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Are all businesses destined to go from offline to online?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Stable Genius, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    I am curious to see what people think will be happening in the future. Do you think all types of business will switch to more online and less offline model? I am referring to existing types of businesses that operated in offline capacity originally and now are moving into online version instead.

    Think of things like Blockbuster 25 years ago offering movies for rent and Netflix first started offering DVDS for rent by mail and later moved into streaming services. People used to goto Barnes & Nobles to buy books but then Amazon came to the scene and book purchases shifted to the web. Online banking reduced the need for people to go to bank branches to conduct their business. Do you think there will be any businesses left that will have only offline business model as the way to deliver their sales or if business doesn't adapt to online they will die?

    One of the projects I'm currently working on is a startup that is moving existing offline business model to online. It's not anything brand new, it existed for possibly hundred of years to some capacity. There are several small companies in each large city and hundreds all over US in general but they are all small in operation. Being offline based business (they do have a website) they are limited to operation in their small regions and not worldwide due to physical location & out of reach customers. If you sell some physical product in your local store and depend on some local customers but at the same time you dont expect to have a lot of online orders because it would take customer several days + extra cost to receive this item would be a problem for some customers when they can possibly get the same product from vendor physically close to them.

    Without revealing any info about my product I'll think of something different to use as an example. Let's say the offline business is some sort of offline training center. There are a few centers like this in every city and lets say one offers 2 week in person class on some very specific type of training. It costs students $2000 and they have to commute to training center every day. People from far away cities can't attend class in person and purchase training by mail in DVD / book format and it takes 1 week to get after order. If you digitize your training you are now able to offer it at lower cost (no rent of class space, no need to pay instructor for every class) and now you can reach students worldwide with instant e-course delivery. Some might still be going to an accountant to do their taxes and visit a physical location and have to wait several days until they receive printed out copy to sign. They either have to come back to the physical location to pick it up or get it mailed to them. Some people are already able to send information to their accountant electronically and over time everything will move to online. Some day having physical locations for tax return accountants will be eliminated completely and everything will be done electronically. This is example of old offline products / services that are moving to online.

    Do you think this will be the future for all current businesses that operate in offline or do you think some will be able to survive and continue to be offline? Some day Amazon will be able to deliver anything a person wants in less then 2 hours. If Amazon offers free 1 hour robot delivery why would people want to take their time to visit Whole Foods to do shopping in person. Why spend time going to the store, time at the store, time returning from the store, etc. Online deliveries can be offered for 10% because Whole Foods will switch some stores to be for fulfillment only. Amazon would be saving millions if they dont have to pay as much rent / salaries. Instead of paying $5M/year to have retail store in 1 prime location of major city where people shop in person they can open 5 x $1M fulfillment centers 20 miles away from major city that will be 3X larger and can process more orders reaching not just 1 mile radius of local customers but now reaching 20 mile radius of delivered orders.
     
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  2. onlinemarketer12

    onlinemarketer12 Elite Member

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    No there are some type of business that will always be offline only.
     
  3. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    Can you give an example of business that can be done online that will remain offline? It is obvious that if you want to go swim in a pool you would need to do it in offline business and can't be done online. There are many products and services that will remain offline only due to the nature of service (ie. surgery) but I was referring only those type of businesses that operate in offline capacity now and have the ability to be converted to online.
     
  4. onlinemarketer12

    onlinemarketer12 Elite Member

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    In some countries majority of construction material related business is offline. Some people tried it doing online in my areas but it flopped.
     
  5. raptor911

    raptor911 Junior Member

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    Most businesses will be online but not all of them.
    Those that produce fresh stuff, like prepared food, coffee and your favourite snacks to go. They will stay
    Also big brands will absolutely have flagship stores in big citys for branding purposes and to offer their customers a buying experience ( think about Gucci or BMW)
     
  6. Meddie

    Meddie Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Of course, with this pandemic, 90% of the offline businesses finally understand the power of online. Nothing convinces old classic business owners until now.
     
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  7. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    Obviously if you need to buy lumber & cement it is currently purchased in a local store due to size / weight. Even this will migrate online soon. Instead of having Home Depot in major cities pay $5M/year in rent and $10M/year in salary for each location they can have cheaper warehouse elsewhere and get robots to fulfill delivery some day. If you're a general contractor and now have to physically goto Home Depot to buy 500 kilos of cement and use your truck to transport it to your construction site you put time, money and effort. If you can place the same order online and have it delivered to your construction site everyone would save. Some day you can tell Home Depot you need 200 pieces of lumbar in different sizes and robot will cut everything precisely for you, pack the order and have it delivered.

    Flagship retail will remain but be reduced. Some day technology will give you an option to pick several Gucci shoes online in different sizes and have robot provide home concierge shopping experience.

    BMW car dealerships will remain but reduce in size. Some day instead of going to dealership for a test drive you can get test drive delivered to your home for FREE by robot. Consumer stays home, dealership doesnt pay as much rent and doesn't need floor salesman.
     
