What a Year It Was for the Online World in 2018: A Review of the Internet Year
By Graham Jones
What a year it has been in 2018…! Around the world, there have been plenty of dramatic changes with Europe on the verge of its most significant change in 50 years as a result of Brexit, the United States becoming more divided as a result of a polarising President and currencies in Asia plummeted as China entered into a trade war. And this is all before you even consider volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis. Indeed, 12 months ago, scientists predicted an increase in seismic activity because the Earth is rotating more slowly than before.
Meanwhile, over on the Internet, it has been another eventful year with much of that impact being felt in the “real world”. Retailers, for instance, end 2018 with the same problem that they faced at the beginning of the year – increased competition from online stores. At the end of 2017, HMV went into administration for the second time in six years. Toys R Us disappeared from most countries. And the 132-year-old retail giant Sears has been closing stores after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the USA. It has been a very tough year for retailers as they struggle to compete with the ever-increasing use of online shopping.
Online retail was a struggle too
However, even though people appear to love the convenience of online shopping, the myriad of Internet stores have also been facing a tough time in 2018. With the dominance of Amazon, online retailers have found it tough to attract enough custom. Indeed, conditions were so tough that the giant online retailer Tesco Direct had to throw in the towel by the middle of the year. A massive store like this could not compete with Amazon, eBay and other online stores.
Another issue facing online retailers was the surge in mobile shopping. Many stores, encouraged by Google’s focus on mobile indexing in 2018, put a great deal of effort into their mobile stores, only to discover that shoppers were not that interested in them. Three-quarters of online shopping in 2018 was NOT conducted on a mobile device, in spite of the costs and efforts put in by the retailers.
Attracting website visitors became harder in 2018
Most websites, like the online retailers, found it increasingly difficult in the past year to attract visitors. This was because of significant growth in competition alongside a dramatic rise in the production of “content”. Worse still, as more content was produced than ever before, fewer people were sharing that material meaning that the return on investment of content production decreased for many online businesses in 2018. If ever a content strategy was needed more than ever it is now.
Productivity online continued to decline
As businesses spent more time producing content and attempting to attract visitors, productivity faced a further decline. As the usage of the Internet increases, office productivity declines. Part of this is due to the distraction of the online world, part is due to some online procedures taking longer than traditional methods, and partly due to …read more
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