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The number of sharers using emergent platforms in the collaborative economy is set to double in the next 12 months.

That's one of the key findings we recently revealed in our latest report, Sharing is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy. This insight came from looking at people's intention to share in the collaborative economy: the emergent market in which people buy or sell used goods (what we call "re-sharing") or use a new generation of sites to share a wide range of goods and services with other consumers ("neo-sharing") instead of buying from established brands and retailers.

As you can see in the infographic below, in nearly every category of sharing, the number of people who intend to try sharing in the next 12 months equals or exceeds the number of people who have tried it in the past 12 months. For example, while 6% have indicated that they have already tried professional services, 7% of those who haven't tried this category yet plan on doing so in the next 12 months.

collaborative economy is poised to double

One notable exception is the intent to try used product sites - what we call "re-sharing". While 34% have tried re-sharing sites such as eBay and Craigslist in the last 12 months, only 12% of those who haven't tried them plan on doing so in the next year. But this isn't completely surprising: after all, this category of sharing has been in existence for much longer than other categories. Those who intend to try these sites have already had the chance to do so.

But there's an even more important reason why re-sharing sites are important in the growth of the collaborative economy. Our data shows that non-sharers - those who have yet to try any form of sharing - are more likely to try re-sharing: 14% plan to try a re-sharing site in the next year, while only 3% to 5% of this group want to try neo-sharing services like loaner vehicles or crowdfunding.

Re-sharing is the gateway to the collaborative economy, and there's an opportunity for both established brands and startups to step up their participation in this new economy by targeting re-sharing sites like eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji. Re-sharers are more likely to want to try emergent services; it is up to companies to entice them.

The collaborative economy's potential to grow spells huge opportunities for established brands that embrace this new way of doing business. On the other hand, those who stay on the sidelines will be at risk of being disrupted by startups.

The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy (webinar with Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies and Andrew Reid of Vision Critical)


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