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The sharing economy appears to have significant traction among US internet users. According to one source, this year a majority of internet users have at least given it a try. Younger people are significantly more likely to see the benefits.
According to Vision Critical research from this year, 51% of US internet users have participated in the sharing economy, using technology to connect with peers to transact for goods and services. That was up 12 percentage points over the sharing economy’s reach in 2014.
Usage was up in several sharing-economy categories, the survey found. This year, 44% of internet users in North America had used the sharing economy to buy preowned goods, up from 34% in 2014. Seventeen percent had found space to stay via the sharing economy, up from 7%. Crowdfunding participating had more than doubled, from 6% to 14%, and use of the sharing economy for transportation had grown from 4% to 10% of the internet audience.
And while internet users of all ages would consider using the sharing economy for the right mix of price, convenience and other characteristics, millennials were more interested across use cases.
Internet users in North America ages 18 to 34 were 12 percentage points more likely than those ages 35 to 54 to be interested in the sharing economy for accommodations, 11 percentage points more likely for car rentals, 13 percentage points more likely for gifts and 4 percentage points more likely for home furnishings. In most categories, internet users ages 55 and older were even less likely to go to the sharing economy.
Radius Global Market Research found in September that just 7% of US internet users had used Airbnb in the past year—making it the most popular single sharing-economy service studied.
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