Re-intermediation remains a major trend to watch

Re-intermediation remains a major trend to watch

Re-intermediation remains a major trend to watch

Four years ago I noticed something: with the increasing diversity in many markets, there followed a return of intermediaries. Dis-intermediation was the buzzword of the dotcom boom: with the web we could bypass the channel and sell direct to the customer from the warehouse, lowering costs or maximising margin.

The problem with this is choice. The more choice you have, the more support you need in making a decision. Hence, what I saw four years ago: more curators helping us to find the best content, clothes, or even large corporate purchases. Some were human, some were automated.

More estate agents?

I confess I had largely forgotten about this trend. Until yesterday at a proptech round table hosted by Freeths solicitors and Property Week. One of the other participants, VTS managing director Eoin Condren, pointed out that the number of offline estate agents has been growing, in spite of the growing online challenge.

Joe Cohen, founder of Property.Works, suggested that this is not unusual. That liquidity in a market — and particularly liquidity of information flow, as technology has enabled in housing — always drives more participants.

Watch the middle men and women on the march

Even though it’s four years since I first suggested this trend, I think it remains hugely important. Technology has lowered the friction of information flow in all sorts of markets, and massively increased supply. The result is an overwhelming amount of information that classic search tools may not be sufficient to help us deal with.

There are growing niches, old and new, for those that can solve this problem.

You are at: Home » Re-intermediation remains a major trend to watch

This article is by Tom Cheesewright. This post forms part of the Future of Business series. For more posts on this subject, visit the Future of Business page.

Tom Cheesewright

Futurist speaker Tom Cheesewright is one of the UK's leading commentators on technology and tomorrow. Tom has worked with a huge range of organisations across a variety of markets, to help them to see a clear vision of tomorrow, share that vision and respond with agility. Tom draws on his experience to create original, compelling talks that are keyed to the experience of the audience but which surprise and shock with unexpected facts and examples.

Future News

Subscribe to my newsletter and get weekly stories plus other insight into tomorrow's world.

Latest Articles

Tom Cheesewright