Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Figures
1.1 Problem Specification and Relevance of Topic
1.2 Problem Statement and Course of Investigation
2 Research Background
2.1 Sharing Economy
2.2 Mobility Services
2.3.1 Carsharing in the German Market
2.3.2 Forms of Carsharing
2.3.3 Customers of Carsharing
3 Methodological Background
3.1 Means-End Chain Theory
3.1.1 Basic Idea
3.1.2 Elements of the Means-End Chains
4 Data Collection and Analysis
4.1 In-depth Interviews
4.2 Laddering Technique
4.3.1 Candidate Recruitment
4.3.2 Procedure and Structure of the Interviews
4.3.3 Content Analysis
5.1 MEC Analysis and Implication Matrix
5.2 Hierarchical Value Map
5.3 Main Motivational Patterns
6.1.1 Theoretical Implications
6.1.2 Managerial Implications
6.2 Future Research and Limitations
List of Abbreviations
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
List of Tables and Figures
Figure 1 - Legend of Symbols
Figure 2 - Hierarchical Value Map
Figure 3 - Motivational patterns of carsharing usage
Table 1 - Sample Description
Table 2 - Overview of Means-End Chain Elements
Table 3 - Exemplary Means-End Chains
Table 4 - Implication Matrix
1.1 Problem Specification and Relevance of Topic
In 2011, the American TIME Magazine described the “Sharing Economy” as one of the ten ideas that will change the world (Walsh, 2011). The phenomenon, which encompasses the transformation of underutilized assets into productive resources, has not only fundamentally changed the daily lives of individuals (Schor, 2014); it has also substantially changed the business landscape. Business sectors, especially the dynamic automotive industry, have experienced a significant transformation. Therefore, managers must adapt their business strategy accordingly in order to stay profitable and meet the requirements of the future market.
Global trends such as an increase in economic and ecological awareness, fast technological improvements, traffic problems in megacities, as well as a change in the social importance of a car, have motivated people to search for alternative mobility solutions (Shaheen & Cohen, 2015). Besides classical car rental, car-pooling, or car-leasing, carsharing is increasingly gaining worldwide attention (e.g., Shaheen & Cohen, 2007). As the fastest-growing service among innovative mobility solutions, carsharing bears a high potential for business (Freese & Schoenberg, 2014).
The concept has a positive impact on the environment as it reduces car-ownership (Witzke, 2016; Firnkorn & Müller, 2015; Shaheen & Cohen, 2013; Rydén & Morin, 2005) and supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., Grischkat, Hunecke, Böhler, & Haustein, 2014; Wilke & Bongardt, 2007). Furthermore, carsharing can help businesses and private organizations to overcome problems that emerge in megacities (Baum & Pesch, 1994) as it reduces traffic through the collaborative consumption of underutilized resources. Therefore, carsharing addresses current issues such as the increasing focus on efficient and sustainable business operations, logistical challenges in urban areas caused by the increasing population density and growth of megacities, and market saturation in industrialized countries.
In 2016, the automotive manufacturer Ford published a study that contains detailed information on the perception of carsharing in the German market. The study found that 72% of the respondents would participate in carsharing, while 48 % would lend their car to an unknown person (Nagel, 2016). These numbers were even higher among the group of young adults.
For companies in the automotive sector, the engagement in carsharing provides a range of positive effects. For example, it provides firms the opportunity to expand their customer base (Voeth, Pölzl, & Kienzler, 2015) and to increase customer loyalty (PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 2015). Many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) exploited the chances by integrating carsharing services into their business model. Thus, companies tend to transform from an automotive producer more and more towards a mobility provider (Godlevskaja, van Iwaarden, & van der Wiele, 2011).
