While every automobile OEM worth its name is considering a foray into ride sharing, such competition might unhinge the business models of established ride-sharing services players who will have to seek greater opportunities within the sector to stay in the game. One avenue to consider could be subscription-based services that traditional ride-sharing companies have been avoiding so far, but that offer a myriad of opportunities.
So why is everyone getting into ride-sharing when the margins are low or razor thin? For one, the future of car companies lies in data rather than passenger car sales. This means that automakers are betting on getting data on you even if you are not buying their cars. But how is that possible? Well, that’s one reason why automakers are keen on running ride-sharing companies. Further, if one were to go with the U.S. market forecast, you would see that forty-one percent of automaker profits will come from new car sales by the year 2020. This number, however, will come down to about 29 percent and that’s got to hurt. It also means that new revenue streams, as well as business models, need to be created.
Subscription – The Way Forward
A subscription-based ride sharing model already has been launched by cab aggregators in India. But these only target customers with ride service needs. In the future, the possibilities of services will increase to cover meals, gaming, shopping, health checks, and more. Imagine this, you buy a plan worth INR 800 a month on a certain cab aggregator’s platform. You then would be entitled to certain hours of free content and gaming, as well as attractive rates on services, such as meals or health checks, all of which could be availed and paid for during a booked ride. So the amount of time you spend within the confines of a cab can be monetized to a much larger extent by the cab aggregator.
Data and the Internet of Things
The operational details of running a ride sharing fleet will be managed by an Internet of Things (IoT) telematics platform. This would include defining service rules, managing routes, ride safety, relationship management between vendors, and gathering customer experience insights. Critical parameters, such as customer onboarding, on-demand scheduling, fleet allocation, vehicle maintenance requirements, and even pricing and promotions, can be handled by the platform.
This IoT platform will be at the core of subscription-based ride sharing services. The technology architecture will give it enough muscle to cater to the rigors of customer experience while being agile enough to render operational flexibility as needed.
For all this to come to pass, companies are realizing that the most critical part involves data. Data is and always will be king. Data is the glue that binds automobile companies, taxi aggregators / ride sharing companies, connectivity providers, and an assortment of vendors. Data will offer these businesses an incentive to extend customer experience innovation.
The data generated, accessed, stored, and analyzed across service points will go a long way in redefining the customer experience and assuring customer and driver loyalty. Data will open new doors for monetizing the customer experience, providing innovation for new business and operational models, while improving bottom lines and sustainability for all involved.
To learn more on ride-sharing and the IoT, or to see how data can transform your business, contact us at Aeris.com.