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Believe it or not, the online events market is expected to boom over the next decade. Even before the pandemic, estimates suggested this market would essentially triple within 10 years. But with more businesses and individuals alike turning to online business platforms this year, that figure has grown even more. Estimates suggest that this industry could surpass $400 billion in annual revenues by the year 2027. Not only is that some major growth, it’s some major market potential.

The challenge for online companies has always been related to revenues. Certainly, e-commerce sites are able to attain sales revenues for products offered. But if you primarily offer digital services or host digital events, monetizing your online business can be difficult. With the rise in these types of offerings, however, it is clear that a market exists if this problem can be solved. And several online business platforms are striving to do just that. As a result, monetizing your online business may have become much simpler as well as more lucrative.

“Our mission is to let anyone run a business by hosting online events. We make it simple to create an online business or provide an online presence for an in-person business.” –  Vojta Drmota, Cofounder of Ribbon Experiences

Traditional Approaches to Monetizing Your Online Business

Traditionally, there have been relatively few strategies in monetizing your online business in the recent past. If you weren’t involved in e-commerce, then most likely you participated in some time of ad-generating revenues. Display ads and banners offer pay-per-click and other approaches to monetize websites. Video ads have recently been popular in this regard, now representing a quarter of all digital ad spending. Other opportunities have also included affiliate marketing, especially if you have a large website following.

A screenshot of the Ribbon app
More and more, online business platforms are exploring how better to monetize videos beyond ad sales.

In each of these cases, the use of online services may not necessarily correlate with ad-generated revenues. This has led to subscription-based models where users pay a premium fee for exclusive services or content. But this approach has its own limitations. Specifically, exclusive materials must be of high value and constantly produced. Failure to attend to these essentials usually causes customers to walk away. Thus, only a few online business platforms have embraced this approach.

“What I love most about our Popshop Live shows is that, with the live videos and interactive features, I’m able to respond to customers’ requests in real time, such as adding any products that the audience sees in the show on the fly.” – Jamie Rivadeneira, Owner of Japan LA

New Online Business Platforms for Monetization

Understanding the struggles that you might have in monetizing your online business, new solutions are now emerging. New Online business platforms are being developed that actually support online companies and professionals charge directly for their online services. This is especially helpful in a post-pandemic world where many in-person classes and events are shifting to virtual. From yoga instructors to educational tutors, a way to easily charge for their classes and services is needed. And these solutions need to be turn-key and simple in an effort to avoid any additional business barriers. This applies to both business owner and consumer alike.

The concept of charging for online classes, lessons or events is not new by any means. In essence, these represent very similar online business platforms that serve e-commerce sites to a degree. But what has changed is the technologies related to videoconferencing, telecommunications, and content integration. Advances in these areas means growing opportunities to serve an expanding online services market. And of course, the pandemic didn’t hurt in this regard. COVID-19 has accelerated these technological developments and increased virtual online activities. All of this means it will be easier for you to monetize your online business without dealing with ads.

“Hopin has modeled its platform after physical venues and enhanced it with various features and tools that are only accessible in a digital world. Effectively creating a virtual venue where attendees and sponsors can intuitively navigate the different areas…” – Joey Hinson, Director of Operations at TechCrunch

Newcomers to the Online Monetization Market

Depending on your online business, several online business platforms are now available. Each of these offer new ways to help you in monetizing your online business. Interestingly, each of these startups are receiving investor attention.

  • Ribbon Experiences

This San Francisco startup company recently received an additional $1.2 million in venture capital funding. The company prides itself on offering “business in a box” as part of its online business platform. This allows online professionals to monetize classes through a Zoom interface integration. In addition, Ribbon Experiences lets professionals upload, store, and charge for recorded content. The company already host 650 businesses and enjoys over 27,000 sales each week.

  • Popshop Live

This online business platform is a little different, but it’s still improves your ability to monetize your online business. Think of Popshop as a streaming version of the Home Shopping Network or QVC. Users are able to create and host their own shows via streaming over the platform. Though more of an e-commerce site, Popshop Live enhances the process through self-directed videos. Individual sellers, brands, and stores may choose to embrace this online business platform to boost sales. Likewise, Popshop Live offers a way to monetize your online business even if your offer specific classes or lessons.

  • Hopin

Geared more to online events and conventions, Hopin is an all-in-one virtual event platform. In essence, Hopin lets you transform any physical event into a virtual one to attract a global audience. Hopin provides things like reception, stage, outbreak sessions, and expo booths in a virtual fashion. This mimics the real in-person venues and events that facilitates a physical-to-digital shift. If you manage online events, this is a great solution to help monetize your online business in a seamless fashion.

An Evolving Online Marketplace

It’s not surprising that these types of innovative startups are appearing on the scene. But it’s great to see new opportunities for online business monetization appear as well. The tremendous market potential created by shifting socio-cultural and technological trends is driving funding for these companies. And their ability to better align services with revenue predictability is also a huge plus. It seems inevitable that online transactions will soon mirror physical ones more completely in the near future. Ads will continue to generate revenues, but increasingly, these other mechanisms will likely play a much larger role.

 

An evolving business world means evolving challenges. To read more about taking on challenges, check out Ed Kopko’s PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success.

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