This phenomenon is becoming more and more common such that business-to-customer (B2C) carsharing, a type of carsharing services where the vehicle fleet is owned by a business, is already moving towards the direction of commercial mainstreaming (Shaheen & Cohen, 2015). Besides, another form of the alternative transportation mode is gaining increasing popularity. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) carsharing refers to a concept in which car owners can lend their vehicle to other drivers on a short-term basis via an online platform (Hampshire & Gaites, 2011). Even though the business growth of P2P carsharing has expanded since 2010, this type of carsharing is still relatively unknown in Germany (Witzke, 2016). However, even people who did not use the option before perceived it as an interesting mobility approach (see Ballús-Armet, Shaheen, Clonts & Weinzimmer, 2014). Moreover, in contrast to B2C carsharing, P2P carsharing does not limit the spread of private carsharing to cities where the business fleet is located. Therefore, P2P carsharing can attract a wider customer base than the commercial form can, especially with regard to smaller cities and municipalities. A small number of P2P carsharing providers such as Drivy, Tamyca and Opel CarUnity has already managed to establish their model. However, because the number of market players in Germany is still rather low, the concept bears a large untapped potential.
For companies to be successfully established in the carsharing market, they must formulate an appropriate marketing strategy (e.g., Stricker, Matthies & Tsang, 2011; Voeth et al., 2015). In this context, it is very helpful for businesses to know the motives of their target customers as they define the direction, strength, and persistence of their actions (Heckhausen, 1977).
Previous studies investigated the underlying motives of participating in the Sharing Economy (e.g., Bellotti et al., 2015) as well as in carsharing (Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2012). In this context, studies quantitatively assessed B2C carsharing usage data (e.g., Lamberton & Rose, 2012) and the characteristics of their customers (e.g., Burkhardt & Millard-Ball, 2006). In contrast to studies on B2C carsharing, research on P2P carsharing is quite scarce. A notable exception is a quantitative study by Dill, Mathez, McNeil, and Howland (2015), a group of researchers who explored the motives of users in the peer-to-peer economy.
However, non-observable values of customers also have a significant influence on their buying behavior (Reynolds & Olson, 2001). Schaefers (2013) conducted a qualitative approach on non-observable motivational patterns of B2C carsharing customers and their connection to service characteristics. The results of the research indicate that users are mainly driven by utilitarian and self-centered motives and that other aspects such as positive outcomes for the environment are secondary for the choice to use the service. A study by Wilhelms, Henkel, and Falk (2015) yielded similar results. Their research uncovered the overachieving motivational patterns of vehicle providers in a P2P carsharing context. Their qualitative study revealed that peer-to-peer providers are mainly driven by economic interest and quality of life, whereas the possibility to help others and the concept of sustainability are secondary motives.
However, the study only investigated why car providers participated in a P2P carsharing context. As car providers and car renters represent two distinct customer groups (Voeth et al., 2015), they can be assumed to have different reasons for participation. Therefore, further research on the motivational drivers of P2P carsharing users is required. The term “user” herein refers to customers who rent a car from another person via a P2P carsharing platform.
1.2 Problem Statement and Course of Investigation
The P2P carsharing market is growing. Therefore, companies in this sector must find ways to widen their customer base and increase customer loyalty. Also, knowledge on the motivational drivers of carsharing customers is essential. As existing studies primarily focus on B2C carsharing, this research aims to identify the motivational patterns of P2P carsharing users. This thesis will give an overview of the current carsharing market and conclude with future possibilities for carsharing providers. This study will also answer calls for further investigation from Schaefers (2013), Dill et al. (2015), and Ballús-Armet et al. (2014) by further exploring the P2P economy and the participants´ motives.
In order to get the background knowledge on the carsharing term and the reasons for its recent development, the concept of the Sharing Economy will be introduced in the beginning of this thesis. Afterwards, innovative mobility solutions will be presented and carsharing will be discussed. Thus, an overview of the development of carsharing in the German market will be given. In a second step, a clear distinction between business-to-consumer (B2C) carsharing and peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing will be made. Subsequently, a review of the literature on the customers of carsharing will be highlighted in order to discover their typical characteristics and attitudes. Through this literature review, a first impression about Who are the users of P2P carsharing is given. After that, the concept of the means-end chain analysis (MEC) will be introduced and its relevance for marketing strategies will be assessed.
