The popularity of peer to peer marketplaces are on the rise, contrary to what society is telling us about dangers being around every corner. People are more willing to let strangers stay in their homes and grab a ride with someone they have never met, so what is actually happening to our trust? People are more willing to trust the individual rather than the system or institution set up. How is this affecting how we experience travel?
Peer to peer marketplaces are not a new trend, people have been trading resources since the beginning of time. People are comfortable buying and selling from their neighbours and individuals. We have been taught to fear your neighbour and expect a scam around every corner. In fact one is not better than the other but they are different ways of consuming and making a transaction.
Big brands as well as smaller disruptive companies are using this model now more then ever. Consumers are ready for a change and demanding transparency, trust and authenticity at every transaction. For example most recently EasyJet the airline started their latest venture called EasyCar Club. EasyCar Club actually lets you rent’ someone’s car. This takes trust on both sides of the equation for people. What is the benefit to a peer to peer car rental than a big business car rental? Expert in her field, Rachel Botsmon defines peer to peer buying and selling as decentralised, flowing and personal. When you take the top-down big business out of the equation things becomes more personal and flowing. People trust the individual car owner and house owner more because their character is on the line.
Most recently Facebook has announced their marketplace which reiterates the mass main stream appeal of the peer to peer marketplace. When the worlds leading online social platform chooses to add a feature for peer to peer buying and selling you know that this is something that is shaping culture. Big businesses such as Facebook are choosing to go the route of the consumer who is dictating that in this moment of time they are more than willing to buy and sell something to their neighbour than head out to big box store.
Websites like Craigslist and Gumtree have been around for decades and work effectively enough but do you really know who jellyfishmonster123 is when you meet them to buy your item. Without seeing a profile photos or being able to be accountable in a centralised system there is a level of uncertainty inherent in these platforms. In the newer peer to peer marketplaces your reputation is at stake in every transaction. You give your real name, have a real photo, give all of your information.
This is good news for consumers, who are dictating what kind of world they want to live in. they want to live in a world where trust comes easily to their neighbour. Where you can feel community and be a part of something. That is what peer to peer marketplaces are at their core, and that is something we are happy to be at the forefront of.
By Simon Powell, Founder @transfertravel.com
Original Article on LinkedIn: Here
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