Are Multicultural Consumers Buying Into The Sharing Economy?

July 7, 2016 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

Back in March, we started a conversation about the sharing economy. Industry disruptors like Uber and Airbnb have used technology and a non-traditional business model to redefine how consumers purchase goods and services.

The heartbeat of the sharing economy is the consumers themselves, now empowered by a model that allows them to rent services from one another. And while the regulatory uncertainties persist for brands like Uber and Airbnb, “collaborative consumption,” is still booming and shows no sign of slowing down.

As these companies continue to forge new roads for the average consumer, we wanted to better understand what degree of this growing movement impacts multicultural consumers, hopefully shedding light on growth opportunities for these peer to peer brands.

We took a representative sample of U.S. Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, and non-Hispanic whites, and asked several questions regarding the sharing economy, its major players, and its use among these cohorts.

A few quick insights: Uber has two Spanish options, one for Spain and one for Latin America. Key terminology such as coche replaces auto in the LatAm version, for example. Airbnb, on the other hand, has only one Spanish option (Spain), which shows a clear disconnect between Spanish speakers from LatAm that comprise the majority of U.S. Hispanics. While this is a relatively minor error on Airbnb’s end, it does highlight Uber’s better understanding of the multicultural market, reflecting its high awareness across all cohorts.

Get more in this month’s Sharing Economy market research report.

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