Today, the sharing economy represents numerous and varied services and business models, which have branched from a core group of offerings. Ride-sharing services that utilize independent drivers -- such as Uber and Lyft -- are seeing significant returns from their ongoing market development strategies.
These shared transport online platforms, who typically take 20 percent of driver earnings, will see their revenues grow from an estimated $3.3 billion in 2015 to reach $6.5 billion by 2020, according to the latest global market study by Juniper Research.
Their worldwide study found that a combination of promotional incentives, flexible working hours, and new business models will potentially attract more new freelance drivers to these companies.
Service Expansion to Drive Future Growth
While Uber has struggled to gain a significant foothold in China -- apparently due to the dominance of Taxi hailing service Didi Kuaidi -- Uber is not without the determination and the means to force its way into previously untapped markets.
"Uber has reportedly spent $1 billion per year on expansion in China alone. In addition, it has recently set its sights on disrupting the huge motorbike taxi industries of India and Thailand, displaying a willingness and drive to aggressively obtain market share," said Lauren Foye, analyst at Juniper Research.
The announcement in February that Uber is to launch its "UberMOTO" service in India, opens it to an enormous potential new market -- the city of Bangalore alone has 3.5 million registered motorbikes, and India already allows motorbike taxi bookings through applications in two states.
Expanding the Sharing Economy to Manufacturing
Additionally, the research found that the Sharing Economy is set to branch into more global markets and vertical industries, with the most notable instance being the impact on Manufacturing.
Shared services launched within this low-cost oriented industry will aid in drawing manufacturing back to western economies -- which have typically outsourced most forms of manufacturing operations to the Far East and the Asia-Pacific region.
Shared Manufacturing, through the concept of collaborative innovation, alongside technologically advanced workshops such as TechShop, has the potential to reduce production times for prototypes and concepts.
According to the Juniper assessment, this transition could aid in the process of scaling-up of production projects designed by young start-up businesses within North America and Europe.