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Survival of the Fittest: Has Your Business Evolved?

Failing to move with the times can be detrimental to any business by handing your competitors a distinct advantage over you. Innovative tools for targeting new and existing customers emerge regularly, and there are also many famous instances of large businesses failing to keep up with their competitors and eventually going under, Woolworths or Blockbuster are prime examples of this.

As a vast UK retailer, Woolworths was generating £3bn in revenue at the height of its power. A fundamental problem they faced was the rise of digital and people turning to online shopping. Many of their competitors embraced new and advancing technologies, whereas Woolworths stayed focused on physical High Street stores. With the financial crisis on the horizon and Woolworths' inability to embrace the digital opportunity, by 2009, all 807 UK stores had closed their doors. With the shocking collapse of Woolworths, other businesses took the opportunity to thrive - retailers such as Boots, Home Bargains and WHSmith moved into old premises, generating more business and profit for themselves.

Blockbuster, the movie rental service, was another prime example of a business that didn’t adapt to the times, relying on a significant proportion of their revenue coming from late return fees. While Blockbuster dealt primarily with physical rentals, forward-thinking businesses like Netflix began adapting to the online era, with on-demand subscription services. Blockbuster had the opportunity to purchase Netflix in its early days but declined. Their inability to recognise new markets and evolve the existing business cost Blockbuster and by 2010 they'd filed for bankruptcy. The failure of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix are great examples that show forward thinking, and embracing change, are imperative for a business to succeed. 

Luckily, not all businesses neglect online, and for some, it is their primary source of income. A prime example of a company embracing online is John Lewis, who’s online profits have made a considerable increase over 5 years. In 2011 they made £500m from their website, growing to £1.63bn in 2016. Through the use of regular TV (think of those famous Christmas ads) and web advertising, and the ability to access the web anywhere, anytime on almost any device, their online sales have rocketed. Not only this but with free public WiFi available in all stores, customers can price compare products with ease.

"Amazon holds a market value of over $800bn and this figure is set to grow in the future as they continue to innovate and explore new industries."

Amazon is one of the most successful ecommerce businesses primarily dominating the online marketplace. Initially starting out as an online bookseller, Amazon has since revolutionised the ecommerce world as we know it, making 67.2% of its revenue from their product sales, and the rest from third-party sellers.  Amazon is also a leader in evolving the business in a changing marketplace. They have branched out into many other areas, including TV, home device manufacturing and cloud computing, to name just a few. Amazon holds a market value of over $800bn, and this figure is set to grow in the future as they continue to innovate and explore new industries.

Innovative online technologies represent exciting opportunities for businesses of all sizes. However, there are numerous high profile examples of businesses not evolving with new and emerging markets, and countless smaller instances. So, why wait? We can build your brand new, cutting-edge -commerce website using Magento 2. 

If you want to talk to us about how we can help, give us a call on 01392 964012 or drop us an email at hello@unleashedweb.co.uk


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