Many peer-to-peer sharing platforms are transforming their business model from sharing for free to renting with or without in-person interactions. How will these changes affect consumers’ participation in peer-to-peer sharing of personal items? The work studies consumers’ choice among three business models that vary on two dimensions: “free versus renting” and “with or without in-person interactions.” The novelty is to consider that consumers’ choice can be driven by their perceptions of relationships among peers, which are shaped by the business models of sharing platforms. Perceptions of communal sharing (CS) relationships among peers are found to differ across business models and to predict consumers’ choice among the platforms above and beyond the economic and social benefits that consumers seek. Interestingly, perceptions of CS are not only found to explain the choice of a sharing for the free business model over the two others, but also the choice of renting with in-person interactions over renting without in-person interactions. For managers of peer-to-peer sharing platforms, this means that renting does not make sharing completely similar to traditional market exchanges as long as in-person interactions are involved. For scholars, this calls for more work on the factors that bring about perceptions of CS.

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Psychology & Marketing
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Stofberg, N. (Nicole), & Bridoux, F. (2019). Consumers' choice among peer-to-peer sharing platforms: The other side of the coin. Psychology & Marketing. doi:10.1002/mar.21265