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Consumer appetite for new sharing economy “Robust”

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Consumer appetite for new sharing economy “Robust”

Trust, convenience and sense of community leading adoption factors.

According to new research from professional services firm PwC, fifty-seven percent of American adults declare that access is the new ownership when it comes to the sharing economy, with four in five consumers agreeing that there are sometimes real advantages to renting versus owning. The report is the result of examining socio-economic and cultural conditions that have enabled the arrival of new sharing companies and analysis of opportunities for established companies looking to grow under this model, particularly in the technology, entertainment, media and communications (EMC), automotive, retail and consumer goods, and hospitality industries.

The report defines the sharing economy as an emergent ecosystem that monetizes underutilized assets or forgoes the purchase of those assets altogether, in favor of borrowing, renting or serving up micro-skills in exchange for access or money. It is a system of opportunism built around trust, collaboration, and on-demand goods and services. The rise of social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing have contributed to lowering the entry barriers to the sharing business model, with 19% of the total U.S. adult population having tried the sharing economy firsthand. According to findings, 18-24 year olds are among the most excited adopters of the sharing economy.

"The sharing economy is disrupting business models and consumption patterns in both consumer markets and business-to-business (B2B) markets."

Thus far, its impact has been significant. Of the 44% of American adults already familiar with the sharing economy, 72% can see themselves becoming a consumer in this ecosystem in the next two years. Among the top three potential benefits are:

  1. Attractive costs: Eighty-six percent of consumers agree that the sharing economy makes life more affordable.
  2. Sense of community: Seventy-eight percent of U.S. adults believe that the sharing economy builds a stronger community.
  3. Alleviates burden & increases convenience: Forty-three percent of consumers expressed that owning today feels like a burden, and 83% agree that sharing makes life more convenient and efficient.

To fuel expansion, players in the sharing economy will need to find ways to authenticate the identity of consumers and reassure consumers on their credibility – both in terms of secure transactions and durable, high-quality products. Eighty-nine percent of U.S. adults believe that the sharing economy model is based on trust between providers and users – this will be the foundation to a frictionless sharing transaction.

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