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  8. LoungeMedia

    LoungeMedia Junior Member

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    Definitely I agree some businesses cant be online
     
  9. Opulentos

    Opulentos Newbie

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    I agree. Everything but the bare essentials such as bars, hookah lounges, and social events. Everyone else will invest in online, and that means more profitable agencies marketing for them. Mark my words, 2021 will be the biggest spike in SEO/paid ads spending
     
  10. Elvlin

    Elvlin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  11. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    No this will not happen. There are many business owners who in 2020 still do not have a website and have refused to have it or use any online services. People have been trying to sell all sorts of services for years and there are many that refuse all offers. If you're a plumber without a website now that gets local business he would still continue to get same amount of interest since there are still same number of plumbing problems, but now he has a pandemic delivery of service. Consumers might be hesitant to call plumber and delay because of being scared and plumber might be hesitant to visit stranger homes. No impact what so ever on lack of website, social media, etc. This type of business owner will not all of a sudden decide to look for marketing agency to pay thousands of dollars per year.

    I'm sure it would be hard to find some local boutique clothing designer that has a small store and doesn't have a website. Obviously any local store that can sell their products online would try to do that and most already do. Yes some business will buy services from marketing agencies but I do not see growth you think will happen. A lot of platforms make it very easy to do paid ads on your own and business owners can do it instead of someone else. Business owner can easily hit a few buttons to promote their own IG post and not have to use marketing agency to do the same.
     
  12. onlinemarketer12

    onlinemarketer12 Elite Member

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    How is this pandemic related to this ?
     
  13. Meddie

    Meddie Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    When John will see his next-door put the lock on his offline businesses due to pandemic but still selling online, John will stop hating something that he not understand and will move also online.
     
  14. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Elite Member

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    Excluding the obvious businesses that will not, the rest will be decided on a generational basis.

    People of a certain age are glued to their mobile, others, typically older are not.

    My local artisan baker is in his 60's - no chance he will have a website and sell online. But lets say his grandson takes over the business, his generation would think it mad not to.

    If the owner is looking to go online and they can they will. The younger the owner the more likely they will be to look.
     
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  15. dgbanj

    dgbanj Registered Member

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    Internet makes the world go round.
     
  16. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    Your logic is once again flawed. John survived this without a website and his next door neighbor had to close his business. If both John & his neighbor operated without a website and only one folded it means there is more than just a lack of website. Just because another business has a website and sell online doesn't mean another business owner can open a website and start getting sales too. John can open a website and list his products for sale but not have any knowledge how to attract visitors to his website. Steve that runs same type of business had website for few years and has few accounts on Social Media where he posts actively and has real followers. John opens a website, gets social media accounts but no followers.


    Even this type of business has been moving away from standard offline practices. So say your local artisan baker has been in business for years at same location and has a good client base. Over time business grows and bakery is not enough to produce all the baked goods and owner gets another location without retail customers, just bakery. That grows to few facilities to bake and continuation of retail store but now business owner sells his products to restaurants and thats 20% of their business. Over time this bakery starts selling their products in Whole Foods and now count for more of their stores from other sources than retail store. Over time they can close retail location and switch B2B over B2C and continue to bake custom made cakes with home delivery.

    The only type of business that will remain as much offline as possible are something like funeral homes. People can watch services online but you still need physical place to have it take place.
     
  17. edwardmiller

    edwardmiller Regular Member

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    NO!
     
  18. Meddie

    Meddie Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I respect your opinion, but I am talking facts about what happens to me, my business grows by 50% just after Italy goes in general quarantine. It's not nice to say about someone has no logic just because does not have the same opinions as you.

    https://prnt.sc/s8rvsw
     
  19. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Elite Member

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    Not sure of your point. Of course a baker can move online now. My point was it wont happen while people who dont want to are in charge. But as they retire/die and the younger generation take over more and more businesses will.

    As i said it is not a technology thing, it is a generational thinking thing.
     
  20. Stable Genius

    Stable Genius Regular Member

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    Whatever happens to you was not shared by you before. You stated that John would run to get web presence after his neighbor closes his business because he didn't have one. What you said about John is flawed logic, whatever you do with your business you didnt specify before and it doesn't apply to John's situation.

    Generational shift is obvious and my point is that retail location will close and that will be first step of offline closure. It will be cheaper to operate manufacturing of most products in other locations and not rely on physical presence of retail store.

    My whole point of this post is to see if someone can illustrate a business has the ability to operate in some sort of hybrid form of offline / online and would remain operating in offline capacity only. Most people goto college in person but some have been doing online learning. Now because colleges are closed everything is taught online. After pandemic is over there will not be generational change in attendance of online courses versus offline. Younger crowd had no problems with doing online learning before or after pandemic and older crowd might've resisted trying online learning but now were forced to adapt to technology. This is where technology changes all generations. Colleges worldwide will reduce the number of classrooms.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020