January 11, 2018 |

How Can Larger Sharing Economy Platforms Re-establish Trust Among Their Users’ Community?

It’s safe to say that the sharing economy thrived in 2017. In the last year, we have moved toward a new model of decentralization. Think about it, Uber is the world’s largest taxi service but owns no vehicles. Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider, yet owns no real estate. These large sharing economy platforms have quickly become the biggest economic powerhouses in the matter of a year. These major companies all depend on one common thing – trust.

Let’s talk about hitchhiking for example. The act of hitchhiking solely depends on trust. Although commonly looked upon as dangerous and old-fashioned, hitchhiking has now made a comeback in the digital age. BlaBlaCar is a long-distance ridesharing platform that connects drivers and passengers willing to share the cost of the trip.

BlaBlaCar conducted a survey of 18,289 of their members across 11 countries in Europe and found that 88% of respondents highly trusted a member with a full digital profile. This percentage was higher than people’s trust in colleagues or neighbors.

So, why are people trusting strangers over people they actually know?

Platforms have come up with ways for users to feel comfortable with doing business with strangers. Here are a few ways to create trust among your users:

With this new model of decentralization where platforms are fueled on users doing business with one another, the survival of the platform depends on their ability to ensure trust.