Social Commerce

Next Big Trends in Commerce: Distributed Marketplaces & Ownership Revolution?

Coming from the “he-who-dies-with-the-most-toys-wins” school of thought that still works well in Miami, we haven’t had a whole lot to say on Rachel Botsman and her “collaborative consumption” business model (rated by Time Magazine on of “10 Ideas that will Change the World“).

But collaborative consumption is a very social form of commerce, and in a recent interview here in London with startup hot shop Sidekick Studios, Rachel Botsman gave her visionary opinion about what’s next in this social commerce space – and tips on hot innovators to watch

Top Trends

  • Massive power shift to distributed marketplaces (16 out of top 100 bestsellers on the kindle self-published), funding (Kickstarter surpassed US Endowment of the arts last year as the largest backer of creative projects), music (spotify is now the second largest revenue earner for most traditional record labels)
  • Ownership revolution; move from ownership to rental – accessing what we need on demand, in real-time.  Rachel tips getable (rental marketplace), LiquidSpace and Loosecubes (office space rental, not hotdesking, but  – hotofficing (and yes, the is available – as is ;-)) as startups to watch in this space. In the big brand space, BMW’s spin on Zipcar (one-way car rental) makes the grade
  • The rise of the Reputation Economy, the subject of her forthcoming book, and in her view the solution to a) the problem of trust in digital commerce, and b) truth and lies in resumes (“reputation is a currency that will become more powerful than our credit history… it will make the resume seem archaic“).  She sees the rise of identity brokers, offering trust marks and reputation scores as something to watch out for in new world of distributed marketplaces.
    • Connect.Me: Aims to turn your social profile into a personal reputation network, making it easier to find trustworthy people, from accountants to babysitters. (In beta.)
    • Enables users to verify their digital identity against their real-world one by authenticating social profile data against official government data.
    • Legit: Correlates reputation data from a number of P2P marketplaces into a “LegitScore” and a report that summarises user behaviours. (In beta.)
    • TrustCloud: Aggregates public data and correlates it into a “TrustScore” that measures online behaviour. Its aim: to let you own your online trustworthiness.
    • Scaffold: Builds easy-to-use APIs and tools that enable P2P marketplaces to conduct background checks and verify a user’s identity and reputation.
    • Confido: Wants to become the “FICO of social commerce” by providing a portable profile that users can carry across P2P marketplaces. (In beta.)
    • Briiefly: Working on combining indicators from across social networks and offline activities to create a trust profile and score. (In beta.)
    • Reputate: Aims to create a snapshot of a person’s online reputation by aggregating reviews and ratings across P2P marketplaces. (In beta.)

Today’s article is sponsored by Milyoni: The Leader in Social Entertainment


Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

2 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Scott Pine says:

    Rachel Botsman is clearly a thought leader in the ecommerce evolution. Her points on Collaborative Commerce are a prescription for making our global resources last; and with a minimum impact on the environment. Do we all really need two cars, our own lawnmower, ladder, vacation home…? There are great examples of Collaborative Commerce in action today such as Library’s, video sharing, Zipcar…

    All commerce and especially Collaborative Commerce depends on Trust and Reputation. Clearing we need ecommerce methods that help us identify and develop trust with whom we are dealing. Reputation management is one of the critical components, especially as it relates to past activities on the Internet.

    I was struck by your headline related to Distributed Marketplaces. Ubokia has pioneered the ecommerce Want model which probably does more for Collaborative Commerce that any other ecommerce approach. More importantly we have already introduced “Ubokia Everywhere” with hundreds of sites up and running. Ubokia Everywhere ( provides a customizable ecommerce plug-in for any blog, forum, website and Facebook Page. Now anyone can have a marketplace up and running on their platform in a matter of 30 mins. Best of all each community can tailor the categories to their specific interest areas.

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