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Certify Releases Its Q1 2016 SpendSmart™ Report on Business Travel Spending Trends

April 26, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Print Print Email Email

Certify, a leading automated travel and entertainment expense management software provider, today announced the results of its latest SpendSmartreport for the first quarter of 2016. Analysis of more than 9 million business traveler receipts and expenses showed an increase of 4% in ride-hailing transactions over the fourth quarter of 2015. Now accounting for 46% of the total ground transportation category, ride-hailing receipts tracked in Q1 2016 came exclusively from leading service providers Uber and Lyft.

The Certify SpendSmart report tracks business travel expense spending across major categories such as meals, airlines, lodging and car rental. The report highlights top vendors and emerging trends through the analysis of data from millions of expenses and receipts processed by the Certify cloud-based expense reporting system. Reports are compiled each quarter as a tool to help controllers, accountants and business travelers make informed choices about company T&E expense spending.

SpendSmart data for the first quarter of 2016 indicates use of ride-hailing services among U.S. business travelers is at an all-time high. While Uber continues to dominate the space, upstart competitor Lyft is also starting to gain momentum with the corporate customer. Analyzing expense trends from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016 for Taxi, Ride-Hailing and Car Rental services, while Uber’s rate of growth has slowed comparatively over the period, the company is currently the top ride-hailing provider with more than 43% of the ground transportation category. During the same period, Lyft grew by 44% and now represents nearly 2.5% of all ground transportation transactions.

“Uber’s continued success and Lyft’s recent growth with the business travel market is really being driven by three factors: cost, convenience and customer satisfaction,” said Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify. “These ride-hailing services have perfected a model that allows employees to choose the kind of experience they want when traveling for business while also saving the company a great deal of money in the process. Growth in our SpendSmart data is certainly one measure of performance, but we see it also in the resoundingly positive user ratings and review comments. Uber and Lyft really understand that modern business travel and ground transportation is about much more than simply getting from point A to B.”

Asked for comment, Max Crowley, Lead of Uber for Business said, “Business travelers rely heavily on their smartphones and gravitate towards companies and apps that remove friction from their daily lives. One of our fastest-growing segments is business travel and we continue to make investments that make getting and expensing a ride as easy and stress-free as possible for our users. ”

From Lyft, Director of Enterprise Partnerships Amit Patel offered that, “Business travelers choose ridesharing because they want their travel programs to fit their lifestyles – not the other way around. Today, business travelers are more diverse and connected than ever, and they expect the flexibility to travel how and when they want. At Lyft, we’re also seeing an increase in adoption of ridesharing by travel managers. We’re helping them find not only cost savings but also higher safety standards and increased traveler visibility.”

Additional analysis of the 9 million receipts and expenses processed by Certify this quarter includes top travel vendors and leading brands such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, Delta, United, Marriott, Hampton Inn, National and Enterprise. User ratings and average expense amounts are broken out by category below.

The Certify SpendSmart™ Report provides analysis of vendors, expense amounts and satisfaction rating data from corporate expense reports collected directly from its customer base. Certify SpendSmart™ reports on millions of receipts and expense transactions every quarter since 2013, delivering valuable insights to Certify clients and the business travel industry at large. Founded in 2008, Certify offers a unique automated solution for integrated travel booking and travel and entertainment expense report management in one system. Previous quarterly SpendSmart reports are available here.

Q1 Highlights:

Most-Expensed Restaurants:
Starbucks: 5.41% of expenses, averaging $11.89 per receipt
McDonald’s: 2.73%, averaging $9.00
Panera Bread: 1.81%, averaging $41.14
Subway: 1.57%, averaging $15.74
Dunkin’ Donuts: 1.47%, averaging $12.66

Most Expensed Restaurants by Meal
Breakfast: Starbucks 16.58%
Lunch: Subway 3.46%
Dinner: McDonald’s 1.86%

Top Rated Restaurants (On a scale from 1 to 5, as indicated by travelers)
Chick-Fil-A 4.5
Panera Bread 4.3
Starbucks 4.2
Chipotle 4.2
Dunkin’ Donuts: 4.1

Most Expensed Airlines
Delta: 21.56%, averaging $421.86
American Airlines: 19.84%, averaging $317.16
Southwest Airlines: 14.77%, averaging $285.19
United Airlines: 13.39%, averaging $404.39
JetBlue: 1.44%, averaging $218.92

Top Rated Airlines
Southwest Airlines 4.5
Jet Blue 4.5
Alaska Airlines 4.2
Delta 4.2
American Airlines 3.8

Most-Expensed Hotels
Hampton Inn: 9.05%, averaging $217.08
Marriott: 8.98%, averaging $238.21
Courtyard by Marriott: 7.22%, averaging $158.81
Hilton Garden Inn: 4.73%, averaging $192.09
Holiday Inn Express: 4.42%, averaging $213.89

Top Rated Hotels
Embassy Suites 4.3
Hilton 4.3
Homewood Suites 4.3
Residence Inn 4.3
Hilton Garden Inn 4.2

Most Expensed Car-Rental Services
National: 24.40%, averaging $182.08
Enterprise: 19.56%, averaging $180.75
Hertz: 14.68%, averaging $200.42
Avis: 12.41%, averaging $183.37
Budget: 4.00%, averaging $190.44

Top Rated Car-Rental Services
National: 4.3
Enterprise: 4.2
Avis: 4.1
Hertz: 3.9
Budget: 3.8

For complete data and analysis from the Certify SpendSmart™ Report for Q1 2016, go to:http://www.certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.aspx.

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