Here is another one: The sharing economy. Brookings describes the sharing economy as “the peer-to-peer based activity of obtaining, giving, or sharing access to good and services”. Alternative names for this phenomenon include gig economy, platform economy, access economy, and collaborative consumption. They predict the sharing economy to grow to $335 billion by 2025. In fact, millennials just love this concept. Airbnb conducted a poll it showing 67% of Americans have a favorable impression of sharing economy services like Uber and Lyft. Support among millennials, described as people age 18 to 34, was even higher with nearly three-quarters saying they had a positive view of the industry.
The idea is not new. As per Forbes, people have been collaborating in the economy forever. “What’s different now is the introduction of technology into the concept — particularly easy-to-use digital technologies like location-based GPS that allow people to quickly make and respond to requests for goods and services”.
“Data is also the key to the ease with which startups can enter the economy. With data analytics to quickly analyze and anticipate needs, and cloud services to scale data and applications up or down depending on demand, the cost and time to go to market are minimal”.
- Airbnb vs Hotels
- Uber and Lyft vs owning a car
Even labor is starting to move in that direction with services such as TaskRabbit.
Like any other challenge, this could be an opportunity. And companies have been jumping in. Some larger companies are acquiring startups; car-rental company Avis acquired the car-sharing service Zipcar, for example. Others are partnering with startups, as in the case of TaskRabbit working with corporations like Pepsi and Walgreens to deliver brands on demand. Even auto companies like Ford and Mercedes are looking for ways to share their cars as opposed to selling them. It makes great sense: Per Brookings, data shows that private vehicles go unused for 95% of their lifetime.
Retailers – get prepared for yet another huge disruption that is on its way. Better still, capitalize on it to help your business. Neiman Marcus is launching Rent the Runway Shops. Certain malls are offering same day delivery from their retail tenants. What will you do?