In June 2020, there were nearly 10,000 sharing apps and platforms on the internet in every category imaginable, from food to fashion to real estate. Rent a bike, a dress, a service, or a room with a few clicks. There’s a sharing economy solution to virtually every need you can think of, and the options are only growing. 

What is the sharing economy? 

A sharing economy is one in which private, separate individuals share assets and resources. It is a reflection of the desire for access over ownership and avoiding long-term purchases for short-term needs. 

After its launch in 1995, eBay became known as one of the first examples of the sharing economy.

 

The online marketplace served as a platform where one could buy or sell almost anything. Fast forward to 2023 and momentum is building. Experts project the sharing economy  will grow to over $300 billion by 2025.

Benefits of sharing economy 

The explosive growth and adoption this industry has experienced in the past few years makes us  wonder: what makes the sharing economy so appealing? 

  • Embrace sustainability: Consumer preferences are shifting to favor sustainability. Using resources only when you need them allows your business to stay nimble and sustainable. Keep your carbon footprint low by reducing the need for new assets. Less production = less carbon footprint! 
  • Reduce costs: Avoid the overhead costs of ownership and use items only when you need them. Eliminate asset depreciation when you rent because the option to return it for a new one is always right there. A primary example of this is renting a delivery truck for the busy season instead of owning one. This way, maintenance and other costs associated with owning the vehicle are no longer your concern. Free up money to spend elsewhere when you rent a vehicle, space, or resources for your business. 
  • Monetize unused assets: Participate in the sharing economy on your terms and monetize your assets when you don’t need them. Have extra space in your basement or garage? Share it with Neighbor. Not using your vehicle every day? Turo or Fluid Truck can help you monetize these shareable assets. Fluid Truck created Fluid Renew for folks to place their own vehicles on the platform when not in use. 
  • Widened access: The main draw to the sharing economy for most consumers is accessibility. Being able to use top-quality items that were otherwise out-of-budget makes the sharing economy a game changer. Companies like Fluid Truck have made it their mission to widen access to expensive vehicles such as EVs, making it easier than ever to enjoy the perks of going electric. The sharing economy truly capitalizes on a “need it now, but not forever” mindset, and is perfect for those who have a fear of commitment. 
  • Convenience: Many sharing economy companies center around a common theme – convenience. Order an Uber or book a hotel in minutes right from your phone. The sharing economy makes it easy to experience the benefits of being an owner without footing the bill. 

Fluid Truck’s start in the sharing economy 

Starting as Fluid Market in 2016, Fluid Truck has strong roots in the sharing economy space. Our founder, Jimmy Eberhard, needed a bow tie. Being a casual guy, he thought to himself, “why can’t I just rent one?” 

Fluid Truck quickly grew from an app for rentable items to the largest medium-duty commercial rental fleet in the country. The vehicle lineup includes cargo vans, box trucks, electric vehicles, and more for anyone with a need for a vehicle and a desire for convenience. 

The platform and telematics software makes it easy to rent a truck without the paperwork, long lines, or 9-5 business structure. Fluid Truck thrives on convenience and celebrates accessibility. Partner with Fluid Truck to get your hands on top tech and low prices. 

Where’s the sharing economy headed in 2023? 

While the pandemic disrupted the concept of sharing the past few years, it’s showing signs of quick recovery. Here’s what we can expect from the sharing economy in the future: 

A boom in B2B sharing 

We’re seeing more and more partnerships forged between big brands, specifically in the retail space. Businesses are using partnerships to cut costs and expand their consumer offerings. 

Greater flexibility through the gig economy

Technological advancements are making it easier to lead a flexible lifestyle in terms of work, education, and more. It’s predicted that more than half of U.S. workers will be gig workers by 2027. With the help of the sharing economy, individual contractors can make their schedules. Individuals can monetize their skills easily and work on an “as-needed” basis.  

Collaborative consumption 

Collaborative consumption is the shared use of an asset or resource by a group that divides the total cost. We’ve already seen the success of collaborative consumption through companies like Netflix, and this corner of the sharing economy is still growing. Collaborative consumption focuses on lessening the burden of buying something outright. Partner with an individual who also wants the resource and split the cost while still enjoying the full benefits. 

The bottom line

In 2023, sharing is caring. Gen Z's preferences for better sustainability and record-high prices only encourage the sharing economy’s growth even more. Take the jump and make your next investment something shared.