6 online business models operating in 2021

The creation of a business is accompanied by many steps. After getting the idea and validating your project, it is imperative to make a business plan. In this document, it is necessary to explain its ambitions to achieve them. It should not only describe its commercial strategy and its legal form, but also its business model. The latter is a key element that allows the entrepreneur’s original idea to see the light of day.

The business model, also called the economic model, has been used for many years to launch an entrepreneurial project. It makes it possible to concretely draw the financial structure of a company, while taking into account the various services or products necessary for its creation. It contains market research needed to assess demand and know in which sector we are developing, the inputs but also the outputs of money.

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The democratization of access to entrepreneurship, the ease of getting started, social media and other recent developments have enabled the multiplication of new business models. While it may not always be easy to pick one, some are doing particularly well online in 2021.

The marketplace, still just as popular

For several years, marketplaces have been booming. This term includes both C2C adopted by the Airbnb marketplace, as well as B2B and B2C. In France or the United States, this business model has already enabled more companies to experience success and develop rapidly.

Among them ManoMano, which has greatly revolutionized the distribution of do-it-yourself and garden items on the Internet. Its business model, which is based on connecting buyers and sellers, has enabled it to become the third French do-it-yourself e-retailer behind Amazon and Leroy Merlin. The marketplace model allows ManoMano to work hand in hand with its dealers and also have thousands of referenced products. Eventually, it was able to expand internationally, but also drive four fundraisers.

The Freemium model is being implemented in all sectors

In recent years, a new economic model has emerged: freemium. This business model consists of offering part of a product or service for free and charging for premium features. Deezer, Buffer, Mailchimp … These companies quickly managed to sell additional features to their customers who used their free service.

Over the years, this business model has enabled them to become benchmarks in their respective sectors. This is also the case for Spotify, which has also adopted this economic model. The music streaming platform manages to attract more and more premium subscribers. It now has more than 165 million, a number that is still rising, as is its income.

Pre-order seduces start-ups

At their launch, companies that produce goods have to face many challenges, including producing before sale. It is therefore necessary to have the means to fill up. The risk is then an overproduction of products without having tested the market. For these reasons, several of them are now choosing to pre-order. In fact, they only start production of a product once the customer’s purchase is made. The advantage of getting payments before production is that you have to get funds to get started.

This business model has been heavily democratized with the advent of financing platforms like Ulule. These are increasingly shared on social networks, giving them significant visibility. This is how the clothing brand Asphalte has achieved dazzling success. Following the failure of its first project, the company reviewed its business model and selected pre-order. Its on-demand model allowed it to sell 42,000 t-shirts during its first crowdfunding pre-sale.

Tips, an open door to the creative economy

The tips are highly valued by content creators because it ensures them a steady income stream by basing their pay on their audience and not on advertisements or sponsors. Today, tips are an economic model found in many sectors, aided by the emergence of platforms like Tipee, which specializes in crowdfunding or Substack, which allows newsletter creators to monetize their content thanks to its tools.

Recently, the tips have also been extended to photography and video with the arrival of OnlyFans. A paid formula that has attracted athletes, influencers and sex workers. The platform was created in 2016 and now boasts 130 million users and 2 million creators, proof that the tip economy is a thriving business model for content creators.

Dissemination changes consumption patterns

When starting a business, finding customers is not always easy. It is for this reason that many startups have evolved around dissemination. Specifically, these are platforms that connect buyers and suppliers of products or services, and which are remunerated via a commission.

When you want to sell a piece of clothing, it is now common to do so at Vinted, Vestiaire Collective or Grailed. For carpooling, many travelers instinctively turn to BlaBlaCar. Based on the increase in internet usage, these two companies have greatly changed our consumption patterns. It is with good reason that they facilitate the contact between customers or professionals, thus enabling them to find what they are looking for more quickly.

SAAS for software vendors

SAAS (software as a service) is in turn a very specific model that is rooted in B2B. To fund its activities, the company provides software through a subscription system. To save money, many companies have researched the use of an SAAS. To meet this strong demand, software publishers are increasingly turning to this business model. Several of them have taken advantage of its emergence, such as Content Square, which specializes in optimizing the digital experience, and Aircall, an expert in cloud-based business telephony solutions.

Finally, even though there are many business models, it is important to choose the one that best suits your project. The effectiveness of the economic model will determine the potential and growth rate of an activity.

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