New Industry Report: The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy

Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies and Vision Critical have released a follow up report to their 2014 Sharing is the new Buying. In the 2015 report, The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy, over 50,000 people across the US and Canada were surveyed on their attitude towards, and use of, the collaborative economy. There are many clear signals in the report that the Collaborative Economy has shifted from early adopters and is now entering the mainstream. The report indicates that by 2017, 80% of americans will be participate in the Collaborative Economy in some way.

Three key levers were identified that established companies can use to engage in the market that is beginning to be dominated with rising sharing sites: price, brand and convenience.

Key Stats from the Report:

  • The report estimates that by 2017 eight in 10 Americans will participate in the collaborative economy.
  • Financial savings is one of the top drivers of the collaborative economy with 82% of sharing transactions partially motivated by price.
  • 70% of people in the overall population who initially choose the sharing option would consider buying instead, if the buying option were less expensive. A 25% savings would make traditional purchasers consider moving their business to the collaborative economy.
  • The opportunity for big brands is to use price as a lever to retain or win customers in the collaborative economy by creating peer-to-peer marketplaces, allowing customers to purchase and sell pre-owned goods from established brands, or developing offerings that help people maximize the financial benefits of sharing, such as rental models.
  • Established brands are well-positioned to offer greater value to providers in the collaborative economy, of whom barely 60% were “very” or “extremely” happy with their latest transaction. Established brands can thereby attract more providers – and use their brand power to attract more buyers, too.
  • More than a third of traditional buyers will consider home sharing or pre-owned home furnishings if it comes with certification from a reputable brand.
  • The role of brand in the collaborative economy presents an opportunity for large brands to take advantage by marketing on trust or partnering with sharing services to leverage their brand.
  • 78% of sharers indicated that convenience is the most popular reason for using shared services.
  • Across all age groups, about a third of would-be buyers are swayed to consider sharing services if they offer conveniences like next-day delivery or a concierge to provide advice.
  • Convenience is a factor that established brands can compete on, with value-added services that create efficiencies, on-demand access to products and services, mobile apps, and even the sale of locally-sourced and crafted products.
  • Technologies that underpin the collaborative economy decouple convenience from location to an unprecedented degree, yet we found that the desire for local goods was more powerful in driving sharers to buy than in driving buyers to share. As sharing services grow, they will become disassociated with local communities and traditional businesses may be in a better position to provide the convenience of local goods that appeal to community-minded sharers.

The infographic below shares other highlights from the report.

This is a critical read for anyone doing, or planning to do business in the Collaborative Economy. My only criticism (and hopefully an area of coverage in the next wave) is that the report really doesn’t touch on the emerging role of Customer as Creator (Maker) and the value creation that is happening between customers and companies when customers help create the product vs. just sharing goods and assets.

You can download the full report here:
https://www.visioncritical.com/resources/new-rules-collaborative-economy/

If you are interested in more information about how brands are evolving to engage in the Collaborative Economy, I would also suggest:
Brands & The Collaborative Economy Report Preview (Structure3C)

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