The digital economy is the economy that comes from the digital conversion of traditional economic activities driven by the internet, electronic means, and data. The transformation of traditional economic activities, products, and services into digital form results in the digital economy.
In the traditional economy, businesses depend on print advertisements and word-of-mouth to reach their targeted audience, whereas the digital economy uses digital platforms, social media strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), and other digital marketing techniques to promote their businesses and reach their targeted audience.
Billions of connections between people, devices, data, and businesses result in the digital economy, which, since it is a global and interconnected economy, is not limited by geographical boundaries.
Features of the digital economy
Types of the Digital Economy
The digital economy has created business opportunities and had a positive impact on the global economy. There are mainly three types of operators in the digital economy that have helped operate the business in different ways.
There are three main types of digital economy operators:
Platform providers: Companies that provide online platforms and allow users to interact are considered digital economy operators. Example of digital economy platform provider includes social media companies, online dating sites, and online marketplaces.
Content providers: Companies that provide digital content to users are considered digital economy operators. Examples of content providers include streaming media companies, online publishers, and app developers.
Infrastructure providers: The companies that can provide the basic infrastructure that powers the digital economy Examples of infrastructure providers include cloud computing companies, data center operators, and telecommunications companies.
The digital economy works in a similar way to the traditional economy, but it has some key differences. Now business operations have also changed, there are new business models and innovative products and services.
The traditional way of doing business is dependent on word-of-mouth referrals and advertising through print media. The traditional economy includes the exchange of currency notes for goods and services, whereas, in the digital economy, the business, products, channels, and currency are all digitized.
Digital Economy Components
The key components identified by American statistician and economist Thomas Mesenbourghg are:
- E-Business Infrastructure
The E-business infrastructure component of the digital economy refers to electronic systems that are used by businesses to conduct their operations. This contains the hardware, software, networks, and data storage systems that collectively help in defining E-business infrastructure.
E-business is the use of electronic systems to carry out business activities. The process of buying and selling and the marketing, production, and delivery of goods and services on digital platforms comes under E-business.
E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through electronic systems. Exchanging money, goods, and services between businesses and consumers is part of the E-commerce component.
The digital economy is more complex than these above-mentioned components, e-governance, e-banking, and many more are being added with the advancement of technology and emerging business models.
The traditional economy's constraints were completely overcome by the digital economy, whether it is in terms of manufacturing, marketing, or trade.
Business operations are being transformed by the digital economy, which has also created immense opportunities. Additionally, it has influenced consumers and changed their behavior.
Today, it is one of the most important catalysts for innovation, growth, and job creation.
The rise of the digital economy is important as it covers different aspects of business, which include:
-Cost reduction: The digital economy, which comprises the latest technology, has made it possible to reduce costs for businesses with respect to marketing, production, and supply.
It has replaced traditional business methods with digital ones by reducing costs in many areas of business operations.
-Aids in reaching more people: Businesses are exposed to a large platform that allows them to reach new markets and customers. Because of the internet's global nature, the digital economy easily connects people and allows businesses to reach people all over the world.
-Improves Efficiency: Because businesses now have access to better tools and technology, they can work more efficiently and use data to improve their market performance by making data-driven decisions.
-Leads to Innovation: Since the digital economy digitizes business processes, it leads to innovation. The business can experiment with innovative ideas and use technology to produce, market, and sell its products and services.
-Creates New Jobs: Because of the digital economy, businesses are digitized, which has produced new job opportunities. The new businesses and startups have created new job roles like digital marketing, data mining, big data analysis, data science, etc.
Various companies have upended their respective markets, resulting in the digital transformation of the current economy. All the successful organizations in the 21st century are driven by digital technology.
Some of the most notable examples are listed below:
Uber is a call-to-trip service where, with a tap of a button, users can book a ride. The company uses technology to connect riders to drivers with an application on a smartphone. The company was founded in 2009 and is now providing service in 71 countries and more than 890 cities.
The company has replaced the traditional taxi industry by incorporating technology into the usual taxi booking settings. It has given rise to an entirely new business model called the aggregator business model.
It is a popular streaming service that is available as an app and offers a wide range of TV shows, movies, and documentaries with access to the internet. Today, Netflix has over 222 million subscribers in 190 countries. Recently, the company has successfully produced its own content.
It is an online marketplace where people can list, find, and rent vacation homes. The company was founded in 2008 and is available in 220 countries and more than 100,000 cities.
The online platform has disrupted the traditional hotel industry and given rise to the sharing economy.
Amazon invented the idea of e-commerce and introduced markets and commerce to the Internet. The business began as an online bookstore but quickly expanded into other markets, including the sale of electronics, apparel, food, and other products.
With almost 600 million active users per month, Amazon is now the most popular e-commerce site worldwide. The business has also created a line of goods that are well-liked by its customers.
The article shows how the digital economy has taken the place of traditional economics and how business operations have changed to reach targeted customers.
The digital economy has compelled businesses to improve their services and give customers exactly what they want. New business and employment opportunities are made possible by platforms like the digital economy.
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