Thursday, 27 April 2017

18 Days and 18 Nights

Have you imagined living at home for 18 days without setting a foot out your door or dying of starvation?

Well, I have good news for you! Now staying at home is easier than ever. With the growing abundance of online home services, you can live happily in your own little cocoon without the stress of going outside, while at the same time maintaining a pretty high quality of life.

The Experiment

Don’t worry, the experiment was not based on the horror movie. The experiment that I’m referring to was recently conducted by QDaily in China. It’s purpose? To see what life would be like for a person to stay at home for 18 days, using only online applications and their services. Surprisingly, during the 432 hours, even with a power blackout and illness, the test subject successfully managed to avoid leaving the house even once. AND she had an exceptionally enriched life.

Here’s what the experiment involved:

- Trialling 103 online applications, and following 61 social media service accounts.

- Using 72 kinds of online home delivered services

- Total spending of $1000

- Without a reserve of groceries stocked in her pantry, friends were allowed to visit but not to bring any products through the doors

Forget boredom…

First, the most obvious need was for food, but with lots of home delivery apps, the test subject got sufficient groceries, food supplies, and even in-house chef services (similar to the CHEFIN in Australia).

Home delivered groceries                                             Dinner with in-house chef service
The next problem was housework. Because she was working from home, she didn’t have the time or patience to do housework herself. However, thanks to on-site services, she got a cleaner, a wardrobe repairer and a launderer to do the dirty work for her.

When she got sick, online diagnosis apps helped her to self-diagnose and self-medicate. Along with the help of medicine delivery services, her products were delivered to her door within the hour.
Delivered medicine
What about leisure time? Yoga trainers, masseuse and hairdressers all provided excellent services for keeping fit and staying beautiful, all from the comfort of her home.

   Hair dresser                                                  Yoga trainer
Still not enough to stave off boredom? She got roses delivered and even found a rental pet to play with for the day.

Delivered roses                                                Rented pet dog

After the 18 days were up, she was still healthy, energetic, well fed, with a clean and neat house that was even decorated with flowers. What’s more, some of the people who provided their services eventually became her friends.

This might sound a bit out there to you, but with the sheer number of digital apps filling up our lives, this is what our world has become. Even though many of don’t yet heavily rely on on-site services, most of us are using at least 2 to 3 apps every day. And that number is sure to only grow.

Online statistics show that the amount of internet users has doubled during the last seven years, and the average time spent online has gone through the roof. With more advanced technology and the abundance of online services available, users are able to live through the internet. Whether it’s to work, play or shop, consumers are able to make decisions simply by clicking buttons on a digital device.

This lifestyle trend has influenced all industries. Consequently, online business have thrived in recent years. New applications have flooded the app stores, and e-commerce companies are fighting to increase their delivery speeds. For example, several years ago in China, where the trend is way ahead of the western word, in most areas the average delivery time was one and a half days. Now it takes less than 24 hours. Some firms with specialised products are competing to deliver in under half a day and in some cases less than one hour!

More and more companies have joined the digital platform, which has in turn created a diverse online ecosystem. They have analysed customer migration pathways in detail and partnered with other firms to cover entire neighbourhoods. In order for the ecosystem to function, consumers have been saturated with ad exposure, attractive content, entertainment interaction, physical shops filled with tempting products and convenient delivery services.

With this level of convenience, coupled with the ever accelerating fast pace of life, it is altogether too tempting for consumers to further simplify their lives by integrating the real world with their digital devices. Let’s face it, you would have to be crazy not to!

Bowie Chen
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.
Bowie has several years’ experience working in FMCG marketing, media, and consulting field.

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