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March 6th, 2014 at 10:23 am

Sharing is the new buying: Insights into the Collaborative Economy

collaboration

A new report, Sharing is the New Buying, offers important insight for big brands who are grappling with the emergence of the Collaborative Economy, and for the startups that are driving this growth. The collaborative economy is a powerful movement in which people are getting the things from each other, it’s a combination of trends like the sharing economy, maker movement, and co-innovation. (Infographic)

 

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[In the growing Collaborative Economy, people fund, make, and share things with each other --rather than buy from inefficient corporations]

That means that people go to a site like LendingClub to get funding for their new project, rather than a traditional bank. Or, they may go to a site like Etsy or Shapeways to get custom made goods, or go to a site like eBay to buy pre-owned goods, instead of buying new products from retailers. In each of these cases, the crowd is self-empowered to get what they need from each other.

But while the collaborative economy is poised to disrupt many industries, there is remarkably little data on how many people participate in sharing and making, who they are, and, most importantly, why they do it. Our report paints a picture of the sharers in the collaborative economy and provides important recommendations for businesses that want to win in this new economy.

The Largest Study of the Collaborative Economy
By engaging 90,112 people the US, Canada and the UK, we uncovered three distinct types of people who participate in the collaborative economy:

  • Re-sharers: Those who buy and/or sell pre-owned goods online (for example, on Craigslist or eBay), but have not yet ventured into other kinds of sharing.
  • Neo-sharers: People who use the newer generation of sharing sites and apps, like Etsy, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb and KickStarter.
  • Non-sharers: People who have yet to engage in the collaborative economy.  Although many of these non-sharers intend to try sharing services (in particular, re-sharing sites like eBay) in the next 12 months.

Crowd Companies and Vision Critical Team Up
In Dec, I launched Crowd Companies, an association for large brands that want to partner with the Collaborative Economy, to help these large companies navigate, find partners and shift their business models, hard data is needed to make real decisions. Partnered with Vision Critical, we’ve worked hard to launch a survey across 90,000+ respondents in USA, Canada, and the UK, to find out exactly how they share, buy custom goods, P2P lend, and crowd fund.  Crowd Companies council members will receive a private briefing with myself and Alexandra Samuel, my co-author, and we’re hosting an event for council members at SXSW this coming Friday.

This report contains the following:

  • Introduction and summary
  • Breakdown of the three groups of sharing customers
  • Market adoption rates
  • Taxonomy of the market
  • Breakdown by demographic: age, location, political party, marriage status and more.
  • Satisfaction rates of sharing services
  • Forecast of future behaviors and growth rates by sector
  • Recommendations for corporations: market opportunities, and specific departmental impacts.

 

Photo credit: Mindjet

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