Sharing is an industry thanks largely to new technology. And it's one that we still don't know much about BUT one that holds important implications and opportunities for marketers and business alike as we journey headlong towards a new era of the social web.
Not too long ago, we got eBay and Craigslist, more recently we haveCouchsurfer Airbnb, Free cycle, Zipcar and kickstarter. What do they have in common? They ask people to share in one way or another and are part of a growing trend where access to of goods and services trumps ownership.
In 2010, Latitude Research and Shareable Magazine conducted the first-ever comprehensive sharing industry study 'The New Sharing Economy 'to establish benchmarks for awareness and adoption of existing sharing services, as well as sharing attitudes and behaviours.
What they found was that:
•75% of participants predicted that their offline sharing will increase in the next 5 years.
•The most popular perceived benefits of sharing (67% each) were “saving money” and being “good for society,”
•45% of participants liked the idea of sharing services that felt smaller and more accessible like local or grass root communities.
Download the report here
The rise of the new sharing economy
In her memorable TED Sydney keynote last year Rachel Botsman co-author ‘What's Mine is your's: The rise of Collaborative Consumption' outlined what has happened is that there has been a profound shift in the way we do business and how we consume goods and services, we have moved from a purely consumption based society to a new sharing economy. This combined with an economic crisis, environmental concerns, and the maturation of the social web, have given rise to an entirely new generation of businesses.
To put things in context take a look at the following figures:
•Bike sharing is the fastest growing form of transportation in the world which grew 200% in 2010
•Two billion dollar’s worth of goods & services were exchanged on Bartercard in 2009 world’s largest B2B business network
•Freecycle an online site that circulates items to reuse had 5.7 million members across 85 countries
•Couchsurfing a global website connects travellers with locals in more than 235 countries was most visited hospitality website in 2010 with over 3 million visits .
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