Could Mobile Be the Key to Growth for the Parking Industry?

It’s official. Paying via smartphone is here to stay. How do we know, and what does mobile commerce mean for parking?

How We Know Mobile Is Here to Stay

Just weeks after adopting Apple Pay, Whole Foods announced that 1% of their transactions were paid for via iPhone. Even more impressive, Whole Foods customers prepaying with the mobile grocery shopping app Instacart are spending 2.5 times more than average. If mobile payments are helping Whole Foods with faster checkouts, bigger order sizes and more loyal customers, what could mobile payments mean for parking operators?


50% of All Spending Will Be Done Via Mobile Phone Within 5 Years

Not only will 50% of all spending be done on smartphones or tablets by 2020, but 75% of all online commercial transactions will be made via mobile as well. Remember when cash and credit were being replaced by website payment methods? Now website payment methods are being replaced by mobile payment methods. How are non-tech companies supposed to keep up?


Businesses Ignoring Mobile May Already Be Losing Their Edge, and They Don’t Even Know It

The shift toward mobile spending has already become popular in industries like meal delivery, grocery shopping and laundry. Take-out has been transformed by GrubHub. Grocery shopping can be completed at home on the couch without a trip to the store thanks to Instacart. People don’t need to drop their clothing off at the dry cleaner anymore because Washio does it for them with the tap of a smartphone.  What’s happening to the restaurants, grocery stores and laundromats ignoring mobile? They are losing the attention and business of anyone looking for those services on their smartphones or tablets.


Could Off-Street Parking Be the Next Industry to Go Mobile?

We’re already seeing rapid adoption of street parking payment apps like ParkMobile, Pango and PassportParking in major cities in over 30 states. If cities are adopting these technologies for street parking, then surely the off-street operators who aren’t already aboard can’t be far behind.


What Can You Do to Embrace Mobile Today?

While cities may have the money to roll out street parking apps, it’s more difficult for private off-street operators to pull it off.  Here are the first three steps to take advantage of mobile commerce TODAY, without worrying about building your own app:

1. Figure out how many empty spots you have during the following situations that apply to your business:

  • Days
  • Nights
  • Weekends
  • Events

2. Calculate how much you would make if those empty spots were all full. How much more revenue would you realize?

3. Research on-demand parking apps in your city. Could one or multiple vendors help you capture existing mobile app demand to fill those spots?

Mobile commerce is here to stay. It’s making a massive impact on a variety of industries. On-street parking apps are on the rise, and off-street parking operators should take note.


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