Crowd-sourcing and the ‘Collaborative Economy’ is fast becoming the future of how consumers use products and services.

What is it?

Basically, this is a trend where consumers pool their resources in order to benefit everyone in a certain group – whilst at the same time, promoting sustainability.

People are funding, making and sharing things with each other.
Crowd-sourcing goods and services, gaining public/peer funding through platforms such as KickStarter, sharing transport and even places to stay on holiday with Airbnb.

Platforms such as eBay and Gumtree allow you to upload your trash pre-loved goods in the hope they become someone else’s treasure. Websites such as etsy, allow you to sell your own custom-made products to a captive market – all without the overheads of brick and mortar retail avenues.

Control is moving from companies to the consumer.

A study called ‘Sharing is the new Buying’ was released this week by Crowd Companies , Jeremiah Owyang and Vision Critical.
This report surveyed more than 90,000 people in the U.S, U.K and Canada, gives insight to who these ‘sharers’ are and why they do what they do.


Source: ‘Sharing is the new Buying’ Slideshare

“The data shows that new forms of peer-to-peer sharing like custom products, loaner vehicles and crowd-funding will double in adoption over the next year. Business must pay attention – or risk being disrupted.” – Jeremiah Owyand ( Crowd Companies)

Just as social media paved the way for peer-to-peer sharing of great content, the collaborative economy enables consumers to peer-to-peer sharing of goods, services, transport, space and money.

Consumers are now also producers, sellers, distributers and funders.
The movement shows that sharing consumers places high value on sustainability, community and putting others first.

So what does this mean for your business?

This movement means that your traditional consumers are now getting from each other, what they would normally buy from you.
As more and more people participate in this collaborative economy, this will mean a loss of business for many companies.

Companies need to look for creative ways they too can become involved in this new economy.
For example, Walgreens partnered with TaskRabbit to deliver prescriptions to their customers.

To stay ahead in this ever changing economy, it’s about thinking creatively about how your company can best serve your public through collaboration – a team effort to benefit all parties involved.