Check out our FREE Resources page – Download complimentary business frameworks, PowerPoint templates, whitepapers, and more.







Flevy Management Insights Q&A
How does the emergence of the sharing economy impact competitive rivalry and the threat of new entrants?


This article provides a detailed response to: How does the emergence of the sharing economy impact competitive rivalry and the threat of new entrants? For a comprehensive understanding of Porter's 5 Forces, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to Porter's 5 Forces best practice resources.

TLDR The sharing economy disrupts traditional industries by lowering entry barriers, changing consumer preferences, and increasing competition, necessitating Strategic Planning, Innovation, and Risk Management for businesses to stay competitive.

Reading time: 4 minutes


The emergence of the sharing economy has significantly altered the landscape of competitive rivalry and the threat of new entrants across various industries. This economic model, characterized by peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services, facilitated by community-based online platforms, has disrupted traditional business models by lowering barriers to entry, changing consumer preferences, and intensifying competition.

Impact on Competitive Rivalry

The sharing economy has introduced a new dimension to competitive rivalry by expanding the competitive field beyond traditional players to include individuals and smaller entities. This shift has forced established organizations to rethink their strategies, focusing more on customer experience, flexibility, and innovation. For example, the hospitality industry has seen increased competition from platforms like Airbnb, which, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, has led to traditional hotels enhancing their services and adopting digital transformation initiatives to remain competitive. This scenario underscores the need for organizations to adapt to a rapidly changing environment where competitive advantages can be quickly eroded by new, more agile players.

Furthermore, the sharing economy promotes a more dynamic competitive environment by leveraging technology to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Organizations are now compelled to invest in digital platforms, data analytics, and customer engagement tools to stay relevant. The rise of ride-sharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft is a testament to how technology can be used to disrupt traditional taxi services, highlighting the importance of innovation in maintaining competitive edge.

Additionally, the sharing economy has led to the blurring of industry boundaries, making it easier for organizations to enter new markets. This convergence necessitates a Strategic Planning approach that is more adaptive and responsive to changes in the competitive landscape. Organizations must continuously monitor the market for emerging trends and be prepared to pivot their strategies to capitalize on new opportunities or mitigate threats.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Customer Experience Strategic Planning Competitive Advantage Agile Data Analytics Competitive Landscape

Are you familiar with Flevy? We are you shortcut to immediate value.
Flevy provides business best practices—the same as those produced by top-tier consulting firms and used by Fortune 100 companies. Our best practice business frameworks, financial models, and templates are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience.

Trusted by over 10,000+ Client Organizations
Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, from startups and small businesses to the Fortune 100, in over 130 countries.
AT&T GE Cisco Intel IBM Coke Dell Toyota HP Nike Samsung Microsoft Astrazeneca JP Morgan KPMG Walgreens Walmart 3M Kaiser Oracle SAP Google E&Y Volvo Bosch Merck Fedex Shell Amgen Eli Lilly Roche AIG Abbott Amazon PwC T-Mobile Broadcom Bayer Pearson Titleist ConEd Pfizer NTT Data Schwab

Impact on the Threat of New Entrants

The sharing economy significantly lowers the barriers to entry for new entrants, democratizing access to markets that were previously dominated by large corporations with significant resources. Through sharing economy platforms, individuals and small businesses can access a global customer base without the need for substantial capital investment in assets or infrastructure. For instance, small artisans and producers can now compete with large retail chains by selling their products on platforms like Etsy, as highlighted in a study by Accenture. This ease of entry intensifies competition and challenges existing organizations to innovate and differentiate themselves to retain market share.

Moreover, the regulatory environment surrounding the sharing economy is still evolving, which presents both opportunities and challenges for new entrants. While some regions may offer a favorable regulatory framework that encourages the growth of sharing economy platforms, others may impose restrictions that could hinder their expansion. Organizations looking to enter markets dominated by sharing economy models must navigate these regulatory landscapes carefully, as noted in a report by PwC. This dynamic underscores the importance of Risk Management and strategic agility in the sharing economy.

The sharing economy also shifts the focus from ownership to access, changing consumer expectations and behaviors. New entrants that can offer unique, convenient, and cost-effective solutions are likely to gain traction quickly. This consumer-centric approach requires organizations to be more attuned to the needs and preferences of their target market, employing a Performance Management system that emphasizes customer satisfaction and engagement. The success of platforms like TaskRabbit, which connects consumers with freelancers for everyday tasks, illustrates the potential for new entrants to disrupt traditional service industries by prioritizing customer convenience and flexibility.

