The Famous Eight Digital Business Models

We are in the digital economy and digital era where everything around us is digitalized. We all use many different forms of digital technologies to fulfil our daily needs and demands. Many of us also work and delivery digital technologies that support in digitalizing our business models.

Internet got introduced in the decade of 1990s, post that in the millennium (2000s) decade many foundations level digital business models evolved and started. The models became more powerful and started disrupting traditional business models and industries in the last decade. 

In the past decade many newer digital business models came up and many became largely successful while some perished as well. 

Let’s have a brief look at the digital business models and which brands are using them.

1. Free Business Model

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a.  The free business model is where the business is offering a service for free that can help the entire or subset of internet user community across the globe. 

b. The business model offers a free platform for users to use and fulfil their needs of searching, learning, sharing, connecting etc. 

c. The business model earns revenue using advertisements which are shown as part of the service.

d. The famous examples of the free model are Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest etc. E.g. when we search on google we get advertised and paid products on top of the search.

2. Freemium Business Model

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a.  The freemium business model is similar to the free model but its not entirely free. 

b. The business has the basic version of the solution, service or product free for all. 

c. The users have to pay for the standard and premium versions for getting additional features. The revenue is earned through subscriptions and data insights. 

d. Famous examples of the freemium model are LinkedIn and Spotify both have basic versions free to ensure they acquire the user base. Once users like the services, they subscribe and pay for more features.

3. Ecommerce Business Model

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a. The eCommerce business model is the most used and well know business model that all organizations and users use across the world.

b. In this model the organizations sell their products through an online platform to their customers as well as consumers to generate revenue.

c. There are many variations of this business model. The two most used are,

      i. Brand’s own shops are generally called D2C (direct to consumer) or B2C (business to consumer) business models where products are directly sold to end consumers using the online platform.

     ii. Brand’s retailers and professional customers generally use the B2B (business to business) or D2B (direct to business) business models where products can be ordered by retailers and professional customers at their agreed product prices and discounts in bulk for selling through their sales channels (shops, online channels etc.)

d. Famous examples of eCommerce models can be easily seen for any of the big brands’ online shops. E.g. Apple, Philips, Sony, Panasonic etc.

4. Marketplace Business Model

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a. The marketplace business model is next famous and widely used business model across the world.

b. As the name suggest, this business model is an online marketplace where consumers can find all brands’ products for online purchase.

c. The marketplace place providers create huge consumer base through digital marketing tools and techniques.

d. They ensure they are able to handle the full order to delivery cycle for the products sold. They also ensure brands’ can create their own shop in the marketplace to sell their products.

e. Famous examples of this model are eBay, Lazada, Shopee and many others.

5. On Demand Business Model

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a. The on-demand business model is what many of us use on daily basis. 

b. In this model the consumer calls or uses he on demand service and pays for the service based on the usage.

c. The model works through online on demand service request and pay per use.

d. Famous examples of this model are taxi and food delivery services like Grab, Gojek, Uber, Comfort, Ola, Deliveroo, Food panda etc.

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6. Subscription Based Business Model

a. The other largely used busines model is subscription-based business model.

b. In this business model we pay a recurring monthly or yearly subscription fees for using the product and services.

c. The business model is fully digital and online service consumed by consumers.

d. Famous examples of this model are, NetFlix, AppleTv+, Amazon Prime, Office365, Salesforce, AWS, Azure and several other online software and apps that we use on our laptop, tablet and mobile devices.

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7. Sharing Business Model

a. The sharing busines models have evolved in last decade where we rent or assets like property, car, equipment for use by others.

b. The busines model is fully digital where the consumer can reserve the asset for a certain number of days and pay for using it on those days.

c. Famous examples of sharing business model are car rentals and home rental companies like Airbnb, Uber and HyreCar etc.

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8. Open-Source Business Model

a. The open-source business model has gained more strength in the last decade while it started already in the millennium decade.

b. The business model earns revenue through training, hosting and other services while the core product itself is fully open-sourced for users to use and adapt.

c. Famous examples of open-source business model are Redhat Linux, Mozila FireFox, Github, Magento, MySQL and Python etc.

These are the eight famous and widely used digital business models that everyone must know. There are a few more models li

In this decade we will see further evolution of digital business models using next gen technologies namely artificial intelligence, robotics automation, data analytics, mixed reality and blockchains.

I hope this will help you learn and understand these models clearly now and every time you use it you will know how that business model and business works.


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