Go Sharing is a Netherlands-based electric mobility startup, and offers shared electric vehicles as a flexible transportation option. The company currently operates in Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and, since May 2021, also in Germany. In April, 50 million euros were raised from 4 investors (Lead Investor: Opportunity Partners). According to Go Sharing, this investment will enable the expansion to Germany, Turkey and England.
Expansion to Germany
The Dutch startup entered the market by acquiring Tribe Sharing. The moped inventory of Tribe Sharing in Saarbrücken (South-West Germany) was taken over and grew from 40 to 100. The former owner and CEO of Tribe Sharing Ousmane N’Guer stayed on as Go Sharing Country Manager.
Key Data on the e-mobility industry
Since the end of last year, the global number of rental scooters has grown from 66,000 to 104,000. This represents an increase of 58%. Just four years ago, there were only 10,000 shared mopeds on the roads, according to mobility company Unu. With 26 cities, Germany ranks first in the world for the number of cities with shared mopeds. Approximately 7,000 mopeds are on the road so far in Germany. Providers such as Emmy and Tier have the largest fleets. The latter company has established itself in the e-moped segment through the acquisition of the Moped inventory of Coup. Some providers use Wunder Mobility’s ready infrastructure and differentiate themselves through branding, like Emmy.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Moped Sharing Industry
Despite the difficulties caused by lockdown, restriction and an overall reduction in activities, 38000 mopeds have been added to the global market in the past 12 months, according to Unu. Therefore, the strong growth continues despite the hard times.
First impression on the e-mobility market
The 5 strongest global participants in the market own more than 50% of the shared mopeds. The remaining 50% is divided among 71 operators. This shows once again that the market is very fragmented and represented from the smallest (10 mopeds) to the very large operators. The main reason for the larger spread (26 cities) of moped sharing in Germany are the micro-operators.
Overall, the young market offers a lot of potential and room for improvement. The explosive growth rates promise an interesting development for the future.
The German presence of Go Sharing
The German website of Go Sharing is oriented to their other website versions. We often observe this situation. Besides minor errors and empty fields, there is nothing to question about the presence. However, some SEO factors cause that the German site (as of June 2021) is not indexed. Users are only redirected to the Dutch version of the page.
Analysis of language and communication style
Go Sharing obviously targets a younger audience with a simple and casual communication style. However, there is no deep localization of the language here. The most important pages have been adapted little to not at all and translated 1:1 from the other language versions. On a positive note, local images were used for the respective country versions of the website. We often experience that companies mostly use images from their home country. This means that the target group cannot sufficiently identify themselves with the images and, in the worst case, the required trust eventually suffers as a result.
User Experience Go Sharing Website
Overall, a nice and clean website with less disturbing noise. After all, only a few distractions and clear focus on the download call-to-action. The Go Sharing team has done a good job here. However, we recommend challenging and testing the explanations and call-to-actions used on the website. Furthermore, when launching new (language) websites, it is incredibly important to make sure that everything works. When testing the mobile view, we noticed that some elements, such as the main Call To Action on the home page, does not work or results in a 404 error.
Distribution Strategy of Go Sharing
The distribution is currently still very rudimentary. In contrast to the other countries, such as the Netherlands and Austria, the performance marketing measures are close to zero. The only current drivers are the transparent communication on LinkedIn and press releases.
Especially in view of the local competition, Go-Sharing should already think about how they want to position themselves locally. Here are some thoughts:
Yes, the e-scooters alone already provide a representation to the public. But wouldn’t it be better if the target group recognized the scooters on the streets, instead of just noticing them for the first time? The following has proven to be a very good channel for this: Brand Awareness Ads on Facebook and Instagram. This is less about app downloads and more about introducing the brand to the target group.
With a dedicated budget for paid marketing, Google, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram Ads can be utilized. In addition, a strong focus can be placed on SEO in order to rank at the top for attractive keywords through Google & Co.
There are already good triggers here with the offered free minutes. However, the holistic activation on the website is currently not fully developed and riddled with errors. The UX must be further improved here. Next to a call-to-action for downloading the app, additional incentives can be set for signing up for a newsletter. This enables Go-Sharing to establish further sustainable communication channels to (potential) customers that didn’t necessarily download the app.
Customer loyalty should definitely be rewarded. This could be in the form of free minutes for frequent drivers. It could also be expanded with gamification elements in the app, which, for example, transparently show the user the CO₂ emissions saved and grant a reward on this basis. Above all, every customer touchpoint with Go Sharing should ensure that simple, environmentally friendly, and fast mobility is made possible.
Often underestimated by many companies, but a very powerful channel. What would happen if, for example, you sent a list of 50,000 customers the info about a referral program, after which both the referral and the referred receive 30 free minutes? Or offering 500,000 app users the opportunity to refer someone in-app. This part can be creatively extended based on customer loyalty.
Conclusion – Growing Potential
A relatively young market that is currently growing very strongly in Germany. The industry is somewhat reminiscent of the super-fast delivery industry. A few, larger players are striving for a first-mover advantage and expand their model to many locations fast. Go Sharing now has to focus a lot on awareness and acquisition in order to tie many customers to their brand. Differentiation must clearly be made at the distribution level. Go Sharing’s strong advantage here is its international network, sufficient resources from investors and deep market know-how. Now, it is crucial to use these strategic advantages in the right way. As always: Distribution first and product-market-fit second.