Is collaborative consumption the new online retail?

The rise and rise of the sharing economy continues to impress, as do the business models of companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Airtasker.Always a nostalgic I think back to my experience with DealsDirect which is now over a decade old.

Whilst it true to say there was a thrill watching the growth of pure play retail,  we knew we were involved in heavy infrastructure business.

Enormous warehouses, laden with products.

Containers of wares being unloaded daily into kilometres of pallet racking,  and enormous trucks picking up thousands and thousands of packed parcels in metal cages.

What perhaps initially held the promise of a’ virtual’ business, soon showed me that this was in fact a heavy infrastructure model, with the ever elusive  pursuit of ‘ scale’ a challenge.

These are great businesses and my admiration for local examples like Ozsale, Catch of the Day, GraysOnline and many others, continues.

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But the dynamic and iterative space of collaborative consumption holds the true promise of a virtual asset-lite but robust marketplace delivering the ultimate retail experience.  Taking a surplus to need is not a new concept but our powerful connected technologies today bring this to life.

Nora is holding an eCommerce Expedition on Friday 25th September to the Sydney offices of UBER and Airtasker. Book now, open to NORA members and guests and yes, seats limited. 

About the Author

Paul Greenberg is the CEO of the National Online Retailers Association. He was also the co-founder of DealsDirect Group.

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NORA is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply. 

 

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