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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Whenever I'm bored, I can always find something to do on my phone.”

—Male, 17, GA

Have teens have killed another retailer? Aeropostale has filed for bankruptcy, and plans to immediately close 154 of its over 800 stores. Young consumers’ preference for fast fashion and real-time access to trends has left “mall retailers” like Delia’s, Wet Seal, and Aeropostale in the dust. Last year the struggling clothing brand announced they were attempting to revive sales by “exploring strategic alternatives,” and focusing on a “flirty tomboy girl” consumer. However, it missed the mark, and “[t]he majority of the blame for poor performance lies squarely with [Aeropostale’s] failure to realign itself to the changing fashion demands of younger shoppers.” (Washington Post)  

These days, Osh-Kosh-B’Gosh just won’t do for well-to-do kids growing up in a market that might just make them the best-dressed generation. The luxury childrenswear market continues to boom, with a forecasted reach of $291.5 billion by the end of 2018. Since we first wrote about the trend, more designer brands have launched lines exclusively for “pint-sized clientele,” and online stores focusing on upscale fashion for babies and kids have grown. Although considered a small revenue driver for companies, brands hope that childrenswear will inspire brand loyalty from a young age, and remind adults of their own “coming-of-age moments.” (Digiday

Social network meets “college newspaper on steroids” Odyssey is racking up 30 million uniques a month, with a simple but challenging business model. The site lets any young writer contribute content, as long as they have a unique perspective and publish an article a week. The model results in about 10,000 articles each week from writers aged 18-28, who then share their posts through their own personal social networks. Although they are unpaid, the writers gain exposure from posting to the platform—two to 4.5 times more than if they self-published. (Business Insider)  

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel’s ability to “speak Millennial” has been key to the app’s success. The platform’s appeal lies in the “less demanding” content it encourages. As the Columbia student who interviewed Spiegel put it, “If you want to take a photo of the beautiful day outside…you can put it on Instagram, but what about that huge space of photos that aren’t 10 out of 10 perfection.” Recently Spiegel declared that Snapchat is a “camera company.” Though messaging and content are part of the app, the camera is the focus because “[t]he thing that feeds a social network is content.” (International Business Times)

We recently broke down all the ways Millennials are updating and redefining workplace standards—and it looks like Millennials in the U.K. may also prioritize meaning over a big paycheck. A U.K. survey of 13-25-year-olds revealed that “44% equate happiness with success and 32% said that for them prosperity is more about achieving their personal goals.” The things that might have motivated previous generations were lower priorities: only 11% of U.K. Millennials said they are motivated by the prospect of owning a house, and 29% said they are motivated by being paid more for their work. (Elite Business

Quote of the Day: “The type of commercials that stick in my memory are the ones that make me evaluate my life.”—Female, 28, SD

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