Learn more about Performance Management Risk Management Customer Satisfaction Small Business

Real World Examples

Airbnb's impact on the hospitality industry serves as a prime example of how the sharing economy can disrupt established markets. By offering a unique and personalized lodging experience, Airbnb has not only expanded the accommodation market but also forced traditional hotels to innovate and diversify their offerings. This includes the development of loyalty programs, the introduction of boutique-style rooms, and the adoption of sustainable practices to attract environmentally conscious travelers.

Uber and Lyft's disruption of the taxi industry highlights the role of technology in facilitating the sharing economy. By leveraging smartphone technology and data analytics, these platforms have improved service convenience, transparency, and efficiency, setting new standards for customer experience in personal transportation. The competitive pressure from ride-sharing platforms has prompted traditional taxi companies to adopt similar technologies and explore new business models, such as partnerships with ride-sharing services.

In conclusion, the emergence of the sharing economy has significantly impacted competitive rivalry and the threat of new entrants by lowering barriers to entry, fostering innovation, and changing consumer preferences. Organizations must adopt a strategic approach that emphasizes flexibility, customer engagement, and innovation to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by this dynamic economic model.

Learn more about Disruption

Best Practices in Porter's 5 Forces

Here are best practices relevant to Porter's 5 Forces from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our Porter's 5 Forces materials here.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Explore all of our best practices in: Porter's 5 Forces

Porter's 5 Forces Case Studies

For a practical understanding of Porter's 5 Forces, take a look at these case studies.

Porter's Five Forces Implementation for a Generic FMCG Company

Scenario: A fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company is struggling from numerous inefficiencies derived from neglecting Porter's Five Forces.

Read Full Case Study

Porter's 5 Forces Analysis for Education Technology Firm

Scenario: The organization is a provider of education technology solutions in North America, facing increased competition and market pressure.

Read Full Case Study

Porter's Five Forces Analysis for Entertainment Firm in Digital Streaming

Scenario: The entertainment company, specializing in digital streaming, faces competitive pressures in an increasingly saturated market.

Read Full Case Study

Porter's Five Forces Analysis for Electronics Firm in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: The organization operates within the highly dynamic and saturated electronics sector.

Read Full Case Study

Aerospace Market Entry Analysis for Diversified Manufacturing Firm

Scenario: The organization is a diversified manufacturer looking to enter the aerospace industry, facing challenges in understanding competitive dynamics.

Read Full Case Study

Porter's Five Forces Analysis for Agritech Firm in Competitive Landscape

Scenario: An established agritech company is facing increased competition and market saturation, resulting in pressure on profit margins.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

How is the increasing emphasis on sustainability affecting the competitive dynamics outlined in Porter's Five Forces model?
The emphasis on sustainability is transforming all aspects of Porter's Five Forces, driving strategic adaptation, and innovation for competitive advantage across industries. [Read full explanation]
How can companies leverage Porter's Five Forces Analysis to enhance their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
Companies can use Porter's Five Forces Analysis to identify strategic opportunities for enhancing sustainability and CSR, leading to competitive advantage, customer loyalty, and operational efficiency. [Read full explanation]
What are the limitations of Porter's Five Forces Analysis in predicting disruptive innovations within an industry?
Porter's Five Forces Analysis struggles to predict disruptive innovations due to its focus on existing market structures, limited consideration of technological and market innovations, and oversight of non-traditional competitors and consumer behavior changes. [Read full explanation]
How can Porter's Five Forces model be adapted for digital marketplaces where traditional barriers to entry and competitive dynamics differ?
Adapting Porter's Five Forces for digital marketplaces involves reinterpreting Competitive Rivalry, Threat of New Entrants, Bargaining Power of Suppliers and Buyers, and Threat of Substitute Products to reflect lower entry barriers, rapid innovation, global competition, data's strategic role, and the significance of network effects and regulatory challenges. [Read full explanation]
What implications does the increasing importance of data privacy regulations have on the bargaining power of buyers within Porter's Five Forces framework?
Data privacy regulations enhance the bargaining power of buyers, compelling companies to invest in privacy measures, affecting customer trust, competitive advantage, and market position. [Read full explanation]
How does the globalization of supply chains affect the application of the Supplier Power force within Porter's Five Forces model?
Globalization has nuanced Supplier Power in Porter's Five Forces model by increasing supplier diversity, impacting bargaining dynamics through technological advancements, and introducing complexities from regulatory and geopolitical factors, necessitating advanced Strategic Planning and Risk Management. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: Porter's 5 Forces Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024


Flevy is the world's largest knowledge base of best practices.


Leverage the Experience of Experts.

Find documents of the same caliber as those used by top-tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture.

Download Immediately and Use.

Our PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, and Word documents are completely customizable, including rebrandable.

Save Time, Effort, and Money.

Save yourself and your employees countless hours. Use that time to work on more value-added and fulfilling activities.




Read Customer Testimonials



Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.