In last week’s webinar, “Understanding Consumer Behavior and Parking,” we heard from Kristen Locke, Regional Sales Manager at ParkMobile, about the latest research around consumer behavior as it relates to parking. Check out our top takeaways from the session below.
Top 5 Takeaways from “Understanding Consumer Behavior and Parking”
- Today’s consumers have higher expectations and less patience. According to Salesforce Research, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. For businesses, understanding customers’ needs – and exceeding their expectations – are now critical requirements to compete in today’s market. 63% of customers expect companies to provide new products and services more frequently than ever before, and 67% of customers say they’ll even pay a premium to companies that offer superior experiences. Today, parking is more than just pulling into a space – it’s an experience, and customers want a connected journey.
- New technologies are changing consumer behaviors. According to ParkMobile’s 2018 Consumer Behavior Study, customers are primarily driven by convenience when it comes to parking. On-street parking is the most convenient option, but it also happens to be less available, which becomes a big source of frustration for customers searching for an open spot to park while they’re on the go. With technology, not only can parking providers get customers to available on-street spaces faster, but they can also direct customers to underutilized off-street spaces if those on-street spaces are at capacity. Technology is giving customers better visibility into their options, allowing them to make smarter decisions, and changing the way they park.
- Mobile apps are improving the parking experience. The search for convenience is driving more and more people to mobile apps as the preferred way to pay for parking. While most of these users have only been using a mobile parking app for less than two years, 75% of them are using them to park at least a few times a month, and in situations where these users don’t use the app, it’s generally only because the app isn’t accepted at that specific location. Interestingly, mobile parking apps, while still relatively new, are not just for “young people” anymore – 38% of ParkMobile’s users are over 50 years old. Across the board, the highest-rated feature for mobile parking apps is the ability to extend time remotely. While this is not always a necessity, it’s provides an enhanced experienced and saves users from having to run back to feed the meter.
- The parking industry is quickly transitioning toward Parking as a Service (PAAS). Customers now expect a connected, frictionless experience. As expectations have shifted, parking has started moving from being solely a transaction to becoming a service – with recurring customers instead of one-time customers, multiple revenue streams instead of one revenue stream, and relationships instead of customer blinds. Parking is now a differentiated operation where users can rely on technology to help them find, reserve, and pay for parking. In the future, these capabilities will grow increasingly connected to the in-car experience, where users will be able to elect services from the center display unit of their cars, such as a car wash or oil change, to be performed while they’re parked.
- The parking technology landscape is evolving, and parking professionals need to be prepared. To create parking habits, you need to encourage users to start them, and that requires effective communication. In our December webinar, “Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Parking Program,” Jeff Perkins, ParkMobile CMO, discussed how to launch an effective marketing program to help drive app utilization, improve compliance, and create a better experience for customers. To create this experience-driven success, parking professionals need to constantly audit signage, activate local media, create awareness through advertising and promotion, stay active on social media, solidify their digital presence, leverage face-to-face interaction, and most importantly, engage with their users.
To learn more about how you can think differently about your businesses in order to better serve your customers, you can watch the on-demand session of the webinar here. Our next webinar, “How to Deploy Your Parking App for Seamless Customer Adoption,” will take place on February 26th at 1:30 pm EST. See you there!