How On Demand Platforms Propel Growth Through The Sharing Economy

Over the past few years, technological innovation and the evolution of consumer behaviour has created a huge shift in the economic landscape, resulting in the emergence of on-demand platforms. According to Business Insider, the on-demand economy is defined as any economic activity that “fulfils consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services,”[1] or in other words, platforms like Just Eat, Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart. These on-demand services are part of the sharing economy, an economic model that is defined by peer-to-peer activity in the form of sharing, providing, and selling access to goods and services through a community-based network. Although the sharing economy is not entirely new as some of the earliest forms of human transactions were done through the bartering of services and goods, it has been digitally revolutionized, creating substantial changes to our economic, environmental, and social markets. Some areas that have been massively impacted include business & individual productivity, entrepreneurship, vendor security, better urbanization, and individual life expectancy.

[1] Jaconi, Mike. “The ‘On-Demand Economy’ Is Revolutionizing Consumer Behavior — Here’s How.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 13 July 2014, www.businessinsider.com/the-on-demand-economy-2014-7.

How Small and Large Business Productivity Is Positively Impacted

When we take a look at small and large businesses, we see that many are choosing to utilize the sharing economy in some shape or form. Small shops that cannot afford a large investment into hiring on full-time employees for jobs that are only required every once in awhile, can now afford to have these jobs fulfilled when they do pop up. Jobs that involve having the plumbing fixed, having the vehicle fleet washed, or having the uniforms dry cleaned, do not require a long-term contract when an individual is hired through the sharing economy. This means that small businesses can enjoy more capital in their pocket and increase their productivity levels elsewhere.

For individuals, like you and me, our productivity levels are also positively impacted. On-demand platforms like Uber and Airbnb allow us to reach our travel destinations in an effective and sometimes more affordable manner. We spend less time worrying about the transit line that is delayed due to inclement weather because we can just call an Uber to take us instead. It also allows us to travel to new places quickly, efficiently, and without the time restraints that typical transportation incurs. Now we are able to hop into an Uber, reach our beautiful Airbnb, and transport our work all within a single day without the need for a week-long booking itinerary. It’s literally, tap and go and this allows us to have more time for the items that require our attention.

How Do On-Demand Platforms Foster Entrepreneurship?

With the sharing economy comes the gig economy, a work environment that is defined by temporary positions, independent workers and short-term contracts. Individuals are no longer required to have a full-time position working at a company or organization that does not fulfill their dreams, as the gig economy allows individuals to pursue entrepreneurship avenues. Whether this is setting up their own on-demand office space, choosing to work as an Uber driver, or providing online goods and services as their day job while they pursue their dreams in the offline world. Now people can spend more time going after what they truly want and less time tied down in a space they do not see a future in.

How The Sharing Economy Impacts Urbanization, Healthcare & Security.

The sharing economy has economically and physically impacted the city landscape in a positive fashion through better access to accommodations and transportation. For cities that lack transportation into and out of the city to the rural areas, ride-share programs are opening up new neighbourhoods of development and helping poorer individuals live better. On-demand platforms now allow individuals to concentrate away from the inner city and instead settle out in the outskirts, bringing about new options for long-term city planning and urbanization.

With better urbanization and access to on-demand services, more individuals are able to get the healthcare they need during emergencies. With on-demand accommodations, doctors and nurses, individuals can pick and choose which services they need at a more affordable rate due to how the sharing economy works. Beyond this, because individuals can use on-demand services themselves to increase income generation (through entrepreneurship), they can find relief from economic burdens such as food, healthcare, and housing costs; all of which increase life expectancy.

Finally, with the sharing economy being a tight-knit community-based network, individuals feel more secure with booking Airbnb’s, ordering food from Doordash, or even choosing to use vendors like UrbanPro for finding tutors, trainers, and school institutes near them. This is because the economy requires there to be an authoritative system in place that ensures that the distribution of sharing-based services goes smoothly. This can be anything from keyless smart door locks in Airbnbs to encrypting booking information, to only dealing with those who have a digital footprint.

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