Jeff Judge

On-Site Operations Just Got a Lot Simpler

The ParkWhiz Mobile Attendant helps parking operators validate license plates and check in vehicles for event parking. On-site personnel can quickly and easily review bookings and validate parking passes from mobile devices. We’re excited to introduce a new version of the app that is not only easier to use, but also introduces a new set of enforcement tools. Here’s a look:

Using the ParkWhiz Mobile Attendant app, lot attendants and enforcement personnel can:

  • View current and future bookings for all of your parking locations listed on the Arrive network (ParkWhiz, BestParking, and hundreds of other partners)
  • Scan parking passes using a QR code, or search for a booking by vehicle license plate or parking pass number
  • Quickly validate bookings using vehicle license plate number
  • View reservations in offline mode - helpful for garages with poor connectivity
  • Contact seller support directly from the app for help

You can download the iOS or Android version of the app today.

We hope this is helpful, and if you’re using the app and have feedback we’d love to hear from you.

Jeff Judge

Getting Smarter with Alexa Conversations

As you may have noticed in today's Alexa Conversations session at Alexa Live, we are one of the partners working to beta test this exciting new platform. Alexa Conversations is a new AI-driven approach to dialog management that enables you to create skills that people interact with in a natural, unconstrained way - using the phrases they prefer, in the order they prefer. Here's a look in case you missed it:

We've been developing our Alexa skill since 2017 and have to say this is the most exciting development we've seen to date. We no longer have to worry about coding for or even identifying all of the different ways people might interact with our skill. Instead, we can provide a set of example dialogs and servicing mappings and allow Alexa Conversations to do all the work -- a huge weight of of our development team's shoulders.

Matt Perille

Tap, Pay, Park

Arrive introduces new drive-up payment option and plans to offer the next generation of digital parking payments

At Arrive, we’ve been working for over a decade to make parking with your phone easy and fast, whether planning ahead with a reservation or driving up and paying on site. The safety and convenience of a quick, touchless payment has never been more important.  

We’re proud to announce our newest feature - Tap to Pay Parking - now available to parking facilities and operators across North America. This simple-to-use feature allows anyone with a mobile phone that supports Apple Pay or Google Pay to simply tap a sign, authorize payment and park seamlessly without touching any tickets, buttons or payment machines.  We recently launched Tap to Pay Parking with the City of Las Vegas and will be expanding to other cities in the coming months.

And - we are delighted to share that we are planning to leverage Apple's new App Clips feature coming later this year in iOS 14. This technology will make Tap to Pay Parking even better, as customers will get the benefit of a beautiful, native iPhone experience without needing our ParkWhiz or Best Parking app (though you'll have the option to download after trying us out).

Here’s a look at Apple demonstrating this new functionality at WWDC:

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This capability is a significant step on our journey to enable simple, mobile payments in all parking situations. We are identifying partners throughout the country to add payment signage to their garages, lots, and on-street meters that will support Tap to Pay Parking as it rolls out throughout the year.

We will continue to iterate with Apple, and we’re excited to find more uses for App Clips together. If you think Arrive can help your parking experience, we’d love to hear from you.

Todd Tucker

What’s New in Parking: Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing isn’t just something that occurs in a rideshare vehicle - it’s happening already in parking garages across the U.S. In partnership with Smarking, the industry’s leading business intelligence and yield management technology solution provider, Arrive launched dynamic pricing for lots and garages across the U.S. last year through our ParkWhiz and BestParking apps. With several months under our belt, we can confidently say that dynamic pricing can help increase demand and revenue for operators.  

After deploying Smarking’s Automatic Yield Management (AYM) for over a year in 10+ markets, we achieved the following results:

  • 163% average revenue uplift across the US when booked through ParkWhiz and BestParking. For locations with high volume, this ranged as high as 400%. Since the machine-learning algorithm learns from transaction data, more transactions equals faster return. 
  • The increase of annual net income has been up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, raising the asset value by millions.
  • Total number of transactions on ParkWhiz and BestParking increased by 137% on average, i.e. 137% more cars parked in the same assets, a huge increase of asset utilization.
  • 50% increase of occupancy during low demand times - evenings and weekends for commercial sites.

It created new demand: 

  • 257% increase of multi-day (1+ days) transactions for urban locations with ParkWhiz or BestParking and AYM. Previously, it was very rare for non-hotel sites to capture these types of transactions.
  • 210.5% increase of 4-6 hour transactions across board for urban locations with ParkWhiz and BestParking. Before, most of the transactions were between 1-2 hours or a full day. Now, more new demand has been created and captured.

Early Case Study: Leading operator, VPNE, achieves a 101% revenue uplift through AYM 

VPNE piloted Smarking's Automated Yield Management (AYM) platform through ParkWhiz and BestParking at two garages in the Fall-Winter 2018. Early success at these locations (figure 1) prompted the expansion to an additional 11 garages in Spring 2019.

By July 2019, AYM has led to a 101% increase in online revenue on ParkWhiz and BestParking. At a 5% cap rate, AYM’s revenue contribution represents $9.7 million in parking asset value uplift for VPNE’s clients.

Figure 1: Early AYM results at pilot garages - weekly ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue 

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Left: Garage A in Boston, weekly ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue grew from $1,206 before AYM to $2,134 after AYM. YoY revenue growth went from 131% to 208%. Right: Garage B (right) in Boston saw weekly ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue grow from $965 before AYM to $2,710 after AYM YoY revenue growth went from 133% to 674%

Results compared to other channels

Success is more significant when compared with the long-term revenue trends of other online channels with conventional rate setting. Over the same period, a non-AYM online channel revenue growth averaged 48% across these garages, and transient drive-up’s revenue growth averaged 0.25%. 

