If you'd like to know the collaborative economy's potential impact on your brand, all you have to do is to look at data that shows how many people are participating in this movement.
As we revealed in our report, Sharing is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy, about 40% of the online adult population in the US and Canada now participate in this movement. In the UK, that number is even higher: 52% have used sites such as eBay, Etsy and Kickstarter to access goods, services, transportation, money and space from other consumers instead of going through traditional means.
As these stats show, the collaborative economy is already here. This is an economy where your customers share products rather than buy them - a marketplace where the traditional roles of business and consumer are blurring and where your customer have the tools to get what they need from other consumers.
For established businesses, the good news is that the collaborative economy is fairly new and none of the latest generation of sharing sites (what we refer to as "neo-sharing sites" in our report) currently enjoys the participation of more than 10% of the population. But these websites and apps (Etsy, Taskrabbit, Uber, Airbnb, etc.) have collectively already won the business of a quarter of the population - and these first adopters are trying more and more forms of sharing all the time.
The level of participation in the collaborative economy is a call to action for brands to act now. In fact, some established brands have already joined the collaborative economy, so that means that if you're not thinking about this movement yet, you're already behind.