The following chapter will outline the process of the data collection and data analysis. First, in-depth interviews will be defined and their fit for the course of this study will be discussed. Second, the laddering technique will be illustrated. The chapter will continue with an overview of the implementation of the study, which includes the process of candidate recruitment, the procedure and structure of the interviews, and the conduction of a content analysis. The results of the analysis will be presented thereafter, which include the illustration of an implication matrix and the creation of hierarchical value maps (HVM). Next, the identified motivational patterns will be summarized and explained in detail. Thus, these findings refer to the question Why users are motivated to use P2P carsharing. This thesis will conclude with a comprehensive summary of the findings. In this context, both theoretical and managerial implications will be given and advertisement guidelines and a future outlook will be interpreted. This part contributes to the discussion on How users of P2P carsharing can be attracted in the best way. Finally, limitations of this study as well as suggestions for future research will be given.
2 Research Background
Carsharing is part of the larger phenomenon called Sharing Economy (Schor, 2014), a trend that is getting more and more important in the society. In order to get the better background knowledge of the carsharing term and the reasons for its recent development, the concept of the Sharing Economy will be introduced in the following section. Afterwards, innovative mobility solutions that recently gained importance will be introduced. The chapter will continue with an introduction to carsharing and its development in the German market. Two major forms of carsharing will be presented thereafter, wherein a clear distinction between business-to-consumer (B2C) and peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing will be made. The last part of this chapter will review the current literature on carsharing customers.
2.1 Sharing Economy
The term Sharing Economy has gained increasing worldwide media attention within the last few years. Studies affirmed this statement by stating that the trend will fundamentally change the daily lives of individuals (Schor, 2015; Botsman, & Rogers, 2011). Through this development, consumption patterns of customers have already shifted significantly. For example, there are large changes with regard to market power, shifting from large businesses to a network of individuals and communities. The passive consumer in the traditional market acts as an active funder, producer, seller, and distributor in the new economy (Owyang, Samuel, & Greenville, 2014). Among other benefits the trend will bring, the authors Botsman and Rogers (2011) highlight the underlying capacity of the underutilized asset, adding that there is a big commercial opportunity empowered by this trend. Other proponents highlight benefits such as the sustainable use of resources, more flexible employment operations for contractors, the bottom-up and self-regulating mechanisms, lower overheads leading to lower prices for customers as well as more closely tailored and customized products for users (e.g., Allen & Berg, 2014). However, opponents show concerns regarding the fair market competition, workers´ rights, and consumer protection (Dillahunt, & Malone, 2015; Rogers, 2015). In any case, both parties agree that the trend towards collaborative consumption is emerging and will play an important role for the economy´s future. It acts as a motor for startup companies and represents both opportunitiy and challenge for established companies.
The impacts of the phenomenon are not the only challenge that was widely discussed. A clear distinction of the term is hardly determined, as there is a lack of knowledge on its exact scope. Brighenti (2015) even stated that due to its innovative and dynamic nature, the phenomenon cannot be ultimately defined. However, generally, the term is often described as a set of business models, platforms, and exchanges (Allen, & Berg, 2014), which has the three key elements of being an online platform, access-based, and providing peer-to-peer interaction (Richardson, 2015). The first element, which acts as a digital intermediary between individuals, is entailed in almost every definition of the trend. However, the first element is complemented by either one of the remaining elements or a combination of both. Demary (2014) simplifies the term by defining it through all economic activities that focus on sharing goods, services, and knowledge.
Another approach was made through a segmentation of the activities performed by differentiating between their market orientation (for-profit vs. non-profit) and market structure (peer-to-peer vs. business-to-peer) (Schor, 2014). Airbnb, which has almost developed into a synonym for the Sharing Economy, is a prominent example of a for-profit peer-to-peer company. It is a platform that connects individuals by offering the possibility of either providing accommodation or renting one for them for a previously defined period. If a booking is made, Airbnb charges a certain fee on the transaction amount. Another example of the for-profit market orientation is DriveNow, a carsharing provider introduced by BMW. The business-to-peer company provides its own car fleet, for example Mini Cooper or one of the BMW series, for usage. Everyone who has registered on their online page can easily get access to the car fleet and use the cars for a per-minute fee. Non-profit sites that provide peerto-peer sharing include interest-sharing sites such as Pinterest, photo-sharing sites, social media websites, including Facebook or Instagram, and review websites. Business-to-Peer providers whose usage is freely available for the customers are makerspaces such as c-base in Berlin.
