Airport parking revenues have taken a big hit with Covid but are coming back as travel returns. Prepaid parking online has given airports the eCommerce tools they need to compete with rideshare apps, off-airport parking lots, taxis, public transportation, and drop-offs. But competition is fierce, so here are 5 tactics to help your airport compete for parking customers online.
FIVE WAYS TO HELP YOUR AIRPORT GROW ONLINE PARKING REVENUES IN 2023
By Brian Bethel
1. Increase Average Lead Time of Parking Transactions Online
Average Lead Time is often overlooked as a primary KPI by airports. However, I believe it is one of the more crucial metrics in airport parking revenue management. The primary objective of having travelers prepay for parking is to capture customers before they decide to take Uber/Lyft or get dropped. After all, competitive intrusion from rideshare apps is the reason many airports adopted parking ecommerce.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: AVERAGE LEAD TIME
How to Increase Average Lead Time of Parking Transactions Online
Capture parking customers earlier in their travel journey, ideally two weeks out from their travel date
- Create products to attract and incentivize customers to book parking further in advance. I.e., cheaper parking for booking in advance
- Create campaigns to raise awareness to the market and travelers that they can save the most by booking parking in advance
- Increase pricing for customers with lower lead times
- Show savings lost on your airport’s eCommerce site to those who don’t book parking further in advance
- Communicate with confirmed travelers (see point number 4)
2. Align Customers Segments with the Appropriate Parking Products Online
Airports typically have several parking products from remote lots and covered lots to terminal and valet. Each of an airport’s parking products aligns with a different customer segment. Remote lots appeal to the price-conscious traveler, while Terminal products appeal to premium customers who are less price-sensitive and care more about traveling savvy and conveniently.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: PRODUCT TRANSACTIONS/REVENUE
How to Align Customers Segments with the Appropriate Parking Products Online:
Increase transactions of all parking products online by distinguishing them from one another through a clear pricing strategy. An airport’s premium parking product (terminal and valet) should never be similar in price to cheap products such as remote lots.
- Parking products online should be priced accordingly
- Remote lots: cheap $
- Covered lots: value $$
- Terminal garages: premium $$$
- Valet: $$$$
- Target customers segments based on the product that fits their purchase desires (price, convenience, or value). Having four products priced on a natural continuum will maximize revenue and pair products with various customer audiences. There’s no need to sell premium-terminal to value shoppers who are willing to park at the covered and remote.
- Create messaging tailored to connect each parking product with each customer segment
- The terminal customer is not your value customer, so a big discount here is not necessary. Value and price customers will buy remote and covered parking
Airport parking online eCommerce sites bring a level of sophistication to selling parking. Upselling parking customers to a more premium product is one of the easiest ways to take advantage of prepaid parking ecommerce. Furthermore, a distinct pricing strategy between Terminal, Remote, and Covered products online allows your airport to upsell customers from lower-priced products into higher-priced products.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: UPGRADE REVENUE
How to Increase Revenue by Upselling Customers from Lower-priced Products into Higher-priced Products:
- Create upsell products and integrate them into email automation workflows to accomplish an upsell approach
- HINT: Create hidden upgrade products in your eCommerce platform. This way, you can create email workflows that fire off upgrade links to customers who meet your upgrade parameters
4. Target Confirmed Travelers
White Pants Agency has proprietary methods and unique technology that allows airports to communicate with confirmed travelers originating from your airport. Our data partners include airlines, car rental, hotels, OTAs, meta-search sites. White Pant’s data strategy remains hugely cost-effective. Targeting confirmed travelers with your airport’s parking messaging is the most efficient way to sell parking to new customers and not waste marketing dollars on customers who have no travel planned.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: TRANSACTIONS & NEW CUSTOMERS
Contract White Pants Agency to market your airport’s online parking products to confirmed and in-market travelers in the following media channels:
- Display networks
- Digital video
- Streaming services
5. Increase Average Order Frequency
The cost of capturing a new online parking customer is high and often can have neutral or negative ROI. The lifetime value (LTV) of a customer is where an airport realizes profit. Increasing the average order frequency of existing customers is the easiest and cheapest way to address LTV and grow revenue.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: AVERAGE ORDER FREQUENCY, LTV, CHURN RATE, AVERAGE YEARLY LTV
How To Increase The Average Order Frequency Of Each Online Parking Customer:
- The benefit of eCommerce airport parking platforms is data acquisition of your parking customers. This data can power business intelligence tools, advertising platforms, and email marketing. Use this data to increase Average Order Frequency with a sophisticated email marketing strategy and ongoing advertising that targets existing customers:
- Email marketing
- Email automation workflows
- Targeting past customers in display and social media
- Customer loyalty campaigns
About The Author
My name is Brian Bethel, and I’ve spent the last four years becoming an expert in online prepaid parking for airports. I lead a digital marketing firm called White Pants Agency that, among other things, has expertise in eCommerce technology, strategy, advertising, creative, and analytics for airport marketing. We have worked with some of America’s biggest airports, and I am excited to tell you about the things I’ve learned along the way.