Our First-quarter Update on Business Travel Spending and Trends

Our First-quarter Update on Business Travel Spending and Trends

Insights and Analysis on Business Spending Trends
The first quarter of the year is already behind us, and it doesn't look like things will be slowing down any time soon in the world of business travel and expenses. After analyzing more than 10 million expenses and receipts, our latest Certify SpendSmart™ report showcases the continued shift toward ride-hailing services, underscoring the change in business traveler preference.

The Ride-hailing Tides Are Changing
After Lyft's growth slowed to a crawl this time last year, our latest report shows they have been digging deeper into Uber's share of the ride-hailing market. Lyft's usage just a year ago hovered at 10% and nearly doubled from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018. While this massive jump in usage of Lyft only brings their share to 19% of the market, any chunk taken away from Uber is worth noting.

Additionally, Lyft pulled ahead of Uber in satisfaction ratings with 4.8 stars of 5 stars compared to Uber's 4.4 out of 5 stars rating. Since customer happiness is always a significant decision factor for all consumers, especially hard-working employees who travel for work, Lyft's higher rating could be a signal as to why their usage doubled this past year.

Taxis Continue to Nosedive
Combined, Uber and Lyft are still dominating traditional business traveler ground transportation services, with the ride-hailing companies taking 71% of all ground transportation receipts and expenses. Rental car companies secured 23% of the market, and taxis held on to the remaining 6%. That's a huge shift compared to last year when ride-hailing accounted for only 59% of business travel, and with rental car and taxi companies holding on to 31% and 10% of the market respectively.

Major metro areas are continuing to command the ride-hailing market here in the United States. Perhaps less of a surprise for these brands, San Francisco was the most popular ride-hailing city for business travelers taking 99% of the market from ground transport companies in quarter one of 2018. Whether this trend continues will depend on how traditional transportation companies respond to better serve their customers.

Our SpendSmart Report Covers More Than ‘Get-Around-Town' Business Spending
Additionally, Certify's report also covered the most popular airlines, hotels, and restaurants among business travelers in this first quarter of 2018.

Here are the top three brands in each category:

The most popular airlines:
  • Delta
  • American Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines

The most popular hotels:
  • Hampton Inn
  • Marriott
  • Courtyard By Marriott

  • The most popular restaurants:
    • Starbucks
    • McDonald's
    • Panera Bread

    How are your employee's favorite brands holding up against the competition?

    Download our latest SpendSmart report today and check out the favorite vendors by expense category including food, airlines, lodging, and ground transportation, plus additional insights into business travel and expenses.

    Grab your free Q1 2018 SpendSmart report now.