The Role of Collaborative Commerce in the Sharing Economy

There have been a lot of challenges facing the online retail and brands who sell directly to the customers. But recently we are finding a shift towards Collaborative Economy which might have ripple effects on the industries. Sharing has become a way of new buying, and the retailers are exploring different ways to use this trend in the business.

The collaborative economy helps customers to either buy what they require from one another, or pay for using the goods and services rather than buying them. eCommerce professionals are now analyzing the impact of peer-to-peer commerce and access vs. ownership in the business.

That means that people can now go to sites like LendingClub and KickStarter ( to get funding for their new businesses, rather than going for a bank or well! An Investor (Now hoe cool is that J). People now visit sites like eBay to buy pre-owned goods, rather than buying new products from retailers. Customers have now become self-empowered to get what they require from each other.We will see some of the ways that few established retailers, start-ups and brands have opted to follow this wave.


 Ownership / Rental

Online stores like Rent the Runway offers access to rental luxury items. With this customers can submit the pictures of their rentals so that members can find rental products just by clicking on “people like me”, which is filtered by height, size and age.


Products on Trial

Start-ups are also offering a 30 days trial of certain products like electronics and kitchen appliances in their online shopping portals. In the end of the period if the customer wishes to keep the product the money will be credited for purchase. But this trend is not as adopted as compared to the rental products.

Buy-back programs

Established companies like Apple follow buy-back programs for the mobile phones. But this program works only if the products hold their value. Due to this most retailers go for marketplace that offer buy-back program so as to avoid inventory risk, or they offer it just for selected product categories.

Service partnerships

Some of the retailers are now focusing on the creative opportunities available while partnering with local services. Home Depot has found to be partnering with local service provider Uber to deliver Christmas trees. Westin Hotels offers New Balance workout gear in rental basis to the travellers, so that they don’t have carry much.

Forces That Drive the Growth of Collaborative Economy


This year we will witness a lot more happening in collaborative eCommerce.

Collaborative eCommerce is yet to become common. Start-ups can use it as a good tool to carry out the innovative sales techniques. We will not have to wait much to see a lot more on this.

Isn’t interdependence more powerful force that independence? Collaborative economy is a big force that is going to drive efficiency in many households. Many more monitisation possibilites are going to open us as well. Many startups are going to become Billion Dollar companies like AirBNB.. the space is just opening up!

We also wrote a piece about rental economy a few weeks back: Take a look at that here.

[We are Connecting Dots, a full service eCommerce solutions company. At Connecting Dots, we help companies build great online businesses, we are Magento implementation partners and build great eCommerce portals]