It's fair to say that in 2014, sharing economy solutions boomed all over the world. Despite numerous controversies making numerous headlines last year (think Uber), or some critical voices joining the debate on sharing economy, the idea has caught on and will continue unabated into the next year. What's in store for people involved in sharing economy in the near future? Here's a brief overview of the most important trends for 2015.
1) Possible consolidation
Right now, sharing economy platforms and providers just compete with each other – but the future will show us whether the market can really sustain so many similar services. That's why it's very likely that in the near future we'll witness a kind of consolidation of the sharing economy market, with real sector leaders emerging as its consequence.
2) More rules and regulations
The major trend in future sharing economy will be a refinement of rules and regulations formulated to protect consumers – a direct result of the growing popularity of services lie ride-sharing or flat rental that might entail certain risks. It's quite possible that when it comes to security, taxes and insurance, people involved in the sharing economy model will face stricter rules than providers working in other business formats.
3) Internet of Shared Things
In 2015, we'll see sharing economy enter into new exciting union with the Internet of Things, which is basically an umbrella name for various object connected to the Internet and managed through one simple interface – such as a tablet or smartphone.
Thanks to this innovative technology, more objects will become connected to each other and, as a result, consumers will find new ways of driving value from them – for instance, shared access. With the growing popularity of the Internet of Things, the predicted collaborative economies will become a reality.
4) Aggregation and Curation
It's only natural that with larger participation rates in sharing economy – studies suggest an impressive 28% and rising! – consumers will be looking for easy and accessible methods for entering this business model.
That's when curation comes in – in 2015, we'll see more online comparison marketplaces for sharing economy popping up all over the web. Just think of the pioneer compareandshare.com. Those services will effectively make it easier for consumers to tap into the sharing lifestyle and allow them to choose the providers according to their preferences.
In 2015, sharing economy will be redefined as governments will strive to put specific laws in place to protect customers and ensure the security of the services. In short, we'll see sharing economy platforms gain even more popularity and redefine certain aspects of national economies.
This Guest Blog Series post was written by Isabel Wiliams of BizDb