Will online apps prevent consumer waste or encourage customers to buy more stuff?
If apps using artificial intelligence help us all to use less, share more, recycle things for others, then will this hurt retailers and retail through decreased consumption? Will it avoid all the discarded waste, the underused things we buy and own? Many believe that it will. Take the sharing economy companies with popular apps; Lift, AirBnB, NetJet, Uber and other similar concepts. Many corporations that build or manufacture vacation homes, hotels, cars and corporate jets are worried about their future, they see opportunities but also decreased volume, lost economies of scale, overall shrinking of the “pie” even if they get a bigger slice of that cake. (Market share) in such future.
If everyone shares cars, planes, extra rooms, then of course; Fewer rooms will be rented and planes and cars will be bought. This has economic implications, of course, manufacturing and hospitality jobs, for example. Still, it brings efficiency to consumers, thus less waste, lower costs (because of shared use) and that’s more positive for quality of life and higher standard of living – no need to buy an expensive car , share a car with others, or buy a corporate jet, share instead. It makes sense (cents) right, no, it actually makes dollars.
In fact, the same new communication technology to bring buyers and sellers together; Artificial intelligence applications also make it easier for consumers to shop, and since consumers enjoy shopping, this leads to more purchases, more spending, and more consumerism. More consumerism means more redundancy, more waste, right? Sure, when capitalism speeds up its exchange efficiency through digital money transfer, instance purchases, immediate delivery, we find more abundance due to the increase in ease of trade.
So on the one hand we have a threat to jobs and big changes in industries and certain sectors of our economy due to our new smartphone apps and mobile technology, and on the other hand we have a tool to help sell more things faster. and generate more revenue and lower costs, allowing corporations to enjoy increased equity capital and quarterly earnings while passing on some of those savings in lower prices to consumers.
As consumers buy more stuff, their homes fill with more junk, and each year a portion of the clump is donated to local thrift stores. So we should see more items being purchased through customer rewards programs and apps from certain vendors who have perfected that game. Granted, we should be keeping an eye out for a lot of cheap Chinese-made consumer goods showing up en masse in thrift stores. While larger items like cars, planes, and timeshares will decline over the next two decades, “IF” these current trends continue. Please consider all of this.