The growth of the Sharing Economy is mainly driven by changes in technology, the economy, and the society. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet, “Web 2.0”, social media networks, and mobile devices enabled the fast spread of the phenomenon (Hamari, Sjöklint, & Ukkonen, 2015; Botsman, & Rogers, 2011). The almost unlimited access to information and easy interaction of strangers regardless of their geographical location provide a promoting basis for the future of this trend. Not only producers but also private persons can now easily provide access to their assets via the Internet. People who are interested can quickly get access as well.
Moreover, the recent economic crisis is another important factor for the growth. As the unemployment rate increases (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2016), new business models of the Sharing Economy provide a great opportunity for additional income for individuals. Moreover, through the favor of access instead of ownership, consumers can save a vast amount of money through this engagement. The crisis further led to a decrease in customer trust towards companies (Dervojeda et al., 2013), which causes many people to prefer the interaction with private persons. The rising cost of production and the jostling for an independent lifestyle are other factors (Botsman, 2013). Moreover, public discussions regarding environmental sustainability draw further attention to the new business models (Owyang et al.,2014).
As Belk (2014) discussed in his paper, there is also a great change in people´s personal values. In the traditional market, ownership was seen as a status symbol and was therefore ultimately connected to the social status of a person. However, nowadays people capture value through temporary access rights of an asset (Belk, 2014). This change is affirmed by a study of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2015). The company found that only one out of two respondents agreed with the statement “owning a thing is a good way to show my status in society.” These changes seem quite reasonable when looking at studies on happiness, which show that experiences have a higher impact on personal satisfaction than actual purchases (Pinzler, 2011; Frey, 2010).
Even though the development is more prominent in the U.S. markets, the German market is getting more and more used to the phenomenon as well. In 2012, only 12 percent of a sample of the German population stated that they shared goods via the Internet (Heinrichs, & Grunenberg, 2012). However, in 2015 the quote increased to 46 percent, while 64 percent of the participants stated that they are planning to use a service of the Sharing Economy within the next two years (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015). The younger generation plays the most significant role within this trend as 82 percent of Germans under the age of 30 claimed that they have already used a sharing service before. Moreover, the majority of people that are familiar with the concept believe in a bright future for the trend in terms of its importance both for the society and for the economy (GfK Compact, 2015).
Another study initiated by the automotive company Ford showed similar results (Nagel, 2016). In a Europe-wide sample of 10,000 interviewees, 55 percent of the respondents claimed that they would share their car, 44 percent their house, 31 percent their mobile phone, and 17 percent would even share their dog. The results of the study further showed that the Sharing Economy nowadays has a worldwide turnover of approximately 13 billion euros, whereas in 2025 turnovers are estimated to be about 290 billion euros.
In sum, the trend towards a post-ownership economy (Belk, 2013) has a great impact on various industry sectors. There are many examples of successful startups within the retail and consumer goods industry, hospitality, entertainment, media, and communications as well as the automotive sector that made use of the trend towards collaborative consumption.
However, traditional firms and industry sectors such as the hotel and automotive industry have suffered from this trend. Therefore, they need to find new, innovative approaches in order to survive in the dynamic market.
