The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy
Remember when people derived pleasure from shopping till they “dropped”? When cars sported bumper stickers proclaiming, “He who dies with the most toys wins”?
Nowadays, such concepts have fallen out of favor, as more and more people have begun to consider consumption a necessarily evil.
Shopping is something we all have to do – and an activity that most of us still sometimes enjoy – but it’s also something many of us feel guilty about because of the impact our purchases have on the planet and on other people. And even on ourselves.
With this latest global study, The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy, Havas Worldwide explores consumers’ evolving attitudes toward consumption and the emergence of a new wave of consumerism that rejects excess and passivity in favor of a more mindful and hands-on approach.
Highlights from the study include:
The vast majority of consumers surveyed believe our current economic models aren’t working, and yet most are convinced that high levels of consumption are critical to economic growth. To ease their tension over this issue, they’re replacing guilt with purpose by buying products that are more durable and sustainable, sharing rather than owning, and paying more attention to the human elements of transactions.
This emerging way of thinking is driving a new economic model that focuses on community and collaboration over accumulation and ownership. Sixty-five percent of respondents agree: “Our society would be better off if people shared more and owned less.”
Millennials are embracing peer-to-peer transactions and crowdfunding, and more than a third already belong to a sharing service or expect to join one within the next year.
City dwellers will be more likely to share than own a car by 2050, predict more than one-third of respondents, and most energy production will be in the hands of individual producers.
Though goods and services are being exchanged between individuals, there is plenty of scope for brand involvement. Three-quarters of respondents would like to see brands act as guarantors of the products individuals sell online.
“The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy” draws on findings from an online survey of 10,574 people aged 16+ in 29 markets: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. The study was created by Havas Worldwide and fielded by Market Probe International via online surveys.
Prosumer Reports is a series of thought leadership publications by Havas Worldwide—part of a global initiative to share information and insights, including our own proprietary research, across the Havas Worldwide network of agencies and client companies.