The big companies are finally catching up to the idea that the internet can do more than just power their marketing - it can be used to provide services and augment their business' function.
This decade has been characterised by an internet of services, which means that we're finally getting the internet to really work for us. It's not just about admiring a product, it's about getting that product on your desk before the end of the day. (Maybe even getting any product you want on your desk.) It's not just about looking up transport services, it's about booking a service, tracking the car as it arrives, and leaving feedback on your ride. It's no longer just about reading about health tips; it's about getting real-time data about your health and real-time analytics to match. We've come a long way and things are only getting better.
We've definitely crossed a significant line with what we expect from services. Visit any major retailer's website and you'll notice that you expect them to offer their products online - to find a retailer without a digital shopping portal seems like an obvious oversight. Similarly, logging on to a service provider's site - a yoga studio, doctor's practice or hairdresser - and you'll expect at least an email, if not a contact form or fully bookable timetable service.
It's no longer OK to just have your information online. Your customers expect your services online too.
It's much thanks to the development of better technology that we've got to this point. Handhelds and portables have given us the opportunity to book and buy on the fly, while wearables have offered us a connection to health data we never had before. In fact, the very ubiquity of an internet connection is what has allowed our product to flourish - ten years ago, the idea of a cloud-based shopping and communications platform that connects communities in building precincts would have seemed like a geeky dream. But here we are.
We believe that people everywhere, at work and at home, deserve this level of service. People are starting to believe they deserve it, too. We're getting to this interesting point where online services are no longer "convenient", they're expected. As in, if you don't offer a certain level of amenity, it's inconvenient.
But you know what? We think it can be more than that. We think it can be enjoyable... maybe even fun. We think using technology can make your life better. We think it can bring a smile to your face, or brighten up a dull day. We think a coffee delivered at the right time, an event you found out about online, a dry cleaning delivery that you would have forgotten about or a beautiful, stress-free email announcement can change lives for the better. That's why we do what we do.
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