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Sharing Economy

How real-world data helps companies diversify in the sharing economy

Arity · February 25, 2020 · 4 min read
For car share, rideshare, and gig companies to survive and thrive in the sharing economy, they must diversify. Arity breaks down the benefits.

Diversification Is Helping Sharing Economy Survive

Diversification has been a survival tactic for years. Think of Amazon’s start more than 25 years ago as an online bookstore. Now they offer everything. Or consider Google’s start as an Internet search service. Now they offer a full array of services, from email, video, and calling to business applications and cloud services.

As the sharing economy takes hold, car share and ride sharing companies are on this track, too.

Diversification is one of those business strategies that need a lot of planning. Too much diversification too fast in too many directions can mean watering down your brand or not doing any one thing exceptionally well. Too little diversification may mean you’re not evolving with the times or taking advantage of valuable or meaningful opportunities to expand.

How is the sharing economy industry evolving to meet evolving demands while maintaining a strong brand? Let’s take a look.

How Sharing Economy Companies Are Diversifying to Meet Demand

Sharing economy started with ride-sharing, and now they’re asking themselves, “What else can we offer to fill out our business models using the same system? How can we work better, smarter with other players?” Diversification is helping them hedge their bets – and determine what works best — in a difficult and evolving peer-to-peer economy landscape.

When it comes to sharing economy companies, at this point in history, diversification is a must-have tactic that is helping companies move toward a sustainable business model overall.

Examples of Mobility Diversification Within the Sharing Economy Model

Let’s consider the rapid rise of sharing economy and how it has quickly diversified:

Uber and Lyft, traditionally only ride-sharing with vehicles, now offer bikes and scooters as an option for shorter routes or that last mile after public transportation.

Both are also partnering with public transportation systems to make it more convenient for people to leverage both public and private transportation systems.

Uber has also expanded, through UberEats, into food delivery, Uber Freight, and Uber Last-Mile Deliveries. Now they are building strategies for flight-sharing.

All of these diversification strategies take advantage of infrastructures and technologies the companies have already established, and they solve transportation challenges for consumers.

If the market is expected to grow as much as 8 times by 2030, with Uber and Lyft already owning 99% of the rideshare spend in the U.S., what will it take to meet the market’s projected growth?

For more than 10 years, Uber and Lyft have staked their claim and learned a lot, which makes it difficult for new companies to enter the industry.  However, if other companies had mobility data, they could get ahead of the lessons learned by the other more-seasoned peer-to-peer economy companies.

For example, could a sharing scooter company diversify to a different type of sharing economy model, like car sharing, if only they had data on what kinds of people bring in the most revenue, what kinds of people cost the most, what kinds of vehicles (or bicycles or other means of getting around) get into more accidents, or how people actually operate cars or bicycles that aren’t theirs?

If more sharing economy companies could leverage more data, more companies could find profitable ways to offer more mobility services with a quality supply of drivers and vehicles, more precise customer targeting, and competitive pricing strategies.

The Benefits of Sharing Economy Diversification

The entire transportation ecosystem – from ride-sharing to car sharing to scooter sharing – feels the effects of today’s shifting demands, and sharing economy companies are responding. The result is rapid diversification.

Diversification helps strengthen the business model, increase customer value, and create more touch-points or connections with the customer to help build loyalty.

Diversification also opens channels of revenue and a broader market share.

It used to be that diversification took decades; in today’s peer-to-peer economy, it’s happening in the blink of an eye. And much of that speed is due to mobility data and how we use it.

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