No business in their right mind would use horse and buggy for shipping, so why use other antiquated business methods in today’s modern world? Business practices in the internet age have given your business a unique opportunity to grow, and refusing to take advantage of that could mean the end of your company. Don’t take our word for it, here are some examples of multimillion dollar companies that didn’t adapt to the times.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford
1. Famous Failed Companies
When establishing your business model, it’s important to be flexible. Moreover, you can never know what technology might be around the corner. This has been the downfall of many large corporations. For example, 88% of companies that were ranked in the Fortune 500 of 1955 are gone today. Here’s how business practices in the internet age have affected different companies.
You can easily attribute the failure of Blockbuster to the success of Netflix. In fact, in 2000 Netflix actually approached Blockbuster and offered to sell their company for $50 million. Blockbuster’s CEO said the idea was just “very small niche business.” Blockbuster then filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and Netflix is now generating a revenue of over $8.8 billion dollars. As it turns out, people would rather stream their movies online rather than pay late fees for not returning a physical copy.
Despite having a 125 year run, Sears actually started losing ground in the 90’s as Walmart was becoming a superpower company. Then for whatever reason, Sears’ chairmen decided to focus more on clothing and apparel, rather than business practices in the internet age. A large reason of why Walmart is competing with Amazon today is because they went online. Sears never quite digitized their company, and has been shrinking ever since.
Unfortunately Toys”R”Us went down in a sort of compromised fashion. In early 2000, Toys”R”Us signed a deal with Amazon to become the exclusive toy supplier for their site. However, Amazon continued to allow other toy manufacturers and chains to sell on their website. In 2004 they sued, but the damage was done. Without an online infrastructure, Toys”R”Us went the way of the dodo. Business practices in the internet age affect every company differently.
2. Getting Into the Digital Wave
There are, of course, companies that didn’t just survive in the digital age, but actually flourished. By incorporating the internet into your business model, you can also catch how shoppers have changed the way they purchase items. Everything’s online now, which is more evidence of how business practices in the internet age affect companies.
Macy’s saw what was happening to similar department stores and took a very practical approach to adaptation: digitize everything. The simple act of adding options allows consumers to choose which way they want to shop. Be it curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or online shipping options have allowed Macy’s to stay competitive in today’s world. Business practices in the internet age can mean switching up the way you sell your product(s).
Business practices in the internet age can take some unexpected turns. Walmart has taken a few unique approaches in appealing to the digital marketplace. Aside from the online pickup locations they’ve founded, Walmart has also opened the first completely online store in Japan. Moreover, their online shopping experience bares a striking resemblance to Amazon’s web page appearance.
The goliath. The juggernaut. The biggest name in online shopping today. Amazon used to be an online bookstore back in 1995 when it was founded in Jeff Bezos’ garage. After that it has since… expanded. With an enormous inventory, online media streaming, and now stores that use cameras and an app instead of employees, Amazon has become the second largest employer in America, and only because Walmart has more employees. Jeff Bezos is not the richest man of all time, with a net worth of around $105 billion dollars.