Bill Gates – the legendary entrepreneur and Founder of Microsoft – once said, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.”
Fast forward to the present day, and we cannot agree more. Those businesses which didn't care to move on with the digital transformation have lost the race. Some have even gone extinct.
Those business models that adapted themselves to changing times are winning multiple rounds of investments, billions in revenue and global fanfare. Look to Airbnb, Amazon, Zappos, YouTube, etc. for success stories.
The bottom line is, the online marketplace throws open multiple business opportunities. Here are a few business models based on the online marketplace model which we think will come to the foray as axis powers.
Online Travel Booking
Travel booking is one industry which changed upside down with the advent of e-commerce. In the earlier days, middlemen who charged a commission for ticket booking, hotel booking, transport arrangements, etc. proved to be a menace to the entire industry.
With travel entering the online marketplace model, the scene changed once and for all, making online travel booking, accommodation planning even tour planning easily affordable, convenient and leisurely for travelers. In fact, it is now possible to plan for travel, starting from doorstep to doorstep, with the help of online travel booking services. A wide range of ready-made scripts also enable entrepreneurs to become part of the history in making.
Amazon, Ebay, Zappos, Alibaba and a variety of other online stores have become the identity of online commerce. They have grown manifold compared to the growth statistics of some age-old neighborhood convenience stores. The concept of e-commerce stores have become so rampant that even home-based business owners are vying to build online stores using marketplace software.
In fact, the future of double-sided marketplaces is estimated to reach $1-trillion by 2020. The present day growth rates of e-commerce stores also indicate that online sales will not decline in the near future. Keyword analysis using SEMrush shows that e-commerce related search queries to have steadily increasing volume. You can also find detailed information on competitors, keyword volumes, paid ads metrics and much more about marketplace companies from SEMrush.
According to eMarketer, an average US adult spends about 5.5 hours a day in video sharing websites. Online video sharing websites and their apps are permanent residents in most smartphones. Live streaming, video on demand, pay per view and a horde of other video streaming services are also winning the daily hours of users around the world.
Online Hotel Booking
Airbnb, Kayak, Homeaway, etc. kickstarted a revolution in hotel booking. Some of us might be remembering the days when we arrived at our destination with hopeful prayers that the lodges would have rooms available. Telephone bookings were also the norm, but were largely unreliable and often susceptible to fraud.
The scene changed with the arrival of online hotel booking. In fact, the scene is constantly evolving to make it easier to plan and book accommodations without breaking into a sweat. Take for example Google Maps — the service is now configured to help users find when a particular property is most booked, available and unavailable during various parts of the day.
Similarly, online accommodation booking services like Airbnb offer hourly booking services that add to the fun & convenience in traveling. Driven by the success story of Airbnb, property owners with collectives are now building their own travel portals using readily available cloud based scripts.
As the beginning of the new year starts, we can’t help but wonder how 2017 will nudge e-commerce into its next stage of evolution. Here are some business models that can be expected to surge in the near future. Watch out for them.