New Study on Sharing Turns Up Big Business Opportunities
November 16, 2010 10:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Companies adopting social media should consider a related trend that’s helping new and old businesses succeed.
“This is the trust frontier: the decade when we answer the question, ‘how much can we share?’”
Their recently published The New Sharing Economy study examined sharing attitudes and behaviors related to real estate, transportation, household items, and more. The findings suggest that sharing through social networks opens people up to the psychology of sharing resources offline as well.
With the rise of services like Zipcar, Netflix, and Neighborgoods, sharing is a booming industry capitalizing on the cost savings and convenience of renting versus owning.
“Opportunities thought impractical because of perceived trust barriers are now fair game,” said Neal Gorenflo, Publisher of Shareable. “This is the trust frontier: the decade when we answer the question, ‘how much can we share?’”
The study found that car-sharers shared across significantly more asset categories than non-car sharers, suggesting that once individuals try a sharing service, they are more likely to share in other areas of life.
Sharing holds promise for entrepreneurs and established companies alike. The study pinpointed sharing categories ripe for growth: time, household goods, automobiles, money, and living space. In fact, more participants were interested in sharing time than money. “Money isn’t the only—or even the most valuable—currency anymore,” explains Kim Gaskins, Latitude’s Director of Content Development. “Time, knowledge, specialized skills, and social reach are all viable currencies today, worthy of attention by businesses.”
Already successful businesses operating on more traditional models have an opportunity to expand their offerings through sharing-based exchanges. “The combination of highly reliable, centralized management with flexible, peer-to-peer inventory could be a winning one in many cases,” said Steve Mushkin, Latitude’s CEO.
Users of sharing services and, increasingly, the general public, indicated that services which combine financial and social or environmental value hold unique appeal; the top two perceived benefits of sharing (67% each) were “saving money” and being “good for society.”
Latitude is an international research consultancy exploring how new information and communication technology can enhance human experiences.
Shareable is a nonprofit online magazine that tells the story of sharing. We cover the people, places, and projects that help people share.
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