Study: Consumers Undecided About the Sharing Economy

Fair competition and safety of personal data named as top concerns

Sep 30, 2015, 10:00 ET from Radius Global Market Research

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers are divided in their opinions of companies that make up the sharing economy in the U.S., according to a recent nationwide survey of U.S. consumers by Radius Global Market Research (Radius GMR), a leading global market research firm.

Consumer opinion is evenly split on whether companies in the sharing economy compete fairly with more traditional businesses, such as taxicabs or hotels, as roughly equal numbers of consumers either agree (47%) or disagree (53%) with that statement. 

Consumers are also more likely to agree that sharing economy companies should be regulated more closely (77%) and that these companies don't do enough to safeguard private information (81%).

But consumers also have positive opinions of the current and future roles of these companies in the U.S. economy. Consumers more often agree that these companies provide income sources that are not otherwise available (88%), that they make it easier for consumers to get the products and services they want (91%), and that they are important to the future success of the economy (78%).

Use of sharing economy companies is yet to move beyond early adopters.
Radius GMR's study shows that participation in the sharing economy is relatively minimal. Fewer than one-in-five consumers have used Uber in the past twelve months. And even fewer consumers reported using services provided by Airbnb (7%), TaskRabbit (4%), HomeAway (6%), or GetAround (3%) in that time period.

"Light consumer participation in the sharing economy might be due to the relatively low familiarity with the category and the companies that comprise it," says Jamie Myers, Radius GMR's Global Director of Client Services. "Nearly two-thirds of consumers are either unfamiliar or only slightly familiar with the term sharing economy while fewer than ten percent of consumers report high familiarity with it."

Radius GMR's online survey of U.S. consumers was conducted in September 2015.

About Radius Global Market Research
Radius Global Market Research ( is one of the largest independent market research companies. For more than 50 years, the firm has partnered with global marketers to develop insights-based strategies that drive brand performance. Radius GMR is based in New York. Global operations include London-based Radius Europe, Radius MEA in Dubai, and Radius Asia in Beijing.


SOURCE Radius Global Market Research