July 16, 2017
"Websites are dead. The future belongs to platforms." This was my take away from a meeting with Coton Colors in Atlanta. A Coton Colors marketing director recalled how when she was at McGraw Hill publishers were aghast when someone said "Printed textbooks are dead." I think that declaring anything dead sounds a little dramatic, but it can be prescient and help people understand a larger trend.
The attached line chart graphic is something that I did a few months back. One of the chart lines speaks to the growing importance of connectedness and platforms and the diminishing nature of independent sites--aka the death of dedicated websites.
Businesses are posting more content on platforms such as Bridge, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and theknot.com while abandoning dedicated, solo websites. We can see a similar customer preference as they move, for example, in the travel industry to Kayak and Airbnb instead of Delta or Hyatt's sites. Businesses and customers would rather visit a platform that shows more information from more participants than a solo website that shows just one entity's content.
In the future, we'll see more platforms offer more features. Facebook will increase its ability to process orders and transactions, further reducing your need to have your own site. Why pay your website designer for each update to your site when Facebook will give you millions of features for free? But, keep in mind this convenience will come with some major caveats. Facebook will data mine you heavily and seek to profit off you and your data by helping competitors. Yet most businesses have already accepted this dance with the devil.
Bridge offers retail businesses a platform that exposes them to more products and customers, while reducing the time and money they must spend to compete online.