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Big Data and the Sharing Economy

Big Data has transformed how brands connect with their consumers in every stage of the buying cycle.

At WeGoLook, we leverage mobile technology to empower consumers and enterprises to utilize the power of on-demand workers.

As such, we have found that customers have grown accustomed to sharing their personal information with businesses online, both directly and indirectly.


Big Data's Effect on Businesses

Companies have more power than ever before to gather valuable data on their customers’ buying habits, demographics, hobbies, and interests. Not only that, but leading companies are using this information to create tailored services that appeal to these specific target audiences.

Once these brands began collecting consumer information, many of them discovered a plethora of unfulfilled niche markets.

Data gathered from vastly different industries still pointed to a common underlying factor that wasn’t being addressed – the underutilization of resources.

What do a designer handbag, a car, and a condo have in common? They are all desirable items that serve a purpose, but the average person won’t necessarily use any of them for 365 days out of the year.


Big Data's Impact on Ownership

Recent data indicates that, for many consumers, owning things meant purchasing items that would collect dust more often than not.

Interestingly, consumers seem to have noticed these trends themselves, as minimalism has become in vogue.

Did you know that the average American home contains about 300,000 things?

This is changing however, and it's starting with the younger generations. According to a Harris Poll, 78 percent of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience than a material item to own.

While owning property (and lots of it) was once a sign of wealth and prosperity for previous generations, Millennials dismissed this mentality and instead envision a life of simplicity.

Part of this shift in thinking is indeed aligned with the fact that most Millennials enter the workforce with student loan debt and have unique financial priorities as a result.

Further, fresh in the minds of most Millennials is the 2008 recession, as well as the lavish consumption-heavy lifestyles of their Baby Boomer parents.


Big Data and the Rise of the Sharing Economy

With so many different undercurrents shaping consumer buying decisions, it has become more important than ever to analyze and address these behaviors.

When companies began implementing logical solutions in response to these trends, the sharing economy emerged.

Uber pioneered the sharing economy with an innovative mobile app platform to connect drivers with people seeking rides. For the first time, users had the power to select an on-demand service using shared resources.

Airbnb, WeGoLook, and Rent the Runway are all prime examples of companies that cater to a specific niche in the sharing economy. Whether you want to book a vacation, hire an on-demand worker, or rent a designer dress, you can complete the transaction within seconds on your mobile phone.

The defining feature of this sharing economy trend involves big data. The mass collection of unique user data points allows for customized and location-specific services.

All gig economy platforms rely on mass user data to determine where to expand, and who to target with tailored services.

WeGoLook uses big data to keep track of the Looker’s location and dispatches them based on vicinity of the client’s need. Our database of Lookers and Look information (photos, videos, notes, etc.) and transferring that data to customers all adds up big when big data is concerned.

While Millennials may be the earliest adopters of the sharing economy, they certainly aren’t the only generation to embrace it.

According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans have used a shared or on-demand online service. We can only expect more people to join the sharing economy in the coming years, as mobile app technology becomes more sophisticated.

Big Data certainly gave rise to the staggering number of sharing economy services that are available to users today, but it didn’t stop there.

As more people download these apps and disclose their information, companies are gaining more valuable insight on how to improve their services and user experience.

The sharing economy relies not only on shared possessions, but also on shared information. As a result, big data is only getting bigger.