4 March 2016

Collaborative consumption: from value for users to a society with values

Be the first to share
Media
Business
Services
Social Issues

Four European Union consumers associations – OCU (Spain), Altroconsumo (Italy), DECO-Proteste (Portugal) and Test-Achats/Test Aankoop (Belgium) – in collaboration with Cibersomosaguas Research Group (Universidad Complutense of Madrid) and Ouishare Spain, came together to undertake a pioneering research project on the collaborative consumption phenomenon from the point of view of its effect on consumers and society.

The research report entitled, “Collaboration or Business,” includes a series of questions that the consumers associations thought were important to resolve:

  • Do peer-to-peer (P2P) collaborative consumption (CC) platforms add value for individual consumers?
  • Are CC platforms a safe environment for users?
  • Do P2P CC platforms produce the beneficial impacts that some claim they do at economic, social and environmental levels?
  • Are they creating value for society as a whole?
  • Does the CC phenomenon represent a paradigm change or is it just a different way of doing the same business?

The research included 33 CC experts, over 8,600 consumers (users and non-users), and a sample of 70 websites of 55 different platforms across the four participating countries.

In order to explore the way that CC platforms organise and enable social interaction through design, features and informational content, a completely original research tool (a social Netnographic observational protocol) was developed and subsequently implemented by independent observers.

Key findings of the research

Collaborative consumption has high levels of awareness and involvement amongst those citizens that responded to the survey. Individual users are clear that CC platforms add value; this is reflected in high satisfaction levels and users’ reasons for participating.

Users reported no major conflicts, although better conflict resolutions systems should be put in place by the platforms, as current systems seem not so effective.

Additionally, some legal issues need improvement and clarification, particularly as the observational study of the legal dimensions of the platforms found different levels of compliance with the appropriate regulations. For instance, users should receive better information about the identity of the platform (fiscal data) and platforms should clearly distinguish between private and professional providers, as different legislation applies.

The platforms’ survey provided important information about the structure, governance, and environmental awareness of the responding platforms. According to the data from the study, it is clear that CC platforms are efficient but their governance models are still far from being collaborative. While some of the platforms are aware of environmental issues related to their operation, they provide no evidence about how their activities actually benefit the environment.

A platform’s orientation is not just a question of what they do but also of how they do it. The balance between business and collaboration varies greatly from one platform to another, even within the same sector. The social netnographic study determined that there are three typologies of platforms:

  • 46% of the platforms in the study are network oriented and aimed at creating networks of users connected by their common interests and digital reputation. Representative platforms: Airbnb and BlaBlacar.
  • 28% of the platforms in the study are transaction oriented; their purpose is to facilitate easy and practical exchanges between users. Representative platforms: Segundamano (Spain) and Uber Pop.
  • 26% of the platforms in the study are community oriented. Their model is a transformative paradigm that aims to create stronger communities and to promote more sustainable consumption habits. Notably, Italy and Belgium have more platforms in the community category compared to Spain and Portugal. Representative platforms: Repair Café (Belgium), Reoose (Italy) and Huertos Compartidos (Spain).

All of them provide value to users, but only about a quarter (26%) of platforms are focused on communities and have strong social and environmental missions.

The study finishes (page 65 onwards) with a set of 10 recommendations for Collaborative Consumption platforms and 10 requests to Policy makers and administrations.

Be the first to share
17 July 2019
The digital lives of refugees [Research report]
There is growing recognition among donors and humanitarian organisations that mobile technology and mobile network operators (MNOs) have an important role to play in the delivery of dignified aid. This includes providing digital tools that …
5 July 2019
Experientia on addressing vaccine hesitancy
Vaccine hesitancy is a top10 global health threat. Dealing with it successfully requires understanding it as a behaviour and generating a holistic view of people’s perspectives & ecosystems. This way we can identify the best …
5 April 2019
The story of Spotify personas
Spotify's product designer Mady Torres de Souza and senior user researchers Olga Hörding and Sohit Karol explain how they developed their personas tool, how they use it today and why it’s so useful for an …
4 April 2019
When ethnography becomes a joke
For a number of years, we have witnessed a diminishing appetite for ethnographic work among commercial clients, writes Patricia Sunderland, PhD and founder of Cultural Research and Analysis, on the site of the Qualitative Research …
4 April 2019
Old, online, and fed on lies: How an aging population will reshape the internet
Although many older Americans have, like the rest of us, embraced the tools and playthings of the technology industry, a growing body of research shows they have disproportionately fallen prey to the dangers of internet …
31 March 2019
Research findings send automated sentiment analysis to the trash bin
The age of social media has opened up exciting opportunities for researchers to investigate people’s emotional states on a massive scale. For example, one study found that tweets contain more positive emotional words in the …
9 March 2019
Innovation is about understanding culture
Jay Hasbrouck, Founder of Filament Insight & Innovation, argues that ethnographic thinking is an overall innovation strategy that can strategically guide large organisations in how they innovate, can drive their efforts to build innovation capacity, …
24 February 2019
Ten arguments against algorithmic decision making
Against the Dehumanisation of Decision-Making – Algorithmic Decisions at the Crossroads of Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Freedom of Information by Dr Guido Noto La Diega, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Northumbria University Law School Published …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 July 2019
Experientia on addressing vaccine hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy is a top10 global health threat. Dealing with it successfully requires understanding it as a behaviour and generating a holistic view of people’s perspectives & ecosystems. This way we can identify the best opportunities for intervention. Here is Experientia’s position on vaccine hesitancy and our tailor-made support for the vaccine industry.

2 May 2019
MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition now calling for applications

100&Change is a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. 100&Change will select a bold proposal that promises real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. And it will award a $100 million grant to help make […]

19 March 2019
Interested in a career with us?

Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]

22 December 2018
Our very best wishes for 2019! / Auguri da Experientia!
4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “​Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together​”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

See all articles