Convenience Matters for Busy Travelers: The Certify Q2 2018 SpendSmart™ Report

Convenience Matters for Busy Travelers: The Certify Q2 2018 SpendSmart™ Report

Digital brands have transformed the way that business travelers work away from the office. The release of the Q2 2018 SpendSmart™ report this week shows ride-hailing continuing its rise amid emerging trends of the use of parking apps and meal delivery services.

Since 2013, the quarterly SpendSmart™ report has helped CFOs, accountants, controllers, and other financial professionals gain insight into the spending habits of business travelers in North America.

After analyzing more than 10 million expense receipts processed through our system in Q2 2018, our new benchmarked data sheds light on shifting industry preferences, offering clues into which brands business travelers will spend the most with in 2018.

Uber vs. Lyft
Uber continues to dominate the ride-hailing market, capturing 74 percent of expense receipts. Yet for the first time since we began monitoring the market, Uber saw a year-over-year decline in market share this quarter, losing three percent of the category. Lyft, on the other hand, enjoyed an eight percent gain compared to Q2 2017, increasing their share of expense receipts to 19 percent of the ride-hailing category.

Business travelers gravitate towards digital brands
There is an ever-rising interest in digital convenience among business travelers. SpotHero, a Chicago-based parking app, saw a 216 percent increase in expense receipts from Q2 2017 to Q2 2018. With tight schedules and watchful managers ensuring that employees are fully utilizing their T&E spend, having an easy way to find an open parking spot is a priority.

A similar trend is emerging with the meal delivery category—which brings the comfort of a hot meal directly to one’s door. An analysis of Q2 2018 SpendSmart™ data for meal delivery services shows GrubHub as the main contender, gobbling up 35 percent of the meal delivery market—yet this was down 10 percent from Q2 2017.

Uber Eats has filled the gap, growing a remarkable 328 percent in just one year and grabbing nearly 11 percent more of the meal delivery market. DoorDash grew by one percent of market share compared to last year, while Postmates felt the bite from the growth of Uber Eats with a two percent decline in market share.

Top vendors hold their ranks
The top expensed vendors for Q2 2018 remained consistent overall with previous years, with Uber taking 11 percent of all receipts, and Starbucks, Delta, and Amazon holding on to four percent of all business expense receipts respectively.

Hampton Inn gave the most travelers a restful night sleep with 9.32 percent of hotel receipts and an average rating of 4.2 stars. Marriott followed with 8.4 percent of receipts and 4.4 stars, sharing top honors with the Hyatt for satisfaction.

National Car Rental topped rental car vendors with 26.92 percent of all category expenses and a 4.4 star rating—matching Enterprise in satisfaction, which also holds a 4.4 star rating and 16.10 percent of receipt totals.

The Q2 2018 SpendSmart™ report shows that with an ever-increasing number of options available to business travelers, successful brands will need to listen closely to what the market wants, then adapt and deliver on their promise in ways that their audience expects.

Download a copy of our complimentary SpendSmart™ report to learn which brands are the highest rated and most expensed amongst busy business travelers.