In the last thirty-or-so years, computer and technology have come to shape all aspects of our personal and business lives. Since Tim Berners-Lee first published the world’s first web page back on August 6th, 1991 at the CERN institute in Geneva, the internet has grown to become a colossal force throughout every industry across the world.
Today, the internet is such an embedded and integral part of life that it’s sometimes hard to imagine what we ever did without it. From communicating via emails to smartphone video calls and the exponential growth of e-commerce shopping, the internet has been the great disrupter of the 21st Century. Indeed, we have become so reliant on the web that many experts believe we are currently in throes of the 4th great industrial revolution – all driven by the advances in tech and online services.
However, while the web has had an impact on all industries, there are four that have been particularly revolutionized by developments in technology and communications.
Banking, finance and lending
The banking, finance and lending sector has witnessed huge transformation since the birth of the internet and the widespread adoption of computers and smart devices. Where once individuals would physically have to visit a real-world bank to transfer, save or withdraw money, most of our transactions these days are now done digitally.
Money-lending markets have also seen tremendous changes with a huge range of new online financial service companies like Cashlady being created, where borrowers can apply for a loan and receive approval and funding in a matter of minutes.
Traditional high street retail
The traditional high street shopping experience has been in decline for many years but the recent emergence of Coronavirus may well spell the eventual end of retail as we knew it through the last century.
Consumers had already been flocking in their droves to online marketplaces to find the best prices and service but lockdowns and isolation forced a shift-change in shopping habits with people no longer able to visit crowded malls and shops like days gone by.
E-commerce has become the major driving force in retail and many industry experts suggest online shopping could come to dominate as much as 95% of the market by 2040.
Marketing, advertising, PR and promotions
Not so very long ago, the only options open to companies wishing to promote themselves were the traditional media channels of print, radio, TV and billboard advertising. However, with the birth of the internet and, in recent years, the mass take-up of social media, advertisers now have a vast array of resources over which to convey their message and promote the products and services.
From company websites to email campaigns and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the modern world of marketing and promotions is almost unrecognizable to the industry of 20 years ago.
The music industry
While the internet has undoubtedly had profound changes in all areas of society and industry, one might reasonably argue it’s effects have been most significant in the music sector. Since the invention of the MP3 and other reduced file size formats, music has become less an owned commodity and more one we download or rent when we want it.
The days of buying physical records and CDs are long-gone, replaced now by streaming platforms like Spotify where we can access a world of music over our phones and other connected devices.