Peer-to-Peer: The Consumer Powered Revolution

Today, Ypulse staffer Phil Savarese continues our series on the evolving e-commerce landscape by profiling "ones to watch" in the evolving world of peer-to-peer business.


AirBNBThree E-Commerce P2P Innovations To Know Now

The economic crisis has Millennials, and many others, thinking of new ways to do business. Communal effort and the desire for a more sustainable and beneficial future are driving forces of the generation. With this spirit and an increasing distrust of old systems as a foundation, the peer-to-peer (P2P) business model is becoming more and more common. Rather than customers buying products from a site like Amazon, they purchase from other consumers, cutting out the big brands from the exchange process. Given the social, groupthink nature of Millennials and their inherent knowledge of the internet, it is no surprise that P2P has been growing, and evolving beyond goods exchange to revolutionize other business categories as well. The “gig economy,” a marketplace of micro-jobs born partly out of the recession, is also pushing the movement forward. Peer-to-peer services are providing their users with new and innovative ways to both make life easier and earn some extra cash: the peer-to-peer economy is estimated to have a revenue of $3.5 billion this year. Here we’ll take a look at three P2P e-commerce businesses to know now:



Airbnb offers its users a new way to list and book traveling accommodations. Hosts list their own personal spaces on the site; users then book the space for a certain period of time at the price established by the hosts. It’s simple, fast, and most of all, different—a way for consumers to travel the world without ever having to pay for a night in a motel. Millennials are adventure seekers, looking for rich experiences but in an organic…


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Quote of the Day: “My financial priority is getting a job and getting out of my parents’ house.” –Male, 20, WA

Virtual reality is poised to become an entertainment game-changer—could it revolutionize education as well? Google is pioneering Expeditions, a new “virtual field trip” program that reaches out to schools with lessons that integrate virtual reality viewers. Expensive VR headsets are not necessary since Google Cardboard is used, allowing a very new technology to be brought into classrooms at an early stage. (NYTimes)

Millennials are bringing their financial preferences to wedding planning. A survey from The Knot and PayPal found that 44% of couples wish they could make all their vendor payments via smartphone, and 42% were surprised their vendors did not accept electronic payments. They also want the “I do” day to be money-hassle-free: 70% think automated payments for remaining balances on the wedding day would be helpful. (MarketWatch)

Smartphones present a whole new set of social problems for Millennials—especially when they’re using them while drinking. New app Drunk Mode, targeting college kids, is designed to make phones safe to use while under the influence: select contacts are hidden for 12 hours to prevent dangerous drunk dialing, the “Find My Drunk” feature uses GPS to help users find drunk friends, and there are also tools for hailing safe rides and retracing intoxicated footsteps. (Springwise)

After years of magical, mystical creatures and dystopian horror stories ruling YA shelves, a new wave of novels are making more relatable narratives popular again. According to Scholastic, “realism is on the rise,” and books that feature the problems of real-world teens are the next big thing. Recent examples include 21 PromsHomeroom Diaries, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which was also turned into a feature film. (Scholastic)

In 2014, designer Rebecca Minkoff opened her stores of the future, featuring digital fitting rooms with large, mirrored touch screen walls that allow visitors to browse the latest collections, runway shows, photos, and other brand content . Almost a year later, those tech dressing rooms are being credited with tripling expected clothing sales. Minkoff says, “Trying something on signifies intent, and the customer may not have been thinking about buying a dress, but they see it suggested on the screen and know to ask for it.” (Digiday)

Quote of the Day: “My biggest financial goal is Financial independence from my parents.” –Female, 22, MA

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