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.

Kate Malerba
Mary Duncan
Rob Winn

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.

Yona Shtern

Connecting the Last Mile of Mobility

Once again, we find ourselves in Las Vegas at the outset of CES for our annual Last Mile of Mobility executive roundtable. Meant as a private space for companies, researchers and municipalities to come together, assess the state of mobility and make commitments to work together towards a more seamless future for the year ahead, this year’s discussions and predictions for 2020 focused on the idea of connecting: connecting public and private work, connecting different modes of transportation, and connecting with consumers in a more native and natural way. 

A More Realistic Approach to Autonomy

While still exciting and revolutionary, it’s no surprise that the industry has adopted a more realistic approach to autonomy and autonomous vehicles. Big challenges, like safety in dense urban environments and predicting the unpredictable behavior of human beings, still persist. It’s also become clear that roads and sidewalks need to be redesigned to accommodate new types of vehicles like autonomous delivery robots. While challenges still exist and level 5 autonomy remains years away, there is still ample opportunity for innovation and adoption.

Public/Private Collaboration

Like last year, collaboration was a common theme in each panel discussion. Since innovation typically begins in the private sector, there must be a consistent and open conversation with the public sector to implement the new technology and encourage its adoption. In large cities, that means numerous organizations all coming together to build new multi-modal solutions - not a small task, but one that is possible and has already been realized in cities like Detroit’s Project Kinetic.

Focus on the Journey

A good consumer experience focuses on the journey, but that journey often starts and ends outside the vehicle. Through partnerships and their wealth of data, mobility companies can build a more end-to-end experience for drivers, complete with predictive recommendations and seamless voice technology that connects the home, car, and work.

Consumer Adoption

A daily commute in Phoenix looks very different than a daily commute in New York City, and it can be a challenge for drivers to change their routines - especially if they have been following the same plan and route for many years. We must make a concerted effort to encourage more consumer adoption of new technology by localizing it to each specific market and promoting it to encourage use. 

Privacy

Automakers and mobility companies generate a lot of data, which comes with great responsibility and power. Data must be protected and consumers need to be better aware of how companies are compiling information and what they are doing with it. Privacy should be a core competency, not a differentiator. 

A big thanks to our Last Mile of Mobility co-sponsor, Flowbird, for their support and participation in this year’s conference. Additionally, thanks to our speakers from Amazon, Google, HERE, Citelum, Cubic, the City of Las Vegas, Strategy Analytics, Verra Mobility, Luum, the University of Michigan and the State of Michigan.

We are inspired by the discussion and excited for the year ahead. If you are interested in learning more or working together, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at yona@arrive.com.

Jeff Judge

How Voice Transformed Our Company

Two years ago, we did something that transformed our company. We developed and launched the first voice-activated parking skill on the market for our ParkWhiz brand. 

What seemed like a fun and simple exercise has led to tremendous opportunities for our company. For two years, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Amazon developers to create the best skill possible for Alexa users at home and in the car. We became an Alexa Fund portfolio company. Today, the ParkWhiz Skill for Alexa Automotive was demoed in a vehicle at Amazon's annual hardware event.

Why is voice so important?

Voice adoption is growing at a rapid rate and technology is advancing quickly. According to a study by Amazon and JD Power, a majority of U.S. consumers want voice technology in their vehicles. Specifically, more than 80% of Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z said they want some sort of voice service available in their cars. 

Arianne Walker, Chief Evangelist for Alexa Automotive, explains why voice is so appealing - especially in the vehicle.

Building a Voice-Powered Customer Experience

Building on the bleeding edge of a new platform like voice from the ground up is a complex and fast-moving process.  Along the way, we learned a few things:

  1. The best companies have a very high bar for customer experience and, when it comes to consumer experiences, Amazon is the best of the best. Embedding emerging technology like geolocation and Amazon Pay into the Skill was key to providing users a better experience and a more seamless path to purchase. 
  2. A simplified user experience is necessary for the in-car voice experience. Since users will be driving, maintaining focus while conversing with Alexa is critical. We needed to simplify our skill for the vehicle by providing drivers the best parking option near their destination, and eliminating as much back and forth conversation as possible. 
  3. Success only comes with constant communication and iteration. Weekly check-ins and joint planning sessions were critical in testing and iterating the Skill - making it the best it can be.

Two years in, we’ve just begun to tap the potential of voice, AI, and connected vehicles. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of voice and building innovative solutions for the in-car experience.

Possibilities are truly endless. If you’re interested in learning more or receiving more content from Arrive, please sign up for our monthly newsletter. 

Ed Lewis

Arrive Delivers All Inclusive Parking Solution to Leading Professional Sports Venues

We’ve spent the first half of the year working closely with venue partners across the U.S. to enhance the game day parking experience for their fans and event-goers. After much work and collaboration with their operations teams, we are a proud partner of several new major professional sports venues. Together, our goal is to help alleviate one of the biggest pain points for fans: parking.

As the leading provider of parking pre-sales for teams and venues across the U.S. and Canada, we’ve recently signed partnerships with the American Airlines Center, Carolina Panthers, SMG Jacksonville, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago White Sox and more. 

Benefits of Pre-Selling Parking

Pre-selling parking is key to helping alleviate fan stress, reduce congestion around venues, and drive higher venue sales, as fans don’t get reminded of the cost of parking right before they take their seats. Fans are routed directly to the garage entrance and scanned in quickly, getting to their seats early with a cold beverage and extra cash that they would have otherwise spent on parking. Arrive is the only company to integrate parking pre-sales into all of the ticketing platforms and major stadium apps like Venuetize, VenueNext, Yinzcam, and MLB Ballpark. In addition to our long-time partner, Ticketmaster, we’ve recently inked deals with SeatGeek, Tessitura, and Paciolan.

Furthermore, we offer a unique parking solution reaches customers via multiple distribution channels before the event, bringing inventory management into one centralized location, and a one-of-a-kind partnership with Waze that helps fans better navigate to venues and alleviates congestion on game day.

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A Proven Solution: Olympia Development Case Study

Olympia Development partnered with Arrive, updated their on-site technology, and included links and interactive widgets on all game day communications. As a result, the venue is pacing to grow its online parking bookings by 240% year-over-year, while dropping its egress time (the time spent leaving a parking garage) by 75% from 45-55 minutes to just 12 minutes.

Let Us Help You

Through our work with hundreds of venues, we have developed a strategically-crafted playbook and sold over $200M of on-site and off-site parking for partners. 

Our #1 goal is to make parking the last thing our partners and their fans worry about. Let’s explore how we can help you and your venue today. Contact us to learn more!

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