It was easy to scoff at the internet in the mid-nineties when it certainly did have the aura of a fad behind it. Slow desktop computers and even slower connection times meant that for a lot of people, the internet seemed like a work in progress.
And while it still might be far from perfect these days, you cannot deny that it has turned business on its head. As the 21st century zipped along, more and more corporations leapt on board, and for the few that couldn’t adapt for obvious reasons (like video rental stores), they just went belly up.
Online dating and more
At first, you might say that dating sites have been online in some fashion from the very beginning. And while you would be right, it’s only in the last few years that everything involving meeting and hooking up with people has left the pubs and clubs and moved entirely into cyberspace.
Dating apps have taken the world by storm, as it takes only a minute or two to create a profile and then find out who is in your neighbourhood and eager to shack up. And it’s not just for a one night stand, either, as there are more and more stories of people getting married who initially met through Tinder or something to that effect.
In fact, it’s not just dating. Even ‘the world’s oldest profession’ has stepped off the street corner and into the virtual world. It is now possible to check out London based Escort Model Reviews immediately, to make sure that you find the right woman to spend the night with.
This sort of interaction doesn’t even have to ultimately end with meeting in person, either. Whether a relationship or friendship, the ease of video calling and the expansion of activities to do online mean it’s easy to be social through cyberspace and nowhere else. It is becoming possible to become close friends and more while never meeting in person.
Amazon began as a bookseller way back in the late nineties, and that made sense. Ordering a book online after reading a glowing review of it in a print newspaper was very easy to do, with no downside (other than the eventual death of the bookstore).
As the online world grew, many more products became easy to order and show up on your doorstep. But clothing was obviously held out because it was assumed that people wanted to at least hold the shirt or pants in their hands (and probably try it on) before making a purchase. Just seeing a picture of a sweater was no guarantee that it would fit right, even if you knew your size.
But over the last few years, plenty of clothing retailers have made the transition by offering some hard-to-beat deals to its customers. This can include things like ‘buy one, get one free’, free delivery on orders of a certain amount, and – most importantly – easy exchange or return if the garment doesn’t fit.
Usually, there are rules about a time limit and about making sure that the clothing remains in a saleable condition, but now your living room is the new change room. Undoubtedly what has helped make this possible is the new speed of delivery (maybe two or three days max for those in densely populated areas), which everyone is beginning to get very accustomed to.
Fast food and beyond
Yes, food delivery has been around for decades, but for a long time, it was mainly pizza and Chinese food. With the rise of the internet and mobile apps, it’s gotten easier to have anything brought right to your doorstep in an instant.
No matter where you are, you can order ahead with a McDonald’s phone app and then go pick up your order with ease. And if you are in some densely populated areas, there might even be delivery options available without having to use a third party.
In fact, some restaurants are now only available online. Why bother spending all that money on a dining room and cashiers when software can do the exchange of funds? Finally, you could enjoy a delicious meal you could never whip up yourself, and you don’t even have to bother putting on a pair of trousers.
Even if you are quite the gourmet cook, it’s becoming effortless to have the ingredients for a great meal to arrive at your door. Many large grocery store chains make it easy to put together an order online, and then you can either pick it up in an instant because it’s there waiting for you, or it can be delivered to you for an additional fee.
Even better is that if you want to make it a weekly thing, it saves your previous orders so you can just make a few adjustments to it, instead of creating a new order from scratch.
The cubicle life
While real-world events can certainly hasten big changes in the virtual world, working from home instead of your three half-walls is a dream come true for many. Not only are you saving time by not having to make the twice-daily commute, but you’re saving plenty of money as well.
Yes, having to clock in with some special software is a bit like being placed on a leash, but it makes getting work done a lot easier when you can relax on your sofa for a break. Few people might rave about video call meetings, but no one was excited about the office, in-person version, either.
For jobs that required answering emails and adjusting spreadsheets, it didn’t take long to realize all this could be done remotely. And the main reason the company itself is drooling at the virtual cubicle: saving money on renting office space.