I don’t Trust You - but I do trust your Rating!

April 2015

PricewaterhouseCoopers projections suggest the “sharing economy” is in for a global revenue explosion.

Companies offering services in this space like Uber, Zipcar and Airbnb could be pulling in as much as $335 billion (today about $15 billion) by 2025.

This reflects, according to a market analysis, some fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour. Companies are predicated on trust among strangers at the same time as general trust in society is actually falling.

Only 29 per cent of consumers PwC surveyed said they trust people more today than they did in the past. And 62 per cent said they trust brands less today.

So consumers don’t trust people, yet they allow hundreds of thousands of strangers to rent their bedrooms or drive their cars.

PwC’s answer to this is “If trust in individuals and institutions is waning or at best holding steady, faith in the aggregate is growing.”

In other words, I don’t trust you, Mr Uber driver but I do trust the 4.9-star average rating of all the people who’ve been in your car before.

Confidence in the sharing economy is about trust between one person and the crowd.

Consumer Intelligence Series: The sharing economy