As this “global community” grows, so do the online business models. If you read this article, the internet is probably an essential part of your life. Nowadays, any creative person can become a digital entrepreneur. A good idea, a laptop and an internet connection are enough.
However, before starting an online project, you need to choose the right business model. To do this, you need to know the product or service you want to market, to know your target audience and to study the competition, if it exists in your niche.
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Based on this information, you can orient yourself to the right model. Here are the main online business models that have yielded results and are still chosen by entrepreneurs.
Online business models by product/service
1. Selling information products
We will start with one of the simplest models from a logistical point of view: the sale of information in the form of products or digital product packages.
This model is widespread among entrepreneurs in the field of lifestyle, mentoring, coaching, psychology, personal development, training, business consulting and online marketing.
If this model suits you, then all the details about your products will be presented in electronic format. You can choose a simple way of working, without depending on a stable team of employees or a headquarters. You can work from anywhere, directly from your laptop, to develop your products, and hire teams or external specialists, on specific development tasks.
The most popular types of information products are:
- Downloadable materials: the most popular products in this category are ebooks (pdf format) or video or audio files. There are also downloadable online courses, for a fee, which may include a combination of the aforementioned files.
- Membership-based websites (account): There are a variety of such platforms, from news sites with premium content, visible for a monthly subscription, to web applications or online course platforms. Payment is made monthly, quarterly or annually and can be an effective way to earn a steady income.
See other popular ideas for a home business.
2. Selling services
Whether it is services provided offline (construction, sales, physical courses, real estate, dentistry, etc.), or it is online services (consulting, coaching, web design, copy writing, hosting, etc.), this is one of the most common business models.
The website is a powerful tool for selling services, whether it is a small, local business, or a national or international business. Depending on the type of service provided and the area of distribution, you can choose which type of website suits you and how far the promotion will go.
Learn how to create an effective sales page. This way you will be able to quickly promote and sell your products or services online.
This way, customers can easily reach you by filling out an online form and even making the online payment.
3. Selling physical products
This is the business model that comes to the mind of a large number of people who want to start an online business.
However, it involves certain logistics costs such as: transport (import or export), packaging, warehousing, delivery, customer relations via email/chat/phone but also others.
If this business model suits you, you can choose either to create your own website (online store or product presentation site), or to collaborate with an external platform such as Amazon or Ali Express.
If you need help, don’t forget to contact us. We can lay the foundations of your site together and find the best online marketing solutions. Of course, you have more information in our service pages for creating an online store or creating a presentation site.
Online business models depending on the type of website
Now that we have seen what business models exist from a commercial point of view, let’s see which are the most frequently chosen websites by entrepreneurs.
This is the standard way to market physical products on the internet. There are many platforms that can be used to create the site, such as Magento, Shopify, Open Cart, as well as multiple online payment options. Of course, you can even use WordPress, but only if you don’t plan to sell a lot of products. Then your website will load quite slowly compared to other platforms dedicated to this purpose.
If you sell physical or informational products but do not have such a wide variety, you can opt for the sales letter website.
This means turning each product page into a landing page, through which the consumer can request an offer or place an order. The difference is that there is no add button in the cart.
Or, another solution may be a one-pager website. I told you more about how to do SEO for a your website in a separate article.
3. Business sales website
The business website is intended for companies that sell their services online. They are a combination of persuasive copy writing with a portfolio presentation and their role is to answer the question “Why choose this company/person?”.
These websites are suitable for freelancers, trainers or agencies of any kind. If somehow your rates are standard, you can present them on the site; if not, you can simply send the visitor to request a personalized offer.
4. Presentation website (info-site)
The presentation websites are purely informative. Whether it is platforms such as the List of Companies, where all companies are presented, or it is about education sites, such as Doctor’s Advice, these are online business models based on the growth of a community.
Usually, these sites aim to generate high traffic and their monetization model is through advertising banners, advertorials or sponsored content, respectively through partnerships with companies or specialists in the field.
Although the examples I have given are famous and content-rich platforms, this does not mean that all presentation sites should be like this. There may also be smaller, niche sites that don’t need much content to make an impact.
To be successful with your site you must follow a number of SEO rules. Or, like indexing algorithms. In short, you want your site to appear in the top Google results. So, here are the most important web pages to include in the structure of your site.
5. Independent blog
This business model is intended for individuals who want a passive income and more notoriety.
But, nowadays, starting a simple blog can be a challenge for anyone, because the online environment is overpopulated in terms of blogs. In order to obtain a consistent audience and monetize it, it is necessary to come up with a different idea and communicate in parallel on several channels: your own blog, social media, YouTube, newsletter, as well as niche offline events.
Growing a blog from scratch requires a lot of patience, especially until the first results appear.
6. Web application
Another popular online business model is to offer a service through a web application. It is a surface presentation platform that leads the user to create a free or subscription-based account.
Through that account, he can access an online service that solves a specific problem or need.
An example of a web application for companies can be a monitoring platform for car fleets. In this case, the user (fleet manager) uses a user and a password to access a site where he can see, in real time, what is happening to his fleet.
Another example is a web application for managing your personal or family budget. Thus, the user accesses the platform with a user and a password, where he finds a series of options that allow him to monitor his income and expenses.
The most important aspect of this business model is the basic idea – the problem it solves. The second essential aspect is the technical part – the operation of the platform.
Depending on the niche and target audience, the web application can be accompanied by a mobile application. However, the web application administration panel is definitely more complex.
Bottom line: you don’t have to do just one model
Any business can change over time. Based on the services you can develop products and vice versa. Therefore, your target audience can be receptive to several ways of selling or presenting.
Therefore, it is not mandatory to limit yourself to a single online business model. They are all at your disposal. Choose the one closest to your audience and start growing your business!