How the sharing economy is evolving
I'm sure you've heard the term 'sharing economy' being thrown around a lot recently, but what is the sharing economy and how is it changing over time. The sharing economy is a business trend that is growing rapidly and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. It can also be referred to as collaboration economy or peer economy; either way, it is taking off and you may want to know more about it.
So, let’s have a look at what the sharing economy is and how it is continuing to evolve.
What is the Sharing Economy?
First of all, you may be wondering what exactly the sharing economy means. Well, you might have heard of the famous phrase, ‘sharing is caring’. This is exactly what the sharing economy is in a business sense. It is the exchange of services and goods between two people and it is usually to the benefit of both parties. Thus, it is about making money and spending money.
Many years ago, you could say that bartering was part of the sharing economy. It was a way for someone to sell goods, as well as someone to get them as a fair price. Both people would benefit from the exchange. In today’s world, technology is playing a huge part in facilitating the sharing economy. Peer-to-peer services are happening through online shared marketplaces, as well as through apps on smartphone devices. It is easy than ever before to enjoy the sharing economy success.
The sharing economy is always growing and it affects every industry and sector out there. A lot of the apps and marketplaces are rivalling traditional businesses too. Of course, you will probably have heard about Uber and Airbnb all the time right now, whether it is on social media or from colleagues. These are the big players in the sharing economy. But this business trend is not just limited to the transport and hospitality industry anymore. There is everything from exchanging household items to office spaces now.
The Reasons Why Sharing Economy is Growing
So, why is the sharing economy suddenly growing at such a rapid rate? Well, there are many reasons for this. Mainly, it is because of the fantastic benefits and opportunities it offers to both parties. Everyone benefits from a sharing economy and we are about to tell you why.
We all know that the cost of living is rising, especially in the city. There are a lot of things in life that are more expensive now than ever before. But through a sharing economy, everyone can thrive. Some of the prices of goods and services can be significantly reduced. For example, car sharing apps that let you carpool with another person can help you to cut the costs on travel and petrol when two people are travelling in the same direction. Even renting a room on websites such as Airbnb are proving a hit with travellers and vacationers. Why? Well, because you can enjoy better accommodation for half the price of a hotel. It is that simple.
While you can save money in a sharing economy, you can also make money. It is an excellent opportunity to make some extra cash without a lot of effort. For example, if you do not have a car, you can simply rent out your parking space. It requires no effort for you and it is going to be useful to someone that needs to park somewhere that is more cost efficient than a public car park. You make money and they benefit from your unused space. It is something that works for everybody.
Of course, there are more than just economic benefits to a sharing economy. For example, people love that they can help to reduce damage to the environment. Again, carpooling is a good example of helping to reduce your carbon footprint and helping the environment, as you can taking one car instead of two. The sharing economy also is a way to create more of a community. Urban lifestyle and living in the 21st century mean there is limited space. This is a way to bring people together and encourage collaboration.
Expansion of the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy just keeps on expanding and welcoming new opportunities and market places. That is definitely one of its advantages; there are endless opportunities to keep on growing. While it started with a few key players, we can now see new concepts and services emerging. Let’s take a look at a few and see how the sharing economy keeps on evolving and getting bigger.
Transportation services are one of the main industries that keeps on getting better due to the sharing economy. A few years ago, ride sharing services were not that big. But now, organisations such as Uber and Lyft are household names if you need to get somewhere fast and affordably. More people, especially the younger generation, are choosing ride sharing services over other forms of traditionally popular transport. This includes buses, trains and taxi cabs. Through a mobile app, drivers are vetted and they start offering rides and earning money. Meanwhile, if you need to get somewhere and want to help the environment and save some money, you can choose their ride.
People can also enjoy buying and selling goods using the sharing economy. For example, eBay is a huge example of how a goods marketplace can work. This peer-to-peer system allows you to find goods cheaper and have them delivered to your door. At the same time, other people can sell their new or used items quickly. It is more affordable than shops on the high street and it is an efficient way to buy goods when you need them. Everyone wins. Plus, platforms like Etsy have become a marketplace for people to become creative and make items that people can buy.
It is not just people that are choosing to start their own businesses with creating goods. There are also opportunities to offer other personal services with skills and their experience. For example, copywriter and accountants are taking advantage of the sharing economy through freelancing and online gigs. Big organisations such as Upwork and Fiverr are being huge and are marketplaces for finding jobs and receiving work.
Other services that are becoming popular in the sharing economy include renting out your parking space. Of course, this is a fantastic way to make money from something that you are not using, whether it is a garage or driveway. Meanwhile, someone that drives and is looking for an affordable and convenient parking space will be able to benefit. In addition, renting out a spare room to travellers and holiday makers is becoming popular through apps and websites such as AirBnB.
The Future of the Sharing Economy
We have just illustrated how many opportunities are arising through the sharing economy. With so many services and goods available, there is also a growth in competitiveness. So, how will the sharing economy continue to evolve and attract attention?
One of the ways that businesses are looking to continue to grow is by building trust and loyalty with suppliers and customers. This way they can still make money and customers can feel like there is more of a personalised experience. For example, at YourParkingSpace, incentives and feedback are available to those that are renting out their driveway or garage. This can help them get the most from the website and benefit from it. In turn, this can lead to a better experience for the customer too. There has to be trust for the sharing economy to work. For example, when the self-driving car crashed for Uber, this was suspended. It may become more important to tell a story in the sharing economy. Again, it is a way for business to become more personal, as people want to buy from real people. It may come down to connections rather than just money. So, we are likely to see more personalisation in the sharing economy sphere.