PHOTO: Certify unveils the modern business traveler and their habits. (photo via Flickr/Hernan Pinera)
If anything has typified 2017 for the popular brand it’s that things can always go badly, no matter how big you get.
Certify released the results of its Q1 2017 SpendSmart report, which covers a wide swath of business travel habits by way of millions of expenses and receipts.
The report found that Uber’s growth in the industry had noticeably slowed: “Uber’s growth in the quarter was the slowest on record with Certify, gaining just 1% compared to 2% for Lyft.”
Of course, there is something to be said for a company garnering its maximum of the industry share. Remember that it had closed out the final quarter of 2016 boasting a whopping 52 percent of ground transportation business receipts.
That it continues to grow even a modicum of its overall share is a testament to how wildly popular Uber remains despite a tumultuous start to the year.
The ride-sharing company had to deal with a #DeleteUber row with its consumers; it then eventually left President Trump’s advisory board over flack the brand was taking; most troubling, it has had to deal with a much publicized sexual harassment allegation.
Meanwhile, Lyft has presented itself as the socially conscious alternative. It donated $1 million to the ACLU earlier in the year and recently rolled out an initiative that would make donating to charity a breeze for its riders.
Uber, indeed, has taken a hit. Now whether that is reflected in the slowed growth is open to conjecture.
A recent report claims Uber has indeed lost a tremendous amount of money, but those losses have been offset by remarkable growth. Perhaps, then, the brand should worry if growth slows beyond the business sector.
Now, what’s not in question is how badly other sectors of the ground transportation market have fared amid Uber and Lyft’s rise to prominence.
Certify’s latest report signals more bad news for car rentals (down nine percent) and taxis (down four percent).
According to the report, car rentals’ decrease represents the largest drop since the start of last year. For taxis, its share of the business travel market—according to the company’s complement of receipts—hovers just above 10 percent.
Let that sink in for a moment while you consider your habits as a traveler just a decade ago.
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The days of having to hop into a taxi are nearly over as just one in 10 business travelers choose that option. Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify, offers thoughts on the recent study: “Today’s business travelers and consumers are looking for the total package.”
Neveu sees the results as something of a wake-up call for all involved: “While convenience and affordability helped propel Uber to the top of the corporate traveler’s preferred vendor list, the latest SpendSmart data shows how leaders in every category can just as quickly find themselves vulnerable to broader trends and growth among the competition. It’s important to note that ride-hailing is still in its early days as an industry, one Uber essentially invented, so there’s sure to be much more change and excitement ahead.”
The SpendSmart report is highly valuable beyond ground transportation, highlighting business travel trends across the industry.
One other interesting takeaways is that Airbnb continues to be a solid option for travelers. It has nearly tripled its expenses and receipts from last year to 286 percent.
We will see next quarter whether United takes any significant damage from its recent public relations nightmare. At the moment, it takes up fourth place with 14.1 percent share of the receipts with Delta remaining the top choice with a shade over 20 percent booking with this airline.
As for well-liked airlines, JetBlue and Alaska should take a bow as the most popular with a rating of 4.6 each.
The recent snapshot illustrates the modern business traveler has an abundance of options out there. Forward thinking brands like Uber, Airbnb and even JetBlue continue to win the race for that almighty expensed trip.