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: "My favorite place to shop online is Sephora, because I love high end makeup and I love reading about what's new and watching tutorials on how it works.” –Female, 26, MA

We’ve seen everyone from food startups to fast-food chains label their food “artisanal” to appeal to Millennials—and there is good reason. It turns out there is generation gap when it comes to consumers’ reaction to “artisanal” and “craft.”  Millennials are more likely than older consumers to say that the labels “handmade/handcrafted, “craft,” and “small batch” tell them a product is high quality, and also more likely to say that descriptors like “artisan/artisanal” have some influence on their purchases. (MediaPost)

To sell wine to Millennials, brands have had to drop the exclusivity and embrace a more unpretentious attitude. Sparkling wine brand Chandon is relying on Instagram to get their bubbly message across to young females, making it their top social platform, over Pinterest. Their colorful, summertime images, featuring captions like “Today calls for Rosé,” are a part of their effort to get sparkling wine “out of the holiday rut.” (Digiday)

Older generations who hear about anonymous apps like Whisper and YikYak have one main question: why? Question and answer site Ask.fm’s recent study asked them, and found that 40% of 13-18-year-olds said anonymity online allows them to talk about difficult topics—only 4% said they would talk about the same things if their name was being used. (IBT)

New parents will do just about anything to get their kid(s) to go to sleep, as one self-published book is proving. The picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep made the Amazon bestseller list by claiming to put children straight to sleep. Sales skyrocketed quickly, going from selling just 324 copies on August 16th, to 29,000 at the end of last week. It’s rumored that Random House has bought the rights to the miracle book. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Restoration Hardware is going after the teens “who ha[ve] everything.” Their new high-end post-childhood line RH Teen includes chandeliers, and fine art photography, and the brand hopes to capture young consumers as they are finding their own identity and becoming independent as decorators of their space. Unlike some brands, who are co-creating their products and marketing with young consumers, Restoration chose to launch RH Teen without focus groups or studies. (WSJ)

According to Pew, a third of Millennials frequently use their phones in public for “no particular reason,” and 13% say they frequently use their mobile devices to avoid interacting with other people. (Queue the “anti-social Millennial” pieces.) But another study might shed some more light on their “for no reason” phone use: 60% believe their smartphones enhances their leisure time. The research hypothesizes that young consumers are using phones for moments of “micro-leisure” throughout the day. (Washington PostSocialTimes)

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