Getting around town without owning a car and avoiding public transportation is not a utopia for Italian residents anymore. Car Sharing services allow users to rent a car for short periods of time managing booking processes directly from their smartphones. It is a widespread reality in an ever-increasing number of Italian cities.
To better understand the impact of car sharing in the country, we tracked online conversations for the past six months focusing on sharing mobility and the main industry players: Enjoy, Car2Go, Share’ngo and DriveNow.
More than 6,500 users discussed the topic: 7000 posts and 5000 interactions in 6 months. The target users were mainly male and belonged to the age range of 25-34 yo, few women took part in the conversation.
(Figure 1) Conversations on Car Sharing from July to December 2017: interactions, volume, and target
Car2Go: the most criticized provider because of users’ bad driving
Considering the top 4 providers in Italy, Car2Go stands out as the most talked about (almost 2000 online mentions), followed by Enjoy, with almost 800 times. Share n’ go e Drive Now, the “youngest” providers come in last with 200 and 100 mentions.
(Figure 2) Number of mentions of car sharing services
Car2Go‘s cars are mentioned on Twitter with notifications of users’ bad driving. But the flagging of the incorrect use of parking spaces also affects users of Eni‘s Fiat 500, less often though.
Enjoy emerges as one of the providers with the most Social Media engagement rate, generating +5000 interactions. Users acted mostly on Facebook, the preferred social media channel for customer care and service information.
Less engagement was perceived from Share‘ngo and Drive Now. Share‘ngo is the first electric car sharing provider and is targeted towards users interested in sustainability and environmentalism. Drive Now is the result of the joint venture by BMW and Sixt rental car service, and it’s targeted towards users looking to drive luxury cars.
Online communication for both services seems to involve the same amount of people, but its target is radically different, and so are the platforms that came up during the analysis.
The most interactions that came from DriveNow were recorded on Instagram (used 70% more compared to other channels). In fact, many of the users that tagged their geolocalization in Milan, the only city where the company provides its services at the moment, use the image based platform to share their experience driving the BMW and Mini vehicles.
Share‘ngo clients prefer Facebook (used by 80%) to share their opinion on the green car sharing service. This social media channel is used by the Italian-Chinese company to provide client service, share news about environmental issues, and to support projects based on innovation and sustainability.
Share’ngo: the electric car preferred by online users
Car sharing and green mobility are subjects that seem to interest many online users.
Evaluating users’ sentiment in online conversations, Share’ngo is the car sharing service with the highest amount of positive sentiment.
(Figure 3) Online conversation sentiment analysis on Car Sharing
A very interesting result for a company born in 2014 that provides an entirely new service. To this day, Share’ngo has more than 55 thousand clients only in Italy. A result that deserves to be kept in sight, monitoring new developments and service launches in countries like the Netherlands and Spain.