This indicates that before and after AYM, there is no cannibalization across online channels or between online and drive-up channels. By offering parkers more options and more competitive rates during off-peak hours, and charging premium rates during peak hours, Arrive and AYM has helped VPNE capture incremental yield and deliver a steadier stream of parkers to the garage.

Figure 2: Monthly ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue at garages with AYM

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Where dynamic pricing is most successful 

Dynamic pricing and AYM is most successful in “headline” garages – garages that have excess parking inventory during off peak hours, are located in urban areas with a diverse mix of parking demand, and have higher-quality historical parking transaction data that feed AYM’s machine-learning algorithm.

For example, at one garage in Cambridge, where AYM is enabled, ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue has more than tripled since the activation and the occupancy pattern of online parkers has become steadier, indicating that AYM was able to capture demand during off-peak hours when the garage had excess capacity. 

Figure 3: Garage ‘C’ in Cambridge, AYM enabled online weekly revenue and peak occupancy via ParkWhiz and BestParking

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Left: Weekly ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue increased from $241 before AYM to $1,318 after AYM. Right: Daily peak occupancy’s fluctuation decreased after AYM started, showing that AYM has added volume at times when the garage has excess capacity.

Similarly, AYM is able to capitalize on historically slow weeks and capture incremental revenues. At Garage D, AYM performed best during the week of July 4th when transient drive-up and contract parking demand was much lower than usual (Fig. 4). By identifying this trend, AYM automatically adjusted its products and pricing to capture complementary demand, resulting in better utilization of the garage’s empty spaces while generating more revenue. 

Figure 4: ‘D’ Garage, AYM enabled ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue versus drive-up weekly revenue 

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AYM enabled ParkWhiz and BestParking revenue peaked at $3,484 in the week of July 4th when the drive-up demand was at its lowest, indicating that AYM successfully captured complementary parking demand.

Yield management and data-driven operations 

In addition to dynamic pricing, VPNE also leveraged business intelligence to share key parking performance metrics and market trends with commercial landlords and key stakeholders. For example, to understand how ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have affected parking demand and revenue, VPNE’s Yield Management Analyst visualized long-term parking occupancy and revenue trends across multiple garages. 

This effectively elevated the relationship between VPNE and their clients, as projects of this kind can only be carried out at reasonable cost with a market leading business intelligence platform that’s designed, built, and supported for parking professionals. 

If you’re interested in learning more about implementing dynamic pricing, contact me at ttucker@arrive.com.

Mary Duncan

Our Approach to Voice User Testing

As the role of voice continues to expand and evolve at a rapid pace, the product team at Arrive embarked on an extensive research and testing track to discover how to best utilize Alexa in what we call the last mile of mobility.

To successfully design an easy-to-use voice parking product, it’s imperative to stay at the forefront of technical capabilities while fully grasping user comprehension. With testing, the Arrive product team hoped to refine our Alexa Skill to create a thoughtful and beneficial experience for our customers. 

Before getting started, we identified a series of goals: 

  • Gauge current user comprehension of Alexa capabilities
  • Gain an understanding of how users expect to use Alexa for parking
  • Identify areas of frustration
  • Identify and prioritize enhancements based on issue frequency and severity level
  • Discover when and where the user expects information

Currently, most user experience testing practices are meant for visual interfaces, such as phones, touch screens, etc. And since voice products are relatively new, there are few defined formal recommendations for user testing. The product team bridged this gap by developing a non-biased research approach for our Skill.

User Testing

We began each testing session by interviewing the participants about how they used Alexa. Turns out most participants used Alexa for weather forecasts and driving directions, but not much else.

After gathering background information, we then asked users to book parking uninterrupted without providing instructions or context, in order to mimic real-world interactions.

When the user finished, we asked high-level questions, such as “What was your general impression of the Skill?” and “Did you feel frustrated with Alexa at any point?” These questions were designed to garner expansive and thoughtful responses about the Skill without leading them down a specific path.

Solutions

As testing went on, we realized how important it was to provide detailed instructions and phrases to help the user navigate the parking experience. Some users struggled when they used language that the Skill couldn’t recognize. After we outlined common phrases and actions within the Skill, confusion was greatly reduced for inexperienced Alexa users. 

We also identified key transitions along the journey where the user expected specific parking information. By focusing on these areas and highlighting essential information, we minimized deadends, reduced frustrations, and helped the user understand the Skill’s capabilities. 

Also, we realized It’s important to create an experience that’s customized specifically for Alexa users. Google, Siri, and other voice users have different expectations and preferences.

Our team at work
The team at work

Results

Once we implemented these findings, the product team was able to reduce the number of turns within the user flow from nine or more to as little as five. This reduction lowered the average completion time from 98 seconds to 69 seconds, which was a huge accomplishment!

Through research and testing we were able to identify areas of improvement and enhance the overall user experience. This will ultimately make it easier for customers to find and book parking with Alexa.

Once our updates and improvements were made, we were able to create an easy path for booking seen below. 

A simplified view of the ParkWhiz Alexa skill flow
A simplified view of the ParkWhiz Alexa skill flow

If you have any thoughts or voice research you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you! 

Contact us to get the conversation started.

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