COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION: WILL CAR SHARING REPLACE CAR OWNERSHIP?

Did you know that an average car in North America and Western Europe is in use only 8% of the time (Gansky 2011)? That means that more than 90% of the time the existing resources of these cars are wasted while other people don´t have the economic power to purchase an own car. A solution for this problem of missing reallocation of resources is collaborative consumption in form of car sharing. For more than one decade the concept of car sharing has gained huge popularity and owes its convenience to the internet and web 2.0 (Belk 2014). This and other contemporary phenomena have changed the consumer and their consumption behavior: The number of car sharing members worldwide is increasing while simultaneously car ownership among young people is decreasing and losing its popularity (Bardhi & Eckhardt 2012; Gansky 2011). 

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How has Web 2.0 changed consumers, and how has the fashion retailer, ASOS, met these changes?

It’s no secret that the way the Internet is used has changed a lot in recent years.

The rise of ‘Web 2.0’ as it is known – the infrastructure that has allowed the current social experience of social media and consumer creation – has created a situation where consumers expect a richer context (Berthon, 2012). Instead of simply expecting content to be fed to them, consumers wish to interact, to collaborate and to interject – and brands should be open to this (Berthon, 2012). Web 2.0 means participation and action – there is nothing passive here.

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