It’s one of those things we hear over and over again. Businesses are all becoming online e-commerce and activities, much like craftsmanship was ditched in favour of serial production and human workforce will be completely wiped out by machines in just a few decades.
Is it true though? And if so, should we be worried?
Let’s just focus on the first one of these clichés, and by calling them clichés we don’t necessarily mean they are not true; as a matter of fact, e-commerce has skyrocketed in recent years, and it is only fair to assume that what’s been gained by online sales has probably been lost by local shops – though this might be an oversimplification.
However, it is important to remember that not all fields are equally affected by this changind dynamic. As a matter of fact, some branches of the retailing industry are actually attempting to gain credibility and raise awareness of their brands by moving back into the physical world.
So, what are the fields that are actually affected the most?
In recent years, with services such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon bringing, respectively, all of the movies, music and products into a single website or service, what’s been driving customers more than anything else is convenience.
The world moves fast and we don’t really have time to search for things anymore. We cannot afford to spend a whole day driving into the city centre, browsing through all the different shops and windows, maybe even going and back and forth from one place and another.
Why should we be going through any of that when we can have, literally, everything we need in the palm of our hand?
While we might still enjoy shopping, as a practice that involves a fair amount of wandering, and random discoveries, more specific and carefully aimed practices, such as looking for recipes, betting or playing live casino games, have transitioned online. After all, they already involved fiddling with objects or devices, making the transition from pseudo-physical to completely digital almost effortless and devoid of cultural shocks. There’s almost no difference between browsing for a recipe on a book or a website, much like there’s no difference in playing in front of a console or a laptop.
The only difference is that we don’t really have to go anywhere anymore, which sounds convenient at a time when time really is money, and everybody’s running low.