The omnipresence of the World Wide Web will certainly not have escaped your attention unless you happen to have been living under a rock or deep in the desert. Living under a giant boulder or in the middle of the Sahara doesn’t necessarily even stop you from accessing the internet.
Society as a whole is moving more and more into the online realm. Our politics and social lives are impacted hugely by activities conducted on the internet. Remember Wikileaks? Remember the Russian bot scandal? Taken a look at TikTok recently? These are all hugely important political and social entities or happening that take place or have taken place online. Many fields of business and industry are also migrating online. Here are four industries that have increasingly found a home on the internet in recent years.
You used to have to ring an insurer or go into an office to find the best policy. This is no longer the case. A huge majority of the insurance policies bought for automobiles, homes, and devices is purchased online. Companies like Root Insurance, a traditional auto insurer, have largely migrated their services online. Other insurers have been set up with an exclusively online business plan and a largely remote workforce. The benefits of going online are obvious for insurers and customers alike. Algorithms can analyze data provided by potential customers and instantly develop quotes without the need for any human output. The more data from customers that a company collects, the easier it is to protect their growth by giving customers quotes relative to their risk levels.
You might assume that grocery shopping would be the last activity to migrate online. Much to the chagrin of people that enjoy a nice chat, grocery shopping is increasingly moving into the online realm. Ecommerce behemoth Amazon is currently trialing online grocery shopping in several countries. The company’s huge network of warehouses and drivers means that they can theoretically undercut many small shopkeepers. In a slightly more wholesome development, some companies offer boxes of cast-off vegetables that can be ordered online.
Universities have offered online courses for a while now for people who prefer part-time and distance learning. The Covid 19 pandemic incited a mass migration of educational services online – with mixed results. Established universities offered the majority of their services over Zoom during the height of the pandemic. Several innovative companies have developed online platforms that outdo Zoom as an educational tool. Remote learning is not likely to go away after the pandemic. We will likely see the adoption of a hybrid online/in-person educational model in higher education in the future.
The pandemic has also accelerated the move of banking services online. Major banks now offer a huge majority of their services via online portals. In recent years, some banks have emerged that have challenged the need for an in-person service altogether. These so-called ‘digital challenger banks’ run only on skeleton staff and can be accessed only through applications.