Collaborative Consumption by Ray Algar

Collaborative Consumption, Leisure Report

It was during this article for Leisure Report in 2007 that I coined the phrase “Collaborative Consumption”. I hope you find the article informative.

Collaborative Consumption
Spare a moment for those poor retailers who still insist on putting ‘things’ in windows, accompanied by a fixed price tag. How quaint. In bygone times when asymmetrical information flourished (when the retailer knew far more than us), this method of trading was appropriate. Consumers were guided by the marketer’s pen. They set the price and we chose to pay, or not. Individually, we lacked influence and bargaining power. However, what happens when pricing insight becomes accessible and consumers begin to share knowledge? Welcome to the world of collaborative consumption.

A growing global movement
Collaborative consumption is a phenomenon that is sweeping across the globe. Global ‘Wikipedians’ continue to build Wikipedia, the world’s biggest on-line encyclopaedia. The English version has 152,000 contributors, 609 million words and is 15 times larger then Encyclopaedia Britannica. Consumers collaborate on-line to exchange goods and services through web sites such as EBay and Gumtree, share hospitality experiences through Trip Advisor (five million reviews and rising) and pool their collective purchasing power to co-own (fractional ownership) high value assets such as prestige cars, property and airplanes. Collaborating to leverage discounts and incentives is an inevitable reality of ‘connected living’.

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