Trust and the Sharing Economy

Written by Jen McKeeman

19 June 2023

‘The sharing economy is growing up and people expect more. It’s an ecosystem, a community, a place you to go to connect with like-minded people.’ 

Elle Tucker, Marketplace Advisor, Sharing & Gig Economy Consultant and Author, talks with Chris and Catherine about how the sharing economy has evolved over time and the importance of digital trust and safety for successful growth of sharing economy platforms. She highlights the need for educating consumers around the brand experience for sharing economy platforms and peer-to-peer transactions since it’s often a new way of doing things. Elle also shares experiences from her recent book, ‘Thanks for Sharing’, about how she and her family have been embracing the sharing economy.

Key Insights

  • The importance of digital trust and safety from the outset before you scale
  • The need to build trust into the entire transaction for peer-to-peer platforms
  • Whether you trust technology to make decisions
  • How furniture sharing is an area with huge potential and sustainable benefits

If you would like to hear more from Elle about the sharing economy, why not have a listen at:

Spotify -
iTunes - for the full interview.

The following is an excerpt from the episode featuring conversation between Elle and Chris.

Chris: I was thinking about digital trust & safety becoming a big thing and to me it seems like it’s been overnight… but it seems to be that it’s emerging and becoming more important to all types of companies and all types of brands. Is it that, is it really that it has become more important or is it just that it was there all the time but our visibility of it looking at it from both sides - as consumers and people involved in the industry - is it a visibility thing or has it become more important?

Elle: I think fraudsters have gotten more clever and the technology has allowed them to be more clever. It’s like the film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ - it’s all about cheques and doing things manually. Whereas, what the digital technology allows people to do is do bad things at scale and more cleverly. But I also think the other side of it is that people are more mistrustful these days and no wonder! It’s almost like we’ve been kind of fooled too many times. There were brands that tricked us. Do you remember when it was revealed that Perrier wasn’t actually collecting the water from springs in the Alps and people were like how could you dupe us like that?! People just tell lies don’t they?

And then you’ve obviously got deepfakes and stuff and conspiracy theories and AI writing your copy for you and everything. It starts to feel like what can we believe anymore and I just think as a society we’ve become more mistrustful and I do think brands have got to work harder to win people over because people are more doubtful about what’s real.