You see it all around, more and more, the prolific explosion of smart phones, smart tablets, smart watches and yes, even smart glasses. It’s a sign of the times, the digital times of online business that is being advanced by a revolution powered by mobile technology.
And who’s thriving? If you think it’s reserved for millennials, think again. This digital revolution’s players cannot be defined by gender, age, geographic or income status. It’s fueled by anyone who wants to use digital technology to make their lives better. Yes, it’s as simple as that.
Just look how these parts of your life have been changed by digital technology and online business
Shopping: Convenience is key
Choosing your color, size, best price and style of an item is now just a few screen touches away, from wherever you are! Amazon and eBay have become synonymous with today’s ecommerce shopping experience. Other online business players include Walmart, Target, Alibaba, Flipkart, Best Buy, Newegg, and Overstock – to name just a few.
Yet brick and mortar stores are by no means out of the picture. Surprisingly the most popular trend for 2015 is shopping online and then picking up at a local store, which is welcome news for smaller retailers.
Finances: Empowerment goes mainstream
When did you last step foot in a bank lobby? Let’s face it, the bank teller has given way to the online app where you can transfer funds, pay bills and more, all from the digital device of your choice.
For many banks, the new concern is the rise of the unbanked. These are people who have no traditional bank account. Instead they opt for purely online venues like GoBank, Ally, Discover® Bank and yes, First Internet Bank. Also PayPal and other online payment options like Google Wallet, Apple Passbook and Chirpify are becoming popular alternatives to traditional banking.
Even the financial advisor is being replaced by self-service online portals available from companies like Fidelity, Scott Trade and eTrade. These digital venues allow you to buy and sell stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles just like the Wall Street traders — and in some cases maybe even better.
Energy: Information is powerful
While energy use has not been top-of-mind for many homeowners, it is now gaining more attention as alternative and renewable energy sources become part of a larger conversation that includes our economy and ecology. As a utility, we realize that customers are becoming more and more interested in their energy use and ways to be more effective with it.
Within the My Energy dashboard, you can compare your home energy costs, month by month.
With the charting technology available on My Energy, you can view energy usage as compared to average outdoor temperature.
New digital technology is being combined with data gathering capabilities resulting in exciting new energy awareness opportunities. Xcel Energy customers can now manage their bill online and download their usage data with the click of the “Green Button”. They can also use a powerful new tool called My Energy. This innovative online tool shows how your home uses energy so you can make informed energy decisions. My Energy also provides helpful tips on reducing your energy use throughout your home.
Best of all, it’s a free service that you can access through your My Account webpage. Not registered on My Account? It’s easy. Just click here.