2.2 Mobility Services
While in emerging countries such as India the ownership rate of private vehicles experienced a sharp growth (Dargay, Gately, & Sommer, 2007), the number of cars within saturated markets as the Germany market decreased within the last couple of years. In 2011, the Institute of Mobility Research published a study on the mobility behavior of young adults of six different industry nations (Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, US) (Institut für Mobilitätsforschung, 2011). The study showed that, especially within Germany, the mobility behavior of individuals changes significantly. While the average license-ownership rate of 87% did not change dramatically from 2002 to 2008, the availability of vehicles experienced a reduction from 83% in 1997 to 72% in 2007. Moreover, the study pointed out that other forms of mobility, such as public transportation or bike usage, gained increasing importance. In 1997, young adults between 20 and 29 years of age stated they would use their car on average for 67% of their routes. In 2007, the number dropped to 52%. However, it would be wrong to assume that the relevance of a car is reduced by the future trends. Instead, the demand for multimodal solutions is increasing as individual mobility is getting more flexible, spontaneous, and situational (Phelps, Feige, & Zapp, 2015).
The reasons for the change in the population´s mobility patterns can be assumed to have the same background as the rise of the Sharing Economy. In addition to these technological, ecological, and societal drivers, a stronger focus on environmental issues can be expected to encourage the change (Cohen, & Kietzmann, 2014). Moreover, owning a vehicle is getting more expensive due to the increasing fixed costs such as car insurance and tax, depreciation of the car, and parking fees. These negative aspects of car ownership become even less acceptable for consumers if the car is used infrequently. Furthermore, the trend towards urban agglomeration and re-urbanization has intensified problems that are related to traffic and parking spaces (Kabisch & Haase, 2011). In this context, public transportation and bikes provide a great alternative for the daily mobility demand of individuals.
However, there are various situations in which the usage of a car makes life considerably easier or even necessary, especially if large goods have to be transported. For example, after grocery shopping or when moving to a different place, a car seems indispensable for many : people. Timely independence and flexibility are the key factors why the majority of individuals strive to access to a car, at least at some point in their lifetime (Diez, 2015; Oehm, 2000).
Both startup companies, as well as incumbents in the automotive sector, used these developments by providing innovative mobility concepts to the market. Besides carsharing, the concepts car leasing and car rental, car-pooling, as well as ride-sharing platforms, also have the basic idea of providing access to vehicles instead of ownership (Diez, 2015). The idea behind each of these mobility solutions will be briefly described in the following section.
The most common mobility solutions are car leasing and classical car rental. Car leasing describes the long-term usage of an individually designed vehicle, whereby the lessee has to pay a previously defined amount of money for some period. This concept is mostly used by businesses and is a common alternative to ownership as the vehicle has to be returned to the leasing company after the maturity date (Diez, 2015). The concept of car rental refers to the short-term access to a car, whereby the renter pays a charge to the car rental agency. Common examples of car rental agencies are Europecar and Sixt. Car-pooling and ridesharing are often used as the same term as both belong to the classification of ridesharing business models (Cohen & Kiezmann, 2014). However, carpooling refers to the share of personal vehicles, mostly among colleagues or neighbors. This usage has mainly environmental benefits as well as subsidizing the driver costs (Cohen & Kiezmann, 2014). A prominent example of an online carpooling platform is “BlaBla Car,” which has attracted more than 30 million members in 22 countries since its foundation in 2006 (Jacque, 2014).
Ridesharing platforms provide private vehicles and drivers, similar to a taxi service. Customers have access to social networks or smartphone applications with a location-based service (Cohen & Kiezmann, 2014). The private drivers of the cars have the chance to gain extra revenue. From the users´ point of view, it is a cheaper and faster alternative for a taxi drive and provides the opportunity for social interaction at the same time. The most prominent example in this category is Uber. Launched in 2006, the company is currently valued at $62.5 billion (Newcomer, 2015). The company caused large public discussion and even got banned in some countries because it foregoes taxi licenses for its drivers. However, the concept of carsharing still plays the most important role for the worldwide economy (Leveque, 2011), which is why media and research highlight it as a paramount issue.
Carsharing can occur on a professional or private level. In this thesis, only the professional
category will be further analyzed. Carsharing is defined as a mobility service that enables the collaborative utilization of cars by providing members access to a fleet of vehicles (Baum and Pesch, 1994). In the following chapter, the development of carsharing in the German market will be outlined and current figures will be given. The chapter will continue with an introduction to the two main forms of carsharing, namely B2C and P2P carsharing, which is the focus of this paper. Afterwards, an overview of the literature regarding the characteristics and motives of carsharing users will be given.
