About ten years ago, we would never willingly climb into a car with an absolute stranger. And the idea of inviting someone we’ve never met to stay in our home was totally unthinkable. But today, things are very different. The sharing economy allows regular individuals or groups to make money from their underused assets.. Idle assets, such as parked cars or spare bedrooms, can be rented out when they are not in use. Essentially, in a sharing economy physical assets are shared with others as services.
Traditionally associated with the likes of AirBnB and Uber, the sharing economy isn’t limited to these popular consumer applications. Businesses have also started embracing this approach as a strategy to spread resources and cut costs.
Here are a few examples of how different industries are using shared economy to help cut costs.
Transport: Uber may be the obvious example here but Airlines have also had these sharing alliances. They share planes and chartered flights so that planes aren’t flying around the globe half full.
Professional services and co-working spaces: Marriott have started using their converted empty conference rooms into work spaces that can be rented. Similarly, platforms like Fiverr and Upwork have proven valuable because they allow businesses to hire people with professional skills for short-term contracts if and when they need them. Freelancers and contractors are able to earn extra money by selling their knowledge and expertise.
Healthcare: Think telemedicine and group-consultations. Often, medical equipment sits unused – which means that hospitals are paying a lot of money to store and maintain these tools without getting enough use of these resources. Share-based startups, like Cohealo, have created technology that allows hospitals to share medical equipment with other healthcare providers.
Consumer goods: Considering the fact that affordability, convenience and efficiency key factors inspiring our purchasing decision. A brand like eBay pioneered peer-to-peer marketplaces by allowing users to buy and sell the items they no longer need via the eBay interface. This gives consumers an efficient and easy way to buy and sell goods.
As more and more industries embrace the trend, the sharing economy is increasingly being seen simply as part of “the economy”. A sign of the impact of this peer-to-peer economic model. If you’re keen to access more content like this, our monthly newsletter is what you need. Subscribe below.