Skift Take

Some businesses are spending more on Amazon than flights on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. If the online retail giant ever does ever make a play in the travel industry, it will have a strong base of corporations it is already doing business with.

While there has been plenty of speculation on how Amazon will eventually make a play in the travel sector, it has already made solid inroads among workers who expense their purchases at work.

A new SpendSmart report on business expenses in the third quarter of 2018 from expense technology provider Certify found that Amazon has jumped from the fifth most expensed company in the third quarter of 2016 to the third most expensed company in the third quarter of 2018. It now exceeds purchases made from Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Lyft on Certify’s expense platform in North America.

This implies that more employees are purchasing things outside the traditional corporate channels and later expensing these products.

“The use of Amazon for business purchases continues to increase, and the convenience of shopping online is clearly a key factor,” said Bob Neveu, CEO of Certify. “The two main areas of business utilization on Amazon are office supplies and technology, which tells us that businesses are comfortable buying everything from office basics, such as new laptops, to digital services including Amazon Web Services.”

Here’s a look at the most expensed companies overall. Certify’s data set does not include spending on car service rides.

Most Expensed Vendors Overall
Vendor Expense Percentage Avg. Cost/Transaction
Uber 10.61% $26.51
Starbucks 4.09% $12.67
Amazon 4.05% $110.32
Delta 3.58% $447.97
American Airlines 3.37% $344.22
Lyft 3.01% $23.51
United Airlines 2.81% $409.90
Walmart 2.76% $55.95

Source: Certify

Diving deeper into ridesharing, Uber continues to hold a commanding lead over Lyft even as Lyft continues its growth in the sector. Lyft continues to gain on Uber as Uber has experienced a slight drop in usage.

Ride Hailing Vs. Taxi
Q3 2017 Q1 2018 Q3 2018
Uber 75.81% 74.80% 73.3%
Lyft 15% 17.71% 19.66%
Taxi 9.18% 7.49% 7.04%

Businesses are also spending more on Lyft rides; average spend per expense has risen to $26.08 in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $19.20 in the third quarter of 2017. Spending on Uber over the same period has declined slightly to $25.67 from $25.73.

So companies are now spending more per ride on Lyft than Uber. Lyft users are also more satisfied with their ride than Uber or taxi users.


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Tags: business travel, ctir

Photo credit: A promotional image from Amazon. Amazon

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