Sharing Economy Services To Increase Business by Targeting Young Mobile Travel Planners

BY Rachel Cagle
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While Americans are growing more familiar with sharing economy services, the intention to use these services is declining in favor of more traditional services. According to the fourth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Sharing Economy Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, 53% of Americans declared they are either "not very likely" or "not at all likely" to use sharing economy services during their 2018 summer travels.

That's despite Americans' consistent belief that sharing economy services offer a more authentic local experience and better value for their money. Sixty two percent of Americans find sharing economy service providers to be "very" or "somewhat trustworthy," down 3% from last year. Today eight in 10 Americans are familiar with at least one sharing economy service, with familiarity of services strongest among younger generations.

Leading the sharing economy trend, an overwhelming 93% of millennials (ages 18–34) are familiar with sharing economy services. Boomers (ages 55+) have experienced the largest increase in familiarity over the past few years, with 70% of the group familiar with at least one of these services in 2018, up from 57% in 2017 and 49% in 2016. Of Gen X'ers (ages 35–54), 88% are familiar in 2018.

Mobile Travel Planners (Americans who have used a mobile device to make a flight, reserve a hotel, etc. withing the last six months) make up 14.6% of U.S. adults, according to AudienceSCAN. Nearly 31% of Mobile Travel Planners are between the ages of 17 and 34.

Analyzing specific sharing economy services across age demographics, recognition of Uber, Airbnb and HomeAway has remained steady over the past year, while familiarity with Lyft has increased significantly by 10% since 2017.

Looking at trust, three out of four (76%) millennials and those earning over $50,000 (67%) are most likely to trust sharing economy services, compared to seven in ten (68%) of Gen X'ers, almost half (46%) of baby boomers and less than six in ten (54%) of Americans making less than $50,000.

This year, Americans are likely to rate traditional services as superior to sharing economy services, with traditional services seen as offering the better product, booking experience, customer support when things go wrong and overall experience.

Despite the propensity of millennials to use sharing economy services, one-​third (33%) believe traditional services provide the best overall experience, up from 22% in 2017. It was also revealed they believe traditional services offer better customer support when things go wrong (38%). A quarter (26%) of millennials say traditional services offer a better-​quality product.

When it comes to the things Mobile Travel Planners want to buy this year, they have a number of desires. According to AudienceSCAN, they want to buy things that help them feel comfortable (54.4%) and relaxed (39.5%). Shared economy services that boast their ability to provide both of those feelings for their customers.

Overall, the aspects of traditional services that Americans believe traditional services excel in over sharking economy include:

  • Better booking experience: 35% agree traditional is better (vs. 13% who think sharing economy is better)
  • Better customer support when things go wrong: 44% (10%)
  • Better quality product: 33% (12%)
  • Best overall experience: 29% (14%)

The services sharing economy services excel in over traditional include:

  • Better value for money: 32% of Americans vote sharing economy vs. 20% for traditional
  • More authentic local experience: 27% vs. 22%

"Millennials appreciate the value and authentic local experiences that are offered by sharing economy services, while they also like the product and overall experience offered by traditional services. Travel suppliers vying for the millennial market this year should capitalize on their strengths and try to shore up their weaknesses," said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance.

TV is a great way to target Mobile Travel Planners, according to AudienceSCAN. Nearly 48% get most of their local news from the TV and it's where 71.9% saw commercials within the last year that drove them to take action. They're also 39% more likely than other adults to take action after seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps or in a text message and a text link ad on a website.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.