We were recently asked a great question: What online businesses, or business models interest you the most right now? Why?
Although the future of e-business is constantly changing and sometimes unpredictable, here is how we responded and where we’d place our chips if we had to:
App Development (iPhone, Smartphones, Blackberries): App development will of course become more and more advanced. We’d put some of our eggs in this basket. Expect better–and more–integration in this field in the future.
Affiliate Marketing (Pay-Per-Click Advertising): Here, you pay contractors to market / advertise your product any way they can using Google ads, Facebook ads, banner ads…the works! This has been a staple of online advertising and marketing for about 10 years now, and it still has compelling force.
Group Buying Sites (Groupon, TeamBuy, Living Social, ethicalDeal, Swarmjam, Goya deal, etc.): It should be noted that a lot of us in the office don’t think this model has legs. In fact, Groupon is already sliding downhill fast. With that said, it is a huge money-making machine right now that cannot be ignored. Although it is not sustainable in the long term, its foreseeable short term success is another story. In fact, Groupon’s founder has even has even been quoted saying something to this effect. Here is an interesting video with further insights on the instability behind the Groupon model: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18314764
Geo-Targeting: Geo-Targeting aims to take the idea of Foursquare, a location based “check in” social network used on your smartphone, and integrate it into everything you do. Physically check in with your phone and redeem incentives. This looks promising for businesses because it can be used for heavy consumer based businesses such as shopping malls, boutique stores and restaurants. The opportunities are endless. Imagine removing the limitations that surfaced when you were previously attempting to bridge that gap between online and offline. Further to this point, the future of this technology is in RFID tags. For more information on this, you can follow the link to one of our previous blog posts on this subject: http://www.eclipsecreative.ca/blog/?p=957
Social Media / Social Development: Nothing new here, but social media is of course extremely popular and cannot be ignored. In the future, you can expect deeper, crazier integration in Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn. You are likely to see more apps, better-targeted ads and highly customizable experiences.
Google +: This should technically be lumped in with the “social media” category above because it is in fact a social network. With that being said, Google + is making waves right now. Especially with their new “Brand pages” that launched just a week and a half ago. Some first movers in marketing are all over this and we’ll be seeing much more of Google + in the future.
Future “viral, multiplayer and/or interactive” content: A lot of big business and consumer product R&D is being invested in multiplayer environments. An example of this can be seen in the video game “The Sims”. Remember this game? The Sims started on your PC and was a 1 to 1 experience on your computer. Now, The Sims has jumped into a virtual community and can be played off your Facebook profile. Here you interact with other “Sims”, aka people online, in a real-time virtual environment. This is also happening with future sports games (FIFA, NHL, Madden, etc.), and was driven from the success of multiplayer games like Call of Duty on PS3. It makes sense. With critical mass, you’ve got opportunities to make money. Call of Duty has officially become a social staple among men of all ages. We see big money in the future in viral/interactive business. Imagine this on a consumer level. Soon you will be able to use your little avatar to virtually cruise around in a store or shopping mall (using Google Street View like technology) in real time online from the comfort of your sofa. You will be able to buy product, remove inventory from the shelves and ship it to your house.
Here are a couple other great examples of this interactive multiplayer environment:
What do you think is in store when it comes to the future of E-business? Do you disagree with any of these assumptions? We’d love to hear from you.