In the digital age, concepts such as the sharing economy are gaining increasing popularity. But what exactly does this term mean, and why is it becoming so significant in today’s world?
In a world where digital technology enables easier access to resources and services, and environmental awareness is growing, the sharing economy becomes an answer to new social and economic needs. It is a model that transforms the traditional approach to consumption and ownership, promoting more sustainable and efficient use of resources.
What is the Sharing Economy?
The sharing economy is not just a trend but a revolution in the way societies and economies function. It is based on the idea that sharing goods and services can be more beneficial than individual ownership.
This shift from ownership to access has significant implications for both consumers and businesses. It affects how we produce, sell, and consume products, as well as how we manage natural resources and the environment.
In this context, the sharing economy becomes a symbol of a modern, sustainable approach to life and work. On one hand, it provides people with greater flexibility and choice, allowing access to a wide range of services and products without the need to purchase them.
On the other hand, it contributes to reducing waste, promoting efficient resource use, and lessening the negative impact on the environment.
Popular Examples and Awareness of the Model
Many Poles are unaware of what the sharing economy concept entails. According to the “Poles and the Sharing Economy” study conducted for BIG InfoMonitor in collaboration with Gleevery, only 18% of Poles declare knowledge of the sharing economy model, indicating a need for further education in this area. Especially since many popular companies operating in the market are based on sharing.
-Car-sharing, such as Panek, which allows renting a car by the minute, or applications like Bolt and Uber enabling rides, and even scooter rentals. A great example of car-sharing is also BlaBlaCar, a platform where you announce your trip and look for passengers who also need to travel to the same place.
-Home-sharing, like Airbnb, platforms such as Airbnb allow short-term rental of apartments or rooms, offering an alternative to hotels. It enables owners to earn from unused living space, providing travelers with more flexible and often cheaper options.
-Bike-sharing, urban bicycle rental systems, like Veturilo in Warsaw, are an example of how the sharing economy can support ecological transport methods and promote an active lifestyle.
-Tool-sharing, tool rental allows the use of specialized equipment for a specified time, which is particularly useful in situations where the needed tool is expensive or used sporadically.
-Co-working, shared workspaces, such as WeWork, offer flexible working spaces for freelancers, startups, and remote workers. They promote collaboration and the creation of professional communities, while reducing the costs associated with renting a traditional office.
Developing awareness of these models and their benefits is key to enabling more people to use them and appreciate their value, both in terms of personal benefits and positive impact on the environment and society.
According to a PwC report, the global revenue generated by the sharing economy, in just 5 key sectors (financial and professional services, transport, hospitality, tourism), will reach 335 billion USD by 2025.
Equipment Subscription as a New Trend
The equipment subscription model, such as for phones or computers, is becoming an increasingly popular element of the sharing economy. This trend changes the traditional approach to owning electronics.
Instead of buying and owning devices permanently, consumers can now subscribe to access the latest technologies, regularly exchanging them for newer models while returning the old ones. Returned devices get a second life, delighting the next user. Since the equipment is thoroughly checked every year and any faults are regularly repaired, the device can extend its life cycle even twice.
It’s worth adding that subscription is a decidedly more affordable solution – we don’t have to bear the high costs of a one-time purchase or repay the full value of the phone through installments and leasing.
The equipment subscription model shows how the sharing economy can be applied in various fields, offering innovative solutions that meet the changing needs and expectations of modern consumers. Especially since it is constantly evolving in terms of product range.
At WeSub, we started with simple equipment like phones or laptops, but we have long since begun including products such as photographic equipment, EMS devices, gaming consoles, or air purifiers in our offer. This allows us to meet the needs of a very wide group of customers and effectively spread the idea that we don’t have to own everything.
The Future of the Sharing Economy
The future of the sharing economy appears to be extremely promising, opening up new possibilities for ways of consumption and positively impacting the environment. According to our perspective, the sharing economy has the potential for further development and evolution in directions such as:
Technology as a Catalyst: Progress in digital technology will continue to drive the development of the sharing economy.
Personalization and Service Integration: The sharing economy is expected to become increasingly personalized and integrated with other services. For example, stores offering subscriptions might offer customized protection packages or accessories.
Sustainable Development: As ecological awareness grows, the sharing economy will play a key role in promoting sustainable development. Waste reduction, better resource utilization, and decreased CO2 emissions are just some of the environmental benefits of this model.
Expansion into New Markets: The sharing economy has the potential to expand into new markets and industries where sharing is not yet common. We can expect new innovative models of sharing in various sectors of the economy.
Community and Sharing Culture Development: The culture of sharing, which contributes to building communities and strengthening social ties, will become increasingly important. The sharing economy can also promote a more inclusive and accessible society.
Therefore, the future of the sharing economy seems to be not only a path to more efficient resource utilization but also a way to build a more sustainable and socially responsible future.