Supply on demand - Executive Summary

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Consumers are looking for cheaper goods and services and more convenient ways of accessing them. As a result, the way we acquire products is changing. New models of personal ownership are gaining attention in many industries, based on the idea that individuals and businesses are increasingly interested in consuming and paying for temporary or limited access to goods and services, rather than purchasing them outright.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of Zuora, surveyed 293 business executives in July-August 2013 on their views about new consumption and delivery models of goods and services. The survey explores what they believe
to be the drivers of change, the benefi ts and risks these new models bring to consumers and businesses, and how companies are adapting to accommodate the trend

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Supply on demand - Executive Summary

  1. 1. 1 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models Introduction Consumers are looking for cheaper goods and services and more convenient ways of accessing them. As a result, the way we acquire products is changing. New models of personal ownership are gaining attention in many industries, based on the idea that individuals and businesses are increasingly interested in consuming and paying for temporary or limited access to goods and services, rather than purchasing them outright. Judging by this Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey, businesses are responding by changing how they price and deliver goods and services, with subscription (in which companies offer ongoing access to a product or service for a periodic fee), shared (which allow groups of people to jointly share ownership of a product or service), and leasing/rental (which give consumers temporary use of a product or service) models among the preferred options. Advances in technology are enabling this trend, both by giving consumers greater insight into where and how they can access products and services, and by allowing businesses to rapidly ramp up new sales models at relatively low costs. Businesses believe that these new models will enable new revenue opportunities, better differentiation from competitors and access to new customer segments, while reduced transaction costs and more convenient use of goods and services are seen as the biggest benefits to consumers. But adapting to these new consumption and delivery trends will not be easy, and they will not impact every product or business in the same way. Financial constraints, technological complexity, shifting regulations and the need for new marketing SPONSORED BY in the UK and 30% in Australia. They hail from 18 sectors, with financial services, professional services, technology, and healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology especially prominent in the sample. The respondents are relatively senior—61% hold C-suite positions— and they work in organisations of different sizes, with 54% earning annual revenue of US$500m or more. The Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of Zuora, surveyed 293 business executives in July-August 2013 on their views about new consumption and delivery models of goods and services. The survey explores what they believe to be the drivers of change, the benefits and risks these new models bring to consumers and businesses, and how companies are adapting to accommodate the trend. Nearly two-fifths of the survey sample (39%) are based in the US, 31% About the survey © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models
  2. 2. 2 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models strategies and extensive change management are a few of the challenges that companies must address to succeed in this transition. We discuss below the major conclusions from the survey. Key findings A majority of businesses are changing the way they price and deliver goods and services. Four-fifths of respondents believe that their customers are changing how they obtain access to goods and services. For individuals, subscriptions and rental options are the most appealing consumption models to emerge from this trend. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say that they increasingly prefer to access goods and services via subscription (such as software licences), while 26% prefer to rent rather than purchase goods, such as equipment and apartments. “Consumers are getting accustomed to pay-as-you-go models and they like that flexibility. They can instantly get all the capabilities without paying up- front for the cap-ex, and they have better control over their spend,” points out Saar Gillai, senior vice-president and general manager at HP, an IT equipment and services provider. Respondents’ personal preferences bleed over into how they do business. Thirty-seven percent say that their business units increasingly prefer to rent goods rather than purchase them, while 35% say that they prefer to access goods via subscription, and 16% prefer to share ownership. As a result, over one-half of companies (51%) are changing, or in the process of changing, how they price and deliver goods and services—that share is highest in Australia (67%), compared with 42% in the US and 48% in the UK. The biggest change is the introduction of subscription options for goods and services (implemented by 40% of companies), followed by the enabling of sharing models (27%). Smaller companies are more likely to embrace subscription options (45%), while larger Chart 1 How is your company primarily changing, or how does it intend to change, the way it prices and delivers goods and services? (% respondents) Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. We are integrating subscription goods and services to our business model We are integrating leasing/rental goods and services to our business model We are integrating shared goods and services to our business model We are integrating exchange (barter) of goods and services to our business model Other (please specify) 14% 2% 17% 40% 27%
  3. 3. 3 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models companies are about as likely to favour subscription models (33%) as they are sharing ones (31%). “Before you start, do the math to be sure you can achieve economic efficiencies and are able to offer value to consumers that is better than the alternative,” says Giles Andrews, CEO and co-founder of Zopa, a UK-based peer-to-peer lending service. The revenue impact is still relatively small, but it is expected to grow rapidly. The financial impact of these new channels is still relatively small. More than one-half (53%) of respondents say that these new pricing and delivery models represent 10% or less of their annual revenue. Only 12% say that they represent more than one-half of revenue. The financial impact is higher in UK and US companies than in Australian companies, with 16% and 14%, respectively, saying that they represent more than one-half of their revenue, against 6% of Australian companies. Companies that are integrating leasing and rental goods and services into their business models are more likely to say that these new models represent a higher share of their revenue. Twenty-six percent of respondents from companies integrating leasing goods and services say that they represent over one-quarter of their revenue, compared with 17% of those integrating shared goods and services and 