencies are still unregulated by governments, so their value is never affected by fiscal decisions and economic fluctuations. For these reasons, the digital currency business model is probably here to stay — and it’s only going to get bigger.
There is still a lot of money to be made on the Internet, even if the competition is fiercer than ever. Give consumers value, good service and reliability, and your online venture stands a great chance of long-term success.
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