The sharing economy

The ‘sharing economy’ (consumers drawing on their personal networks to navigate options and access the best deals) is growing at an astounding rate. As well as sharing information and working together with peers to negotiate deals, consumers are increasingly interested in rental/sharing alternatives to the notion of personal ownership of a product or service

How is this sub-trend evolving?

How it was

Sharing information with your personal network, and collaborating with peers to access the best deals

How it is

Growing interest in sharing not only advice and recommendations, but also the ultimate products and services

How it will be

High-tech capabilities allow the peer-to-peer sharing of basic skills, assets, and resources

In-market examples from around the world

What: House of All in São Paulo serves multiple audiences through its four open spaces: House of Food, with a shared kitchen; House of Work, with a a coworking space; House of Bubbler, with a shared laundry and store where you can rent clothes; House of Learning where you can rent a space for classes or events
Why: By creating hubs dedicated to different exchanges people can not only develop and share their skills but can also take advantage of the wealth of knowledge, services, and skills offered by others.
What: A French food service, Lou Papé, connects retirees with professional culinary experience with people looking for home-cooked food without cooking themselves. Each senior has a bio and specialised menu on the company website where consumers can browse for their perfect fit at a range of price points.
Why: More than a food delivery service Lou Papé brings the seniors into people’s homes allowing them to pass on knowledge, skills, and cooking advice. The chefs focus on the service beyond making food: “My philosophy is more about setting up a workshop for the client, rather than just making food for people.” (Beatrice, one of the chefs on Lou Papé).
What: A site dedicated to helping brands develop their re-commerce programme to deepen relationships with existing clients and kindle new relationships, too. The idea is that the brand encourages customers who directly buy their goods to pass on the product to the next person in exchange for a gift certificate from the brand that can be used against future purchases.
Why: More and more younger people crave access over ownership which means brands miss out on new sales more than before. The re-vamp of this app speaks to the fundamentals of the sharing economy and simultaneously allows brands to benefit from the peer-to-peer models i.e. reconnect brands to third party sales of their goods by initial users to grow their reach.
What: The huge yummly online recipe database, currently capturing 1 million new visitors each month, has rolled out its yummly app, for peer-to-peer sharing of recipes and reviews as well as the ability to filter content according to personal taste profile.
Why: This is the sharing economy newly manifesting itself in food and drink; connecting individuals and businesses from around the world on a highly personalised level.
What: Singapore’s take on ZipCar is iCarsClub, an online marketplace for car rental.
Why: It works on a peer-to-peer rather than centrally run system, whereby mobile codes are sent to ‘lock’ and ‘unlock’ use of the vehicle. Wherever your own car is, it can be rented by others when you’re not using it, allowing you to make back the money spent on borrowing another car.
What: The PoachIt app joins stockists and consumers together in a mutually beneficial retail network.
Why: Collating product lists from thousands of retailers, PoachIt has a database searchable simply by scanning a barcode or entering a product number. It then draws up a list of stockists closest to the consumer, and, more importantly, cheapest for them.
What: Rent-time is just one of the many websites in Italy offering to rent luxury clothing and accessories, rather than buying them.
Why: The recession  hasn’t stopped consumers desiring luxury. Italians are happy to rent or share goods that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. Websites like this have become a common practice in Italy.