Sharing is the New Buying: How Brands Can Win in the Collaborative Economy

The collaborative economy is a growing market in which consumers, enabled by a new set of websites and applications, are sharing or trading goods and services with each other.

Customers have “fundamentally changed the way they buy,” according to a new report on the collaborative economy by Vision Critical and Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies.

“If big brands want to maintain their dominance, they need to find new ways to sell,” explains Vision Critical. “People can get what they need from each other, rather than buying from established brands—businesses need to understand this emergent market in order to embrace the opportunities it offers.” The report suggests that new forms of peer-to-peer sharing, such as custom products and crowdfunding, will double in adoption over the next year.

In Canada, there are 10 million “sharers.” Sharers are broken into two categories: “re-sharers,” who use platforms like eBay and Craigslist to buy goods and services from each other, and “neo-sharers,” who engage with the latest generation of sharing apps, like Uber and Airbnb.But with 59% of Canadians still considered non-sharers, the room for growth remains tremendous.