Parking in private commercial lots can often be a frustrating experience. As you drive into a lot, you sometimes feel like the parking rates are a well-kept secret until you're ready to leave. This lack of transparency can lead to surprises and frustrations, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, we will explore how increasing transparency in parking pricing for private commercial lots can be achieved.
The Current Parking Pricing Dilemma
Private commercial parking lots have long operated under a veil of secrecy when it comes to their pricing. Different rates, for days, evenings, weekends, and special event pricing make it complicated for lot owners to easily communicate pricing. Drivers are often left in the dark about how much they will be charged until they are ready to leave. This lack of transparency can lead to a negative experience for customers who feel blindsided by unexpected fees. It can also deter potential customers from choosing a particular parking lot, as they may fear hidden costs.
Let Them Know Before They Start Their Journey
In an age where information is at our fingertips, publishing your lot’s pricing on platforms such as your Google listing, Parkopedia, Third Party Reservation tools such as SpotHero or ParkWhiz, or your location’s website is a powerful tool for attracting savvy drivers. When potential customers search for parking options, having transparent pricing readily available online can make your lot stand out from the competition. Savvy drivers, who prefer to plan their journeys meticulously, appreciate the ability to compare prices in advance, ensuring they make a well-informed decision. By displaying your parking rates online, you not only improve transparency but also increase the chances of your lot being their top choice. This not only benefits drivers but also helps your parking business thrive by capturing the attention of those who value upfront information and want to avoid unexpected expenses.
Increasing Transparency with Rate Boards
One of the most common ways that parking lots communicate pricing is by installing rate boards at the entrance. These rate boards display the parking rates clearly for all to see before drivers enter the lot. By providing upfront pricing information, drivers can make informed decisions and have a better understanding of the cost of parking. Rate boards are a straightforward yet effective way to increase transparency and improve the overall parking experience.
Digital Signage Upon Entry
In addition to rate boards, digital signage upon entry can take transparency to the next level. These digital signs can display real-time information, such as available spaces, current parking rates, and any ongoing promotions. When drivers pull into the lot, they can immediately access this information, making the parking experience more convenient and transparent. Digital signage can also help drivers quickly identify the most cost-effective parking options, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Empowering Drivers with Mobile Payments
While rate boards and digital signage provide immediate transparency, a mobile web app takes it a step further by offering drivers the ability to see their current parking fare and pay conveniently. With a mobile app, drivers have the ability to check the parking rates, calculate their estimated parking fare in advance, and track their parking duration and fare in real-time. This empowers them to make informed decisions and avoid surprises when it's time to leave.
Moreover, the app can also facilitate cashless payments, reducing the need for physical payment methods and improving the overall parking experience. Drivers can pay with ease, knowing exactly how much they owe, thereby eliminating any ambiguity surrounding pricing.
Save Drivers Money and Support Local Merchants
To further enhance the value of the mobile app and foster positive relationships with both drivers and local businesses, the app can be designed to include a directory of nearby businesses that offer parking validations. This feature not only empowers drivers to save money on their parking fare but also supports small businesses that choose to participate in the program. When drivers park in a lot associated with this validation network, they can easily access information on nearby partner businesses that can validate their parking, reducing or even covering the parking cost. This mutually beneficial arrangement encourages local businesses to participate, attracts more foot traffic, and strengthens the sense of community in the area. It's a win-win scenario where drivers benefit from reduced parking costs, and local businesses enjoy increased patronage and customer loyalty. The mobile app thus becomes a valuable tool for promoting local commerce while providing cost-effective parking solutions to drivers.
Increasing transparency in parking pricing for private commercial lots is a win-win for both parking lot operators and drivers. Increasing your online presence, rate boards and digital signs upon entry, a dedicated mobile app, and a validation portal, offer a comprehensive solution to the long-standing issue of opaque pricing. These tools empower drivers with the information they need to make informed choices and contribute to a smoother, more enjoyable parking experience.
By implementing these transparency-enhancing technologies, private commercial parking lots can build trust with their customers, attract more business, and provide a modern and convenient parking solution in a world that increasingly values transparency and convenience. The future of parking pricing is bright, and it's driven by transparency and technology. To learn more about how Vend can help you increase pricing transparency for your parking location, schedule a demo.