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Australians and the access economy

Aussies are embracing a new way of sharing.

If your neighbour has a lawn mower and you don’t, do you buy, rent or borrow? According to recent studies, you might be more likely to share than to make your own purchase.

This relates to a lot more than lawnmowers. In fact, Aussies are increasingly snubbing what’s known as ‘milestone purchases’.

Instead, they’re looking for a more flexible approach to common possessions and finding cheaper ways to take care of everyday tasks.

This new trend is partly being driven by better access to fast broadband via the nbn™ network. Being able to research, book and pay for things online so easily is evolving the way our nation views ownership.

Nowadays, Australians are looking to access big-ticket items without paying to own them.

Research from the Telsyte Digital Consumer Study 2017 shows that over six million of us have already tapped into what’s being called the ‘Access Economy’, which has seen the rise of services such as Uber, GoGet and Airbnb to share rides, cars and accommodation.

Is sharing the new owning? 

The Telsyte study found that two million Australians are turning to ride sharing applications to get from one location to the next. These services, such as Uber and GoGet, have increased by an incredible 82 per cent in the last 12 months. More than half of these people are tapping in to these services at least once a month.

More than three million Australians have also embraced accommodation rental websites such as Airbnb and TripAdvisor.

This global phenomenon is allowing more householders to rent out their spare room, granny flat or even their whole house to anyone who is interested in paying for it on a short term basis.

Even when deciding what to wear, Australians are swapping, sharing and hiring. Luxury handbag and dress rental sites are popular, as are apps that allow fashion lovers to sell and trade pre-worn items.

Outsourcing meals is another area where we are happy for other people to do the job.

Food delivery has grown 40 per cent in the last year with more than three million Australians turning to services such as Menulog and Deliveroo to find the best restaurant cuisines delivered to their homes.  

Widespread popularity 

The revived move towards sharing is not just popular with one specific age group. Telsyte’s data shows that 35 - 44 year olds are the most keen when it comes to sharing accommodation, however not by much. Everyone from age 16 to 65 and beyond is also getting in on the trend.

When it comes to ridesharing, the younger generations have been the fastest to jump on this new wave, perhaps because they are more likely to be out late and in need of a lift home. The most popular demographic for ride sharers is age 16 - 24.

It might not surprise you that pizza is top of the list for food delivery, with almost equal popularity between people aged 16 and 44.

There are more and more services to choose from, with services like EatNow and Foodora joining the playing field.

Why buy when you can share? Why pay more when you can have the same thing for less?

The sharing economy isn’t new; it’s the resources we are tapping into to do it that are making it easier and more popular than ever.  

Interested in learning more about the Access Economy? See what Consumer Psychologist Adam Ferrier has to say.

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