If there is one process that has changed considerably in the last decade, it has to be the process of booking a cab. Instead of waving at a random taxi on the road and experiencing the uncertainty associated with the knowledge of the driver regarding your location, it has now been brought to a simple process of downloading a mobile app and booking your cab in three clicks or less. The credit for this transformation has to be given to the start-up from San Francisco, Uber.
Uber cannot be considered a mere evolution but rather a revolution. Unlike the earlier innovations in taxi booking that saved to make an existing process efficient, Uber brought out a taxi booking app solution that changed the entire process of booking a taxi. It has been so powerful and impactful that it not only expanded vertically giving rise to many other taxi booking app solutions across the world but also horizontally, imbibing the essence of the business model for multiple services including but not limited to food delivery, courier delivery, babysitting, grocery delivery, and beauty and grooming services.
In all of this, the taxi industry has retained its supremacy in being the harbinger of on-demand services. The rapidly growing expansion, the awareness, the replication of business models in multiple countries, and the comfort of people in using an on-demand service meant that there was no looking back for the taxi booking on-demand.
The COVID-19 interregnum
2020 turned out to be an odd year for a lot of businesses. The restrictions on travel, going outdoors, and the imposition of social distancing meant that a lot of driving businesses like travel, transportation, restaurants, and the entertainment industry.
The cab booking on-demand had taken one of the worst hits during this pandemic. Without people needing to commute on a daily basis and without people traveling, there was no way for these gig drivers to earn their livelihood.
There was a need for these drivers to find out an alternate source of income. Parallel to this, there is a lot of new cab booking on-demand app companies springing up left, right, and center. The pandemic has called a lot of people, including prominent business owners, to revisit the reliability and dependability of their business, especially under such unprecedented situations.
Therefore, it became imperative for the businesses to find alternate sources of revenue to benefit their drivers, and it surely would be better if it fits into the same skeleton of things.
The way out
A lot of cab booking app companies have resorted to two main strategies. These strategies have not only proven to be effective but rather profitable and beneficial, going in line with what users would demand during this time.
Using your cabs for delivery
When we think of the times before COVID-19, delivering a parcel at least in the vicinity of our location was something we did by ourselves. However, after the pandemic, people have resorted to using delivery services even for short-distance deliveries. Sometimes, the parcels are quite large, and they cannot be taken over by a motorcycle.
The hobbies and the growing interest in home-based businesses in those recent days have also contributed to an increase in demand for courier and parcel services. It might be something as simple as a snack or something as complicated as a piece of art.
Under such circumstances, the cabs that were tied up with your taxi booking app can double up as a courier or parcel delivery vehicle. Maybe the earnings might not be as big as it is for transporting people, but something is better than nothing. A lot of cab drivers are more than willing to use their cars for transporting horses.
How does it make a great business idea?
The relevance of the business model has already been discussed. The increase in demand is more than enough of a reason to bring in this business as an extension to your taxi booking solution.
What makes the business idea even better is that you already have the infrastructure built. No, we are not talking about the technology but the network of drivers and the trust that people have in your brand. Upon introspection, it would be possible for you to realize that these are considerably tricky aspects of your ride-hailing business.
If you have a good number of people who have already downloaded your taxi booking app, you do not have to start from scratch. All that is required is a software update that will give users an option to book a parcel pick up from your location.
How does it work?
A parcel and courier service is quite similar to an app like Uber if its functionality. Therefore, a taxi booking app like Uber can double up as a courier delivery on-demand as well.
The user can download the app and input their location. They will need to specify the delivery location as well. Based on the size of the parcel and the distance of travel, the delivery is charged. Just like any other taxi booking app, the business takes a commission and gives the rest to the driver who facilitates the delivery.
Similar to any on-demand solution, the GPS comes into play in precisely identifying the location of the parcel booker and the recipient. The mapping and navigation assistance help the driver in reaching the location without any hassle.
Perhaps the only difference that is the most obvious is that there is no difference in the experience of delivery that can be changed by the type of car that takes the parcel!
Retaining the driver
Maybe the courier service on demand is a perfect and almost-adequate replacement for what Uber was and how drivers were earning. In all of this, it should not be forgotten that the driver is the epicenter of the entire process. Therefore, it becomes a thing of paramount importance to retain your drivers and increase the loyalty they have towards your brand.
A few simple steps can go a considerable distance in retaining drivers.
Just like any other job that demands going outdoors, even drivers are susceptible to health hazards. It is crucial for your business to ensure the protection and health of your drivers against the dreaded COVID-19. Masks should be encouraged for your drivers, and if possible, the business should provide masks for the drivers. The car should always have hand sanitizers in place not only for the drivers but also for the users. Plexiglass shields separate the driver compartment and the passenger area, and it ensures safety for both the driver and the passenger. Although this might not be relevant for courier pick up, it is still a good safety measure.
For a lot of drivers, the income that they get from driving. The taxi is the only source of their bread and butter. It might not be possible for them to earn in millions, but it is well within the right to expect transparency in income. The drivers should be paid on time, and they should be able to keep a track of their revenue flow on a daily and monthly basis. Nobody likes to be disappointed with an unanticipated deduction in the final payment!
There is also a need for the business to keep drivers pampered with rewards, loyalty points, and other incentives and benefits. There have been instances of cab companies facilitating evening classes for free or at heavily discounted rates for drivers, so they can enhance their educational process.
Although not in a very welcome way, it has been proven that the Uber business model cannot be completely destroyed but can only take its profit from one stream or another! This would mean that a taxi booking app solution is a lucrative business idea.
If you would like to kickstart your own taxi business and if your app would need the flexibility it requires to quickly accommodate an additional service like courier pick up on demand, all you need to do is get in touch with a company that specializes in the creation and customization of Uber Clone apps. They will take care to understand your requirement and do the needful to make the app suit your business needs.