How The Sharing Economy Business Model is Shaping Consumer Expectations

The sharing economy business model is on the rise. How is it shaping consumer expectations, and how can enterprises adapt?
sharing economy business model

The trademarks of the sharing economy business model include fast access and response, a shared and instant messaging environment, and an on-demand framework. These features are central to the successful global sharing economy platforms, and they represent a stark departure from traditional CRM models.

Just imagine if Uber had to use a CRM application to schedule rides. We would all be calling an 800-number, and sitting on hold for minutes. We’d never be assured of our ride till we saw the driver at the door.

Businesses operating a sharing economy business model have become so ubiquitous that they now rival large, traditional, and established enterprises in multiple sectors. Ride-hailing giant Uber expects to take in huge profits by 2021, according to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Consumer demand for food take-away and delivery services provider Deliveroo skyrocketed during the COVID-19 crisis. This development enabled Deliveroo to grow over 40% in brand value in just a few months. This global shift, and the unique user experience that attends sharing economies, is changing consumer expectations.

Modern consumers now expect brands to utilize digital channels for communication and engagement. They expect brands to know what they need and want. They expect convenience and smooth transactions.

How the Sharing Economy is Shaping Consumer Expectations

1. Personalization

In a world where the sharing economy business model is increasingly thriving, personalization is set to become a permanent consumer demand. In a study, over 70% of consumers expect personalized experiences with the brands they interact with. In another study, 80% of consumers say they prioritize doing business with companies that provide personalized experiences.

Because of these pressures, brands must be able to quickly personalize their approach and deliver expected services and products at every point of their customers’ journeys.

Tony Li, Huawei’s Vice President for Strategy in the Middle East, says that the sharing economy business model will continue to flourish because it “resonates with the trend of continuous personalized customer experiences.”

2. Convenience

When it comes to sharing economy services and products, consumers demand fast access and convenience. They expect mobile apps to help them quickly seek what they want, and easily achieve their goals. Over 60% of consumers said they now choose brands based on how quickly they can access their products or services. In the event of poor digital experiences, 60% of consumers will immediately abandon that brand.

Convenience is deriving great value from a product or service without putting much effort. In the case of Uber, customers simply click on their smartphone to hail their transportation of choice. All information and notification are received in a single platform and payment is a breeze. Providing feedback is also a simple exercise. Consumers want a similar level of convenience in other economic sectors now and in the future. Old CRM approaches cannot provide this.

3. Environmental Sustainability

According to a study, 88% of consumers from both the US and the UK said they want brands to help them live a sustainable lifestyle. The same study also revealed that 96% of consumers believe that pro-environment activities such as recycling, donating, and doing business with ethical brands can make a lasting impact on the environment.

Consumers believe that the sharing economy is environment-friendly. Consumers are motivated to participate because the sharing economy model reduces the waste of idle resources and addresses key sustainability and environmental concerns. Fewer possessions mean little environmental footprint. This is another feature that businesses need to be aware moving forward.

Technology Empowers Consumers to Participate in Sharing Economy

Sharing Economy

The development of information technology and the emergence of social media have contributed to spreading the sharing of goods and services through online platforms. These technological innovations enable constant and nonstop online interactions, which became the cornerstone of the sharing economy business model.

Millennials, those who are between ages 23 and 38 based on Pew Research’s definition, are the biggest consumer population of the sharing economy. As of 2019, the Millennial generation totalled 72.1 million in the US, overtaking the Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73) at 71.6 million and Generation X (ages 39 to 54) at 65.2 million. The Millennials’ widespread adoption and use of technology makes them the primary consumer demographic driving the sharing economy business model as well.

The advent of mobile and cloud technologies provided sharing companies what they needed to create and implement business models based on “social sharing”. While the earliest sharing economy transactions were website-based, mobile-based applications opened the doors for providers and consumers alike.

The personal nature of these technologies, guarantees the increasing participation of consumers in the sharing economy. In the United States alone, over 230 million consumers own one smartphone at the very least. Almost 80% use their mobile device to purchase goods and services. As the number of consumers owning mobile devices increases, the role of smartphones as an enabler of shared economy transactions becomes more pronounced and permanent.

Legacy CRMs: Out of Date

Traditional technology platforms are designed as centralized data-hubs and work on “request-response” methodology. They are reactive in nature (a client/subscriber must query in order to retrieve information).

Query-based applications are costly in terms of data size as well as performance, due to the large amount of data that is queried through various layers of technology and network protocols. These old technology stacks were designed to deliver data to desk-based workers in an “always connected” mode.

The shared economy workforce engages customers in the field and needs the business-critical information at the point of customer interaction. Multiple round-trips to the centralized data hub impact the performance and in large number of instances fail to deliver the information in the field

The inherent design of technology systems such as legacy CRMs expects both customers as well as the field workforce to engage and communicate through a desk-based person. This “tethered” experience causes major disconnects in the field. Companies relying on this model simply will not stay competitive.

Uber overcame these challenges by creating their own AI-driven cloud platform that connected the requestors (passengers) with providers (drivers) and let them engage in real-time. This allowed Uber to overcome the centralized data challenge (by providing information-rich applications to both the passengers as well as the drivers) while it focused on the interaction.

By engaging the passenger with the driver directly via the AI-driven platform, Uber eliminated the need for a desk-based worker to “man the demand” and thus eliminated the friction caused by the “tethered” CRM platform limitation.

What “Untethered” means to Deskless Organizations

Investing in fully tailored deskless platforms and apps is essential in meeting and engaging consumers where they are: on their mobile devices. Equally important is delivering a holistic and personalized journey per customer.

Enterprises must equip their frontliners and field service agents with technologies that allow them to engage customers head-on. Management must provide staff with the solutions and tools to automate service processes and introduce an “on-demand” and personalized service experience.

If workers are to effectively reach out and engage consumers on their mobile devices and apps, they need to have instant and seamless access to information to create and enhance engagement, discover opportunities, and become more productive.

The Time to GoDeskless is Now

Are your customers spending minutes on the phone before they engage with you to seek onsite help? Do you see consistent low onsite service cust-sat numbers? Do you experience high churn among your field workforce? If anyone of this is true, then we highly recommend that you learn how GoDeskless transforms a “desk-based” field service into a truly “deskless” field service.

Please visit us at for more information, and how we can help.

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