11% of those integrating subscription services. How, if at all, do you expect the revenue your company gains from new delivery models of goods and services to change over the next two years? (% respondents) Somewhat decrease Chart 2 Don’t know Increase significantly 56%28% Somewhat increase Stay the same 13% 2% 1% Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. The revenue impact from these channels is expected to grow quickly. Fully 84% of respondents anticipate that the share of revenue will change “somewhat” or “significantly” over the next two years. Smaller companies are more likely to anticipate a significant increase (34%), compared with 21% of larger companies. Rather than changing their internal business models, some big companies are buying sharing-economy start-ups to harness the innovation and agility that may be difficult to achieve within their existing business. “As companies are able to prove that their platform is a sustainable business model, it makes sense that they will become attractive for purchase or imitation by already established businesses in the marketplace”, points out Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco.
  4. 4. 4 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models Technology is proving a powerful enabler of new consumption and delivery models. Advances in technology, including cloud computing, are considered top of the list of possible drivers of change in the consumption of goods and services (selected by 37% of respondents). Mr Andrews agrees. “Technology allowed us to scale, and to provide checks and balances at all stages of the transaction”, he says. “The winners are the ones who can figure out how to build a platform that protects customers while adding value in the market.” Economic factors (27%) and demand for greater convenience (25%) round out the top three drivers. Only 2% of respondents selected environmental concerns. Chart 3 Of the following, which would you say is the single most important driver of the changes in the way consumers obtain access to goods and services? (% respondents) Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. Percentages were rounded up and may not add up to 100%. Technology advances (eg cloud computing) Demand for greater convenience Economic factors (eg, cost pressures, demand for greater value for money) Policy or regulatory changes Environmental concerns 2% 5% 25% 37% 27% Other (please specify) 3% Not surprisingly, technology-driven products and services that can be accessed and purchased electronically—including software, news media, consumer electronics, and music and entertainment—are expected to see the biggest shifts in models of consumption and delivery over the next three years. “Building a seamless user experience is the most important factor—and that takes a lot of effort from a design and engineering standpoint,” explains James Beshara, CEO of Crowdtilt, a crowdfunding platform Consumers benefit from cheaper, more convenient products, while businesses generate new revenue streams. Respondents believe that the biggest benefits of these trends to consumers are reduced transaction costs (35%), more convenient use of goods and services (34%) and making it easier to upgrade or downgrade products or services (33%). Reduced waste also ranked highly, at 27%. “Not having capital tied up in assets, having the ability to purchase on a per-user basis or over a period of time, and the ability to outsource the expertise required
  5. 5. 5 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models to maintain these goods and services are the benefits that are driving this trend,” says Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, associate director at Carbon Trust Advisory Services, a consultancy offering expertise on sustainable business strategy and models. “Consumers are inherently lazy and will tend to avoid anything that requires extra effort, so the business model either has to deliver superior and effortless value, or provide such a massive bump in value that it overcomes laziness,” adds Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist. The ability to connect with like-minded peers is selected least often as a benefit for consumers, even though it is often touted as one of the key value propositions of one of these new consumption models: the sharing economy. For businesses, the leading benefit of these new business channels is access to new revenue opportunities (37%), with that number jumping to 47% in Australia. Differentiation from competitors (27%), accessing new customer segments (27%) and increasing customer loyalty (25%) also topped the list. “In our case it was simple—if you couldn’t scale the model then there was no business. So we very deliberately made choices early in the game with a vision of scale,” says Mark Norman, president of Zipcar, a US-based car-sharing service. Chart 4 What are the key business benefits you would associate with implementing new delivery models? (% respondents) Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. Percentages may not add up to 100% as respondents were allowed to select more than one option. Opening up new revenue opportunities Accessing new customer segments Differentiation from competitors Increasing customer loyalty Reducing waste from underused assets 21% 25% 27% 37% 27% Strengthening our brand 19% Accessing new product markets 17% Improving our environmental footprint 8% Other (please specify) 4% Don’t know 2%
  6. 6. 6 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2013 Supply on demand: changing patterns in consumption and delivery models Executives worry that cost, technical complexity and regulation may hamper the implementation of new consumption and delivery models. Internal coordination (33%), technical complexities (30%), and compliance around data privacy and protection (27%) are seen to pose the key risks or difficulties in implementing these new delivery models. Cost is also a primary concern (26%). While organisational issues (for example, lack of internal co-ordination) are a concern for both large and small companies, the former are more worried about compliance issues, while the latter are most concerned about technical and financial issues. Security breaches, slow service, clunky technology and poor financial models, for example, can kill a new business channel before it gets off the ground. Regulatory hurdles can also be a stumbling block for lean start-ups. Because these industry segments are new, the regulations are still evolving, making it difficult to make business decisions. “It’s a case of where the technology and the business model have evolved so quickly, the policy hasn’t had time to catch up,” says Mr Norman. “Entrepreneurs are coming up with new solutions and innovations almost daily, and it’s important for government to be nimble and flexible, so that we can adapt to our residents’ demand for changes in consumption,” adds Mr Lee. The survey results, along with insights from leading business executives and independent experts, will form the basis of an Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper, sponsored by Zuora, to be published in October 2013. While every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. nor the sponsor of this executive summary can accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this executive summary or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in this executive summary.

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