Principle: The usage sharing system is based on a customer owning or subscribing to a specific part of the product or service. It is a peer-to-peer system based on the sharing or exchange between individuals of goods, services or knowledge. It generally operates through a digital platform that links the offer to the customers.
Advantages & Challenges: For users only pay for the service when they need it. In addition, the product is in open use and shared by many users, which avoids maintenance costs for them. They have access to quality service at a much lower price than they would have paid if they had to buy the product to enjoy it. For a company, there is a significant social and environmental benefit since the principle of sharing leads to less production. Moreover, it provides a high degree of customer loyalty. However, in times of high demand, the product may no longer be available to the customer and the company may not be able to react immediately. It can be difficult for a company to keep their products in good condition.
Evolution & maturity (key figures): The rise of this model has essentially been possible thanks to the digital revolution we are currently experiencing. Sharing a bike, a car, or even a kitchen is only possible because there is a community that can be informed immediately and at any time. Bla-Bla-Car: the mobile application offers travellers the possibility to share their car with other people who want to go to the same place. In 2019, the company had 70 million users.
Products & Services: Products adapted to the usage sharing system are goods that are rather expensive, require maintenance, are durable in time, and used often by individuals. For services, the idea stays the same. Platforms that use a usage sharing system as a business model offer essentially something that individuals cannot have on their own, or at a much higher cost. BlaBlaCar enables users to travel by car to their end destination without buying a car or paying for parking. By sharing a car with others, they reduce the cost of transport.
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