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:

 

airbnbAirbnb:

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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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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