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Is Uber Losing Its Loyal Riders to Lyft?

In past posts we've looked at market share changes following recent controversy involving Uber.
We saw that indeed, some Uber customers switched to using Lyft.

We decided to use our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards to learn more about those "Uber defectors". For the purpose of this analysis, we looked at customers who significanty reduced their usage of Uber starting with February 2017 (#DeleteUber campaign started on January 30th) and switched to using Lyft, Uber's main competitor. We compared this segment of customers to the average Uber customer in our panel.


The following metro areas have the highest and lowest proportion of Uber defectors:

Metro areas with the highest rate of defection include the largest metro areas in the nation, like New York City and Los Angeles, as well as some smaller ones, like Portland, OR.

How valuable Uber defectors are?

Next, we compared the total amount spent on Uber between defectors and similar Uber customers who did not defect at the end of January 2017 ("Uber loyalists"):

In this comparison, we see that Uber defectors were lighter Uber users even before the controversy: those who remained loyal to Uber were already spending about 30% more per person than defectors over the same time period.

Spend on other ridesharing services

Finally, we compared how Uber defectors and loyalists spend on other ridesharing services before and after the controversy. Unsurprisingly, for Uber defectors we saw an increase in spend on all Uber competitors, not just Lyft:

More surprising, we also saw an increase of almost 25% in spend on Lyft among Uber loyalists:

It seems that the media attention around Uber's woes has increased awareness of Lyft as an alternative, even amongst those most loyal to Uber.

Learn more about consumer spending analytics with TXN.