How to build trust in the Sharing Economy

The Sharing Economy is growing and there has seen a stellar surge in growth in Sharing Economy businesses entering the mainstream.

Here Benita Matofska, chief sharer behind Compare and Share, shares her opinion on its future growth and what opportunities lie ahead

In Compare and Share’s What we know about the Global Sharing Economy, the first piece of comprehensive research on the size of the global market[1], the Sharing Economy was found to be growing faster than Facebook, Google and Yahoo combined – and estimated to double by next year[2].

With well know companies like BlaBlaCar and Airbnb and Zipcar, the economy has been estimated at $15 billion[3] in its first 7 years of growth in comparison to the combined valuation of Facebook, Google and Yahoo at $11 billion[4], over the same period.

Pushed by rapid participation rates – 28% of adults are already utilising sharing activities globally[5] – such as peer-to-peer rentals, accommodation and car sharing, the market is swiftly heading towards the mainstream.

How do to tackle the trust issue

However, despite this, the focus towards further growth is – how to tackle one of the biggest barriers: trust. In order to provide users of the community with safety the world’s first Trust Kitemark, Sharetrade, was created. Developed by the non-profit, volunteer-run campaign, The People Who Share in collaboration with 500 organisations and people[6], Sharetrade was launched on June 8th for Global Sharing Week. Concentrating on the four pillars of trust – verification, reputation, convention and protection – Sharetrade is a badge that companies apply for and consumers look to when participating in the Sharing Economy.

>See also: Ensuring the future of the Sharing Economy

Whether they’re car sharing or booking holiday accommodation, the need to demonstrate trust and provide a secure environment is essential to the continual success of this flourishing economy.

Those who currently share, are early adopters of technology and leaders in the behaviour of making ownership redundant – we call them ‘Generation Share’. 25-34 years old, this smart, savvy and on-demand generation are leading the way of the Sharing Economy.

The surging growth of the market signals that businesses are undergoing seismic shifts as people now begin to trade with others in their community rather than stay reliant on larger corporations for their goods and services.

The businesses of the future will be those who build their business models around the sharing of resource and enable their customers to access shared goods and services. 90% of consumers want brands to share, yet only 10% are perceived as doing it well.[7]

Corporate activity on the rise

No wonder then, that we’ve seen an upsurge of corporate activity in the space with companies leaping on the Sharing Economy opportunity: Hyatt Hotels investment in One Fine Stay; Marriott Hotels & their Liquidspace partnership: Enterprise Rent-A-Car purchase of City Car Club and Wal-mart are crowdsourcing. The recent flood of companies engaging in the Sharing Economy is tremendous – Disney, Panasonic, Pepsi, Visa, Whole Foods, Tesco, Samsung and many more.

Businesses need to learn that consumers’ value of the Sharing Economy is coming via a burgeoning need to not only save and make money, but also to adopt more sustainable and collective good in their personal values – a factor at the heart of how the Sharing Economy operates, and what makes it unique.

Related: Government removing barriers to growth of Sharing Economy

With 64% participation in the UK[8] alone and over 23 million users of UK sharing services, the launch of Sharetrade, the world’s first Trust Kitemark for the Sharing Economy, will make it easier for consumers to engage and trust one another as well as corporations within this new sphere. Participation rates are set to double within the next year[9] – and if that isn’t an assurance to the magnitude and mainstream potential of this new economy, the $335 billion market estimation by 2025[10] surely is.

Benita Matofska is a global Sharing Economy expert and the Founder of Compare and Share, the world’s first comparison marketplace of the Sharing Economy.

To follow her on social media, her handle is @BenitaMatofska.

Further reading: From sharing to gifting in business

[1] What we know bout the Global Sharing Economy, Compare and Share, 2015

[2] Crown Companies, 2014

[3] PwC, 2014

[4] Business Insider

[5] Havas Worlwide, 2014

[6] Trust biggest barrier to growth of Sharing Economy, 2015

[7] Deloitte, 2014

[8] Nesta, 2014

[9] Crwod Companies, 2014

[10] PwC, 2014

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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