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Hyper-lapse consumerism

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    2nd Sep, 2022

Context

Consumption is an important element of human civilisation. The notion of consumption has changed and today, several streams of thought co-exist. The COVID-19 pandemic brought shifts in consumer behaviour.

About

What is consumerism?

  • Consumerism is the idea that increasing the consumption of goods and services purchased in the market is always a desirable goal and that a person's well-being and happiness depend fundamentally on obtaining consumer goods and material possessions.
  • In an economic sense, it is related to the predominantly Keynesian idea that consumer spending is the key driver of the economy and that encouraging consumers to spend is a major policy goal.

Changes in consumerism:

  • Lockdowns brought more people into the e-commerce fold.
  • Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, the world witnessed a shrinkage of demand.
  • But post-pandemic recovery and suppressed consumerism are now leading to ‘revenge shopping’.
  • Modern-day consumerism is not only about wanting more but also wanting it fast.

Hyper Lapse Consumerism

  • Hyper Lapse Consumerism refers not only to the kinds of products being sold but also to the ease with which consumers order them and the speed at which such products are delivered.

Hyper Lapse Consumerism in India:

  • In India, food and grocery delivery companies are announcing 10-minute deliveries for consumers.
    • This is being done by strengthening the hyper-local logistical network, leveraging predictive algorithms, process optimisation, and, in some cases, providing incentives and disincentives for delivery partners.
  • Such indiscriminate work pressure can lead to fatigue, mental health issues, and other health issues among delivery professionals.

A NITI Aayog report, ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’, suggests extending social security for gig and platform workers, including paid sick leave, health access and insurance, and occupational disease and work accident insurance.

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