The Acceleration of Access: From Store to Home to Anywhere

Parrish Hanna talks about the demand for more viable retail channels.

Ownership is overrated.

Or so the “younger generation” thinks – as they want to own less and experience more. They are okay experiencing it alone, but life is much better if experienced with others and then shared with the world on social media. They are actively avoiding the burden of stuff and therefore, the need for significant space. Millennials in particular are striving to live a lifestyle where social and ecological value mean more than material value and enduring happiness is found in a series of spontaneous and planned experiences.

These Digital Nomads know how to thrive in today’s parallel universe of on-demand access, transaction, identity, influence and more. They have a direct dependency on the availability and power of digital connectivity. It influences the decisions that they make and it enables them to remain an active participant in the urban fabric.

Millennials are reluctant to buy items such as cars and luxury goods. Instead, they prefer service “that provide access” without the burden of ownership. (Goldman Sachs)

We can assume that among these generations, each purchase of a material (physical) product is going to receive more scrutiny than products of the past. Part of that consideration and acquisition equation may require that we move beyond our well-choreographed big-ticket experiences or events (like college, or Disneyland or attending an all-day music festival) and find a way to make “real-life” elements part of the purchase experience of every product. How do we ensure that this product is fit for its purpose and does its job in a sustainable way? At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated our ability to use technology to interact, transact and access from anywhere. If you so choose, you no longer go to the place of products and services, they come to you.

At the same time, we are also finding a renewed enthusiasm and vigor for the outdoors. Doctors are prescribing “outdoor time” to combat the ails of sheltering in-place. The RV industry is experiencing a boom, outdoor products are sold-out and van conversion shops are booked for the next few years. So, perhaps the idea of “what is a home” at a mass scale, will also be shifting for many of us.

Just as your home has now become a viable retail channel, so to should your vehicle, whatever shape it takes. Receiving (the delivery of) products, testing and living with products, engaging and subscribing to an expanding range of services, storing products and more. From the mountains to the oceans to the deserts, with the right tools and enablers, I can live, work and play anywhere.

Sometimes, when everything breaks, a new and better way is revealed. Let’s embrace, innovate and make the most of this technology, mobility and design-enabled freedom.


Parrish Hanna has one foot in the future of vehicle design and the evolution of mobility services and the other foot in the design of outdoor gear and adventure. He spends much of his time exploring the intersections and convergence of the two through a lens of converging societal trends, technology maturity, new economic models, system thinking and human-centered design. Find-out more about these converging spaces at Motourly.