2.3.1 Carsharing in the German Market
The concept of carsharing was first established in Switzerland and Germany in the 1980s. The first large-scale programs were provided in Switzerland in 1987, through the founding of two independent cooperatives. Later, they merged to form Mobility Switzerland (Le Vine et al, 2014). However, the starting point of carsharing was the establishment of the German company “Stattauto” (currently named Green Wheels) in Berlin in 1988 (Shaheen, Sperling, & Wagner, 1998). Starting as a scientific experiment, the company gained increasing popularity during the 1990s (Peterson, 1998), which led other providers to enter the market, too. Nowadays, carsharing describes the fastest-growing mobility service within the Sharing Economy (Freese, & Schöneberg, 2014).
The German carsharing market is in contrast to other European countries such as Switzerland and Austria highly fragmented (Loose, Mohr, Nobis & Bake, 2004). According to the “Bundesverband Carsharing” (2016), 1,260,000 customers were registered at approximately 150 German carsharing providers at the beginning of 2016. Compared to the previous year, in 2016 the number has increased by 220,000. The free-floating providers gained increasing attention as the number of participants increased to 830,000, which makes an additional 170,000 customers to the previous year. Compared to 2012, in 2015 the number of freefloating customers was almost five times as high. The numbers of station-based operators increased by 50.000, which made a total of 430,000 participants in 2016. Moreover, the number of the cities and municipalities where carsharing services are available increased by 47 places, amounting to a total of 537 places in Germany.
The diffusion of carsharing is mainly concentrated on large cities as all cities with a population of more than 200,000 people have access to the service (Nobis, 2006). Moreover, three-quarters of cities with a population between 100,000 and 200,000 and only 1.3% of municipalities with less than 100,000 citizens have access to a carsharing service (Nobis, 2006). However, it has to be noted that these numbers mainly refer to the commercial form of carsharing since the clear scope of the P2P carsharing fleet is not exactly defined.
2.3.2 Forms of Carsharing
The concept of carsharing can be divided into two main forms: commercial or business-toconsumer (B2C) carsharing and peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing. These two forms differ in their way of usage, customer experience, and wider consequences (Le Vine et al., 2014). Therefore, a clear distinction between both concepts will be given in the following section.
18.104.22.168 Business-to-Customer Carsharing
Business-to-Customer (B2C) carsharing is the most established form of carsharing and has already acquired a considerably high customer base, especially in larger cities. The service is offered by large automotive manufactures such as Daimler with “car2go” and BMW with “DriveNow.” Moreover, there are other carsharing organizations (CSO) that act independently from automotive manufacturers. They include “Stadtmobil” and “Cambio.” In these business models, the vehicle fleet is owned by a professional carsharing operating entity.
B2C carsharing can be divided into one-way and round-trip carsharing. With “Zipcar” as the largest provider of round-trip carsharing, this carsharing model is the best established and most researched in the market (Le Vine et al., 2014). Before customers can use a car from the fleet, they must make a previous reservation either via smartphone or the provider´s website. As the name already indicates, round-trip carsharing refers to the fact that after usage, the customer has to return the vehicle to the station where it was first accessed (LeVine et al., 2014). The amount of payment depends on the time of usage, counting from the point when the customer accesses the vehicle until the point of time when he returns it to the station.
In contrast, there are also carsharing providers who offer one-way trips, meaning that the vehicle does not have to be returned to the starting point. This category can be sub-divided into free-floating and station-based systems. In free-floating systems, with car2go as the largest provider in Germany, customers can park the vehicle at almost any legal on-street parking space after usage. Usually, there is no ahead reservation needed, which offers the opportunity to book a vehicle spontaneous on the go per smartphone (Firnkorn, 2012). Oneway station-based systems work in a similar way; however, the cars are picked up and returned to the specific stations that belong to the carsharing operator (LeVine et al., 2014). The French company “Autolib” is the largest provider of this system.
