Whoever said patience was a virtue likely never grew up online.
People want things in the moment like never before and what's more, they're used to it that way. Owing to the likes of amazon, eBay and a FOMO epidemic that shows no signs of abating, the immediate gratification generation isn’t too fond of idly waiting around to generate the capital to buy things, especially when the goods/services required are readily available all around us. Time is money, and the time spent saving for a typically expensive purchase could be seen as better-utilized elsewhere.
With the average price of a new small car in Australia being $22 500 and the average price of procuring a new households’ worth of appliances starting at $3000, it’s no wonder people are opting to lease the service of goods instead of saving up to own them outright. That’s where the sharing economy commerce model and the host of companies that operate within its open boundaries like Uber, AirBnB and 2ndLease come into play: why own a car, house or a fridge when you need it now but not forever?
The “access over ownership” mind-frame was born of a change in consumer consumption trends, a dicey global economy and re-examining the overall value of material gain in the lives of consumers, particularly younger generations like Gen X and Millennials. This shift in perspective has significantly influenced the nature of online commerce and has subsequently created an ever-growing demand for online platforms that allows you one to simply pay per play (or use) instead of paying for the entire product outright. This has numerous personal benefits for consumers like savings of time, money and resources, as well as alleviating the necessity of servicing/replacing goods when it’s time for an upgrade. Furthermore, more people are able to utilize the same product at different times, reducing the need for excessive consumption and material waste.
Our lives continue to change with the advent of increasingly complex and integrative technologies, and are pitted against mounting external pressures that affect our choices; it only seems natural that the marketplace follows suit. For a consumer shift that is still in its infancy, the sharing economy and it’s pay-per-play notions of convenient, no strings attached access to what people need, when they need it, have already been tremendously influential and shows no signs of losing steam anytime soon.
So there’s the verdict: access is in and ownership is sinking fast, but in all likelihood, there’s probably an app out there already that’ll help you keep your head above water… (for a small fee).