Sharing economy in Switzerland: Deloitte study points out big difference between German and French speaking regions
Zurich, 3 June 2015
Swiss consumers see less need for further regulation than respondents in the USA
According to the new study of Deloitte in Switzerland more than half (55%) of Swiss consumers will participate in the booming worldwide sharing economy in the next 12 months. This is ten percentage points more than in the USA. But the language barrier shows: only 32% of the survey participants in the German-speaking region favour the sharing economy, compared to 65% in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. If Swiss companies act quickly to employ the right investment strategies, they can join in the success of the sharing economy – like for example Migros (Sharoo), Swisscom (Mila) or SBB (Mobility) already have. Firms not participating in this new business approach may be at risk of losing market share, especially in the hotel and taxi industry.
The “sharing economy” is currently the talk of the town, thanks largely to the international success of companies such as Airbnb and Uber. Worldwide investments in sharing economy start-ups are increasing each year. So far more than $US 12 billion1 has been invested (pre IPO-funding) – more than twice that for social networking start-ups such as Facebook and Twitter2.
The survey of representative samples of more than 1’400 individuals in Switzerland and the USA, conducted by Deloitte in Switzerland in cooperation with the data collection provider Research Now, shows that the sharing economy has gained a foothold in Switzerland: Almost one in five respondents (18%) have rented property or goods and services using an online platform. In the next 12 months, 55% of respondents said they expected to make a transaction using the sharing economy. This appears to confirm what international forecasts predict, that the growth potential of the sharing economy is large – internationally and in Switzerland. The percentage of potential Swiss users is even higher than in the USA, where 45% expect to make a transaction using the sharing economy in the next 12 months.
However the Deloitte study points out a big difference between the German and French speaking regions: only 32% of the survey participants in the German-speaking region favour the sharing economy, compared to 65% in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Michael Grampp, Head of Research for Deloitte in Switzerland, comments the significant differences between Switzerland’s language regions: “One possible explanation might be the good reputation of sharing economy companies in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, as the success of the online petition recently launched by Uber in Geneva shows. The online petition calling for the liberalization of Geneva’s taxi market has collected more than 15’000 signatures within only a few weeks3.”
1Source: Owyang, Jeremiah (2015) and CrunchBase (2015)
2To make data comparable we focus on 100% pre-initial public offering funding
Less support for more regulation than in the USA
As in many other countries, the rise of the sharing economy is putting pressure on established companies, most notably in the hotel and transport industries. This may be one of the reasons why the calls for more regulation in the sharing economy are getting louder. Concerns of politicians and the general public about safety and hygiene standards may also play a role. However the survey shows that in Switzerland a large number of respondents is against new regulation: 36% think that more regulation is unnecessary while 21% are in favour of greater regulation. The Swiss are more doubtful about the need for further regulation than respondents in the USA, where 28% are against more regulation and 25% in favour.
Source: Deloitte study „Sharing Economy: Share and make money. How does Switzerland compare?”
Large companies may participate in the success
The significant revenue growth of well-known sharing economy start-ups, the huge increase in investments in these companies, and the greater willingness of consumers to participate are evidence of how promising this model is and how much successful it may become.
Howard da Silva, Consumer Business Industry leader for Deloitte in Switzerland, says: “There is a significant opportunity for established companies to participate in this success, if they employ the right investment strategy. All companies need to carefully consider how the sharing economy model could be applied to their products and services, and develop their own strategies to take advantage of this new business model, or to prevent losing business as a result of it.”
About the study “Sharing Economy: Share and make money. How does Switzerland compare?”
The study presents an assessment of the sharing economy in Switzerland. It also describes the opportunities for well-established companies to benefit from its growth. Interviews were conducted between March and May 2015 with experts in the following companies and associations: Airbnb, LAUX LAWYERS, Migros (m-way), Mobiliar, Parku, SBB, Sharecon, Sharoo, Swisscom and Swiss Hotel Association. In cooperation with the data collection provider Research Now, Deloitte also conducted a survey of representative samples of more than 1400 individuals in Switzerland and in the USA.
About Deloitte in Switzerland
Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory. With approximately 1,300 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 210,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.
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