22.214.171.124 Peer-to-Peer Carsharing
In contrast to B2C carsharing, the vehicle fleet within customer-to-customer or peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing is owned by private persons (Hampshire & Gates, 2011). The system consists of three players: the renters, the carsharing operators who offer an online platform for the renters, and the rentees of P2P carsharing. Renters in the P2P carsharing context are those private individuals who offer their vehicle on their website to the rentees for a defined fee, whereas the rentees are the users who rent the respective cars. The usage is round-trip and there are no predefined picked-up and dropped-off stations. Instead, the meeting points where the vehicle exchange takes place are individually agreed. The usage time can be either shortterm for a couple of hours or long-term such as several days or weeks (Le Vine et al., 2014).
Usually, the carsharing operators provide an insurance to protect the renters of the vehicle. In return, the CSO receives a certain fee of each rental that is transacted through the online website. The cars are in some cases equipped with telematics devices, offering a remote access via smartcard. However, in the German market, this access option is not widely spread yet. Instead, the transfer of the vehicle´s keys must be made physically. As the car fleet consists of vehicles owned by private persons, peer-to-peer carsharing offers a greater variety of cars than do the business-to-consumer organizations. Since 2015, the online platform “Drivy” has become the largest private carsharing operator in Germany followed by “Tamyca” and “Opel CarUnity” (Handelsblatt, 2016).
2.3.3 Customers of Carsharing
Several studies focused on the sociodemographic factors of carsharing users and thus developed typical user profiles of carsharing customers (Lewis & Simmons, 2012; Wilke & Bongardt, 2007; Loose, 2010).
Lewis and Simmons (2012) constructed a clear visualization of typical characteristics of a carsharing customer. They found that the typical customer is male (60%) and is between the age of 25 and 44 (70%). Moreover, the typical carsharing customer has a higher educational background than an average person and has a slightly higher household income. Furthermore, the majority of users engages in social media (mainly Facebook) and owns a smartphone or similar mobility device. The alternative ways of transportation are foremost public transportation (34%) or bike (18%).
Besides the characteristics of typical carsharing members, Burkhardt and Milard-Ball (2006) further analyzed the user´s attitudes. Typical individuals who use the services can be considered to be social activists, environmental protectors, innovators, economizers, or practical travelers. Major reasons for the participation in carsharing are mainly due to cost advantages as well as higher individual flexibility and mobility (Shaheen et al., 2012; Lamberton & Rose, 2012; Bardhi & Eckhardt, 2012). Environmental reasons are secondary (Firnkorn & Müller, 2015). Another reason is the higher range of vehicles that users of carsharing services can select from (Lindloff, Pieper, Bendelow, & Woisetschläger, 2014), which is also connected to the possibility of replacing their own car (Cevero, Golub, & Nee, 2007). The particular strong claims of customers’ reasons differ according to the mobility situation of the individual (Santos, Behrendt, & Teytelboym, 2010). It depends whether users just sold their car or have not had a car before or used carsharing as a supplement to their mobility usage. Furthermore, there is a difference in participation motives of people who lend their car (herein referred to as providers) and people who rent the available cars (herein referred to as users). Providers of vehicles within the P2P carsharing environment have idealistic motivations of participation, while the users consider value and convenience as major reasons (Hawlitschek, Teubner, & Gimpel, 2016).
Regarding the characteristics of P2P carsharing customers, who are the focus of this thesis, there are slight differences compared to the ones of B2C carsharing customers. The most important difference herein refers to the car ownership rate as approximately 50% of P2P customers have their own vehicle (Ballús-Armet, Shaheen, Clonts & Weinzimmer, 2014). This number is higher than that of B2C carsharing customers. The reasons for the difference might be related to the fact that P2P carsharing customers can also lend their vehicle. Some customers might have one or more cars in their household and use the carsharing service to provide their cars for rent, especially when the cars are redundant.