How consumers use websites is far more than just a shopping tool. In the late 90’s as the internet became more accessible, just like any new technology, we had to figure out how to use it.

We had to understand what role this tool would play in our everyday lives. The initial understanding was it would unite the world. Buyers and sellers across the globe could now connect with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Though that vision was true, it was limited. The web would be more than just a shopping tool. And the fear that the web would shut down brick and mortar stores was proven false. The internet in the 90’s and today has played a vital role in how consumers and business owners interact.

Today, everyone has the internet in their pocket. There are more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes. But we do more than just shop with our phones. In fact a lot more.

We are a society that loves to research products and services. A society that loves to speak with others regarding the pros and cons of a product. Whether a service provider is qualified or not. As a business owner, it is vital that you understand the role a website plays in your business.

For example, if you are a service provider, whose product cannot easily be sold online, the internet still plays a vital role. Absent a website, many have to turn to resources like Yelp to learn about a service provider. To determine whether one should make that phone call to hire a service. And trusts me, Yelp is often a harsh place. Where one lone and angry customer can overshadow the voices of others.

Today more people prefer the added convenience of visiting a website, doing some research and taking action. Though we have access to a phone in our pocket, we are a society that in many ways has become more introverted. We would rather email or text versus call.

If given the freedom to schedule a service or buy a product online that is the modern day path of least resistance. And if you don’t offer this option, then consumers will move onto to a business which does.

Who knows what role the internet will play in our lives in the next ten years. It will likely continue to evolve as the world continues to get smaller. As our lives continue to become more connected. And as technology continues to advance.