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The Digital Economy and Sharing Economy Collaborate


I come from an extensive digital marketing background, but now find myself  immersed in the Sharing Economy.  Most peer-to-peer marketplaces that the Sharing Economy is based on, such as Airbnb and Uber, are easily accessed  online. Digital and (electronic) ecommerce and (mobile) m-commerce sites are thriving and that enables an entirely new level of sharing.

The Harvard Business Review argues that "sharing economy" is a misnomer, and that the correct word for this activity is "access economy." The authors say, "When “sharing” is market-mediated, when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other — it is no longer sharing at all. The consumers are instead paying to access someone else’s goods or services. The main innovation in the sharing economy business model comes from the technology, marketplace and mobile apps that make the sharing so conducive. The Internet makes supply and demand transactions effortless and this, in turn, drives new business opportunities.

Even though stories about services like Uber and Airbnb have put the Sharing Economy in the news, just 27% of Americans have ever heard of the term before, according to Pew Research Center’s recent survey of the new digital economy. The Digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies. It is well known that the growth of the digital economy has widespread impact on the whole economy. My colleague Jeremiah Owyang has thoughtfully coined this economic model as the Collaborative Economy. Where collaborators use commonly available technologies enable people to have easy access to get what they need from each other.

The sharing economy can take a variety of forms, including using marketplaces to provide individuals, corporations, nonprofits and governments with information that enables the optimization of resources through the redistribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. A common premise is that when information about goods is shared (typically via an online marketplace), the value of those goods may increase for the business, for individuals, for the community and for society in general. My colleague CJ Todd does a great job of drawing from Rachel Botsman’s expert opinion to show that the words used are not as important as how they are being defined.

The Sharing Economy would not be where it is today if it weren’t convenient and it would never be convenient without the digital economy, and more specifically, m-commerce. M-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Known as next-generation e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access the Internet on the go without the use of an Internet connection.



In 2014, mobile commerce grew by 47 percent and according to Gartner, revenue from m-commerce will equal 50 percent of all digital commerce in the United States by 2017.  People are constantly on the go and busy. In order to holistically share in the this new economy, you’ll need a digital marketplace to expedite. E-commerce and m-commerce sites have opened the doors for people to effortlessly share goods and make money.

However it is coined, the end results are the same. The Digital and Sharing Economy are steadily revolutionizing every aspect of our lives. Creating effective marketplaces for the Digital and Sharing Economy is the grand challenge for our time, and the companies that are already adapting are leading the way.  

That is where a Near Me marketplace can take your business to new levels of sharing. We're making it easier for anyone to create a peer-to-peer marketplace. Near Me is a peer-to-peer commerce solution enabling anyone to setup their own branded marketplace. Our users can create peer-to-peer marketplaces to share, trade, swap or rent anything all over the world. Learn how to create your beautiful online marketplace today.

With the assistance of e-commerce and m-commerce marketplaces, the Sharing Economy companies now have the opportunity to flourish. No matter your industry, position, generation, or location, you have the ability to influence how the Digital and Sharing Economy impacts collaboration in your corner of the world. Good luck and please reach out to us if you have any questions about connecting buyers and sellers at new levels with your own peer-to-peer marketplace.

Topics: Marketing, Sharing Economy


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