The practice of booking a taxi by using a mobile app has become so ingrained in our lives that we do not even think about the uncertainties that were a part of the pre-mobile app world when it comes to ride-hailing. Today, the entire process of booking a taxi has become so streamlined. We do not face any discrepancies with the location, the process of pick up, and the payments.
The on-demand ecosystem has not only made it easy for the consumer but has also opened a new stream of the economy and earnings. It has given proper channels of making an income for a legion of drivers. The business model has also circumvented the problem with salary and taxation by designating the drivers as gig workers and not employees.
This business model has been so powerful that it has been replicated not only in the field of transportation but in almost every other possible service. Food delivery, grocery delivery, babysitting services, household and handyman services, and even dating have been brought into the spectrum of mobile app-based services on demand.
Life is too short to learn everything by ourselves, and that is probably one of the reasons a lot of companies all over the world have followed the Uber model and have launched their own taxi booking applications. Although the skeleton of operation remains the same, every app has garnished its business with a lot of unique features in line with the requirements of the market for which they work.
Grab in Singapore, Lyft in the USA, Careem in the Middle East, DiDi in China, Ola in India, Shebah in Australia, and 99 in Brazil can be quoted as perfect examples. Some of these brands have been so powerful that they ended up costing Uber from their own markets, and sometimes, have forced Uber to enter into an agreement or acquisition.
Before we look at how you can make your on-demand taxi booking app business succeed in the middle of this cutthroat competition, let us look at the key features of the app.
The structure and the features
As you may have known, Uber has three different entities governing the ecosystem. There are different apps given for the passenger, the driver, and the administrator.
The passenger should be able to easily download the app and register for the services. They should also be able to sign up using legacy credentials like Google and Facebook.
The biggest advantage that contributes to the practicality of location-based on-demand services is the use of a personal profile in combination with the GPS technology. Using the GPS command it is possible to precisely identify the location of the user command and show all the possible service providers, or in the case of Uber, drivers in the vicinity.
The driver can use the assistance of the GPS and mapping not only on reaching the location of the user, but also in navigating to the desired destination. Another factor that positions this technology-based taxi dispatch services better than the classic taxi is the transparency on pricing.
The passenger can make the payment for the service availed by using digital payment instruments like credit cards, debit card, Internet banking, and wallets. Both the customers and the drivers get a facility to read each other based on their behavior, courtesy, and professionalism.
What made Uber successful?
The idea behind Uber is quite simple and straightforward. What contributes to the success of Uber and every other taxi booking app like Uber?
The app is quite minimal in its design, and it makes the process of booking a cab quite simple and straightforward. It also enables easy sign up and registration, facilitating an easy transition from their traditional habit into the new lifestyle.
In retrospect, it has to be agreed that the traditional taxi booking system had a lot of challenges. The possibility of you finding a cab ready to take you was quite slim, and the possibility of you finding a driver willing to transport you to your desired destination was even more slim. Although there were government regulations for the price, it was always possible that the driver would charge any amount they want, and sometimes, even increase the amount when the destination is reached.
If you were to re-read the entire earlier paragraph, it would be quite obvious that Uber has effectively solved all the problems that were marring the taxi industry before the advent of on-demand technology.
Uber made the wise decision of starting their business in San Francisco. This city is known for being receptive to technology and people were more than willing to try out the new mode of booking a taxi. In addition, Uber also did not compromise on the quality of work, automatically attracting word-of-mouth publicity. The technological marvel, the convenience, the cost-effectiveness, and the customer delight converged in amplifying the brand value of Uber and cementing it’s supremacy when it comes to on-demand cab booking.
Uber made customers feel empowered. The feeling of empowerment does not always stop with the fact that instead of them going to reach a cab, the cab reaches their location. It also comes from a simple yet mighty addition to their mobile app. The customers can now track in real time, the movement of the driver.
Not content with this success, Uber expanded into other areas like food delivery and courier services. They are even considering foraging into territories like chopper taxis and bike taxis.
Creating a business like Uber
On the surface, it might seem like Uber has cracked every possible territory, and it might not be possible to beat the existing competition with a new taxi booking app. Uber and its derivatives have their own share of misgivings, and any business that can undo these disadvantages is bound to capture a considerable chunk of the market even if not succeed and beat Uber.
One of the most major points of criticism for Uber and any other Uber-like app is the surge pricing. Although the algorithm and the math behind it can be justified, it is still quite convoluted for a common person to understand. More often than not, the amplified pricing is considered a circumvented flouting of the rules of government and fleecing of passengers.
Alternatively, your app can consider using dynamic fare pricing. The dynamic fare pricing can be useful not only for exclusive passengers but also for ride-sharing passengers. It takes into consideration, the factors like demand and supply. Better and transparent pricing will surely help position your brand at a higher level than Uber.
There have also been instances of driver commissions not being paid out on time, and the penalties being a bit too intense for not meeting the daily requirement of trip distance and time. It might sound like a motivating factor for drivers, but if a driver cannot genuinely complete the number of trips, it only leads to frustration.
If your app can get rid of these issues, it is bound to become a favorite among drivers as well. As you might have understood, the key to success in this industry is to have a perfect balance between the engagement from your passengers and availability from your drivers.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the market is still white and open to accommodate new players. If we can learn from the mistakes of Internet Explorer, Skype, Yahoo, and Nokia, you do not always have to be the first to be the best.
Most of the points mentioned above need to be taken care of at the operational level. Another important element needed to complete your on-demand cab booking app ecosystem is an Uber like app.
If you were to consider developing your app from scratch, either by hiring your own team over by partnering with an app development company, both of these options might consume a lot of time and money. Needless to say, you do not always have the assurance that the end product might be free from bugs that might interfere with the basic functionality of the app.
Alternatively, you can consider going for an Uber Clone app. A white label Uber Clone script is not only built to perfection but is also easy to customize. All you need to do is purchase the app from a company that specializes in the creation and customization of Uber clones. They will take care not only to give you the app primed and ready with all the basic features, but also customize it with all the essential elements of your business and branding.