From power tools to bikes, to electronics and even to cars, people around the globe are leveraging the unused capacity of things they already own or services they can provide for a profit. Welcome to the share economy, also known as collaborative consumption and peer-to-peer rental arrangements.
The consumer rental market is worth an estimated $26 billion, according to Rachel Botsman, a global thought leader on the power of collaboration and sharing through digital technologies. A down economy, coupled with the ease of use and reliability of the Internet, has given rise to a network of part-time entrepreneurs who are turning personal assets into income. And more than two-thirds of global respondents (68%) are willing to join this shared community.
But does a sharing economy create new value or does it disrupt existing businesses? The answer is both, which can be good news for everyone involved. The cornerstone of success, however, is built on a foundation of reputation and trust—the new currency.
To measure the appetite for participation in share communities around the world, Nielsen polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries to identify who is joining, for what products and services, and where. The findings provide insight into how marketers can not only adjust to, but, more importantly, thrive in a share economy.
"Shared goods do not need to be physical assets," said John Burbank, president, Strategic Initiatives, Nielsen. While people around the globe are most willing to share or rent electronic devices for a fee, perhaps due to the portability and non-personal nature of these devices, the next most popular share around the globe is lessons or services. Just over a quarter of global respondents (26%) are keen to share their intellectual property. Running errands or offering skills via the Internet, such as language or music lessons or dog sitting services, require nothing more than time and ability.