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Modern Airport Parking Software Apps & User Expectations

26 Oct 2022
Sarah Marks

Is it time you levelled up your airport parking?

Today, airport parking is more than just a means to an end. Customers expect a high level of service, just as they would in your airport lounge or food and beverage outlets. Here we will look at how airport parking systems contribute to a better customer experience.

What should you look for in a parking ecommerce system?

Despite being one of the largest sources of non-aeronautical revenue for airports, parking is often overlooked and neglected. It would be easy to assume that passengers will park at the airport if they need to park. But it’s important to remember that it’s not their only option. Passengers can get dropped off by friends or relatives, use public transport or even book a taxi using a ride-hailing app like Uber – and in many cases, these options are considered quicker and less hassle than airport parking.

So, if you want passengers to park at your airport, you need to give them a good reason to, i.e. an affordable, convenient and stress-free way to arrive and depart from the airport. Passengers don’t want to be sat in lengthy queues, wasting fuel and polluting the environment while they wait to enter a busy airport car park. Nor do they enjoy competing for spaces, searching for coins to put in a metre and risking missing their flights.

Meet modern user expectations by providing an online airport parking system that enables passengers to search, choose and reserve parking spaces.

Instead of whipping out their smartphone to book a taxi, passengers can access your parking reservation app, book a space and arrive stress-free, knowing they’ve secured a dedicated space in your car park.

Key features to look for in an airport parking system include:

  • A simple, visual and user-friendly interface like a parking reservation app
  • Integration with smart parking technology like sensors, cameras and contactless payment processing
  • Centralised parking data management and integration with CRM solutions
  • Easy back-end controls for monitoring your car park capacity in real-time
  • Dynamic pricing and yield management tools for flexibility in parking tariffs
  • Ecommerce tools to offer cross-sells, upsells & promotions seamlessly within the booking journey

Along with meeting user expectation for Along with meeting user expectations for faster, more convenient and hassle-free parking, airport parking systems can positively influence passengers’ overall experience with your airport. After all, if they arrive calm, relaxed and in a good mood thanks to easy parking, they are more likely to spend money at your airport, tell others about their great experience and return to book with your airport again in the future.

How can airport parking systems achieve operational innovation?

Airport parking systems, which allow for smart control over car parks and prebook parking, have the means to improve customer experience and airport revenues.

We know that following the COVID-19 pandemic, most airport businesses are cash-strapped. However, as discussed in our article, ‘Untapped Revenue Streams Your Airport Already Has,’ airports can achieve operational innovation by making more of existing assets.

Investing in an airport parking system will give you a greater insight into the available space and how parking customers use it. With this data at your fingertips, you can maximise capacity, drive revenue and create new opportunities for your airport.

For instance, with dynamic pricing tools, you can change your parking tariffs according to how busy your car parks are. In peak times, set parking tariffs higher to deter people from parking with you. Consider running promotions with airport ground transportation providers to encourage passengers to use public transport instead. Or, if you know your car park will be relatively quiet, you can set lower parking tariffs and run limited-time promotions to encourage more people to park at your airport.

Rezcomm’s Parking module, which incorporates real-time and yield management tools, makes it easy to check, change and introduce new tariffs to maximise parking revenue.

Increasing customer spend and providing a value-added service

Airport parking systems also enable airports to connect with customers, secure their marketing permissions and sell them more products and services. With access to customer behaviour and buying habits, your airport can personalise customers’ cross-sells and offer promotions on products they’re most likely to want. For instance, if your customers’ previous booking data shows they’ve paid more for valet parking, it suggests they may also be willing to pay for other ‘upgrades’ like Fast Track tickets or extra time in your airport lounge.

Customers love personalisation, and a whopping 91% say they are more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.

Remember, with the Rezcomm Marketplace, you can conveniently sell a wide range of travel products and reservations, including parking, airport lounge and pre-order food and beverage to customers in a single basket, encouraging them to book their entire journeys with you.

But even if customers only use your parking reservation app to book parking with you initially, you can still signpost them to your flight booking page to increase awareness of your offerings for next time. In addition, you can use your parking reservation app to introduce customers to your reward programme, gather their marketing permissions and funnel them into the loyalty loop to increase their lifetime spend with your airport.

Essentially, an airport parking system, like Rezcomm’s Reservations, will not only improve customer experience and revenue from parking but also offer many opportunities to build valuable, long-lasting relationships with your customers.

What is the future of smart airport parking systems?

The automotive industry is constantly advancing, and many of the ‘impossible’ ideas of the past are now becoming a reality. We’re talking about built-in parking assistants, self-driving cars and electric engines. An explosion of mind-blowing innovations influences new consumer expectations and demands, which are only set to increase. Not only do customers want to drive safely, comfortably and in a more environmentally-friendly way, but they also want to be able to pre-book where they’re going to park, pay for it contactlessly and remain stress-free.

Hence, smart parking has gone from being a ‘nice to have’ to a necessity for busy airports and venues. Yes, an airport parking system is essential if you want to keep up with customers’ demands and provide the seamless user experience they expect.

IoT technologies in car parks

Right now, many modern car parks are equipped with a broad spectrum of IoT technologies that improve the parking experience for drivers. Examples include high-resolution smart cameras that use plate recognition for automated entry and billing and lighting systems that guide drivers to their pre-booked parking spaces.

IoT and other technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality, will all play a significant role in increasing the efficiency of airport parking systems for years to come.

Mobile parking apps for airports

We are already seeing an increasing number of mobile apps which make parking easier for drivers. For example, parking apps featuring live capacity information and functionality for quick price comparisons and contactless payments. We also expect to see more businesses offering drivers the opportunity to pre-book specific spaces from apps and use GPS technology to guide them to their spaces.

Complete parking automation

The next step for smart parking is complete automation. Influenced by the arrival of automated vehicles, cities all over the globe are already trialling next-generation technologies like self-parking vehicles, specialised automated vehicle car parks and robotic parking valets.

One Colorado company is working on a fully automated parking garage, using a laser system that scans cars and a robotic valet for parking them. Vehicles are transported by a robotic dolly that lifts and transfers them onto storage racks, which can park up to 4 times as many cars in the same space as a traditional garage.

While your airport might not be ready for robots (yet), it’s both promising and inspiring to see that the future of smart parking is bright.

Increase your efficiency with digital processes

When investing in any new airport technology, you need the reassurance that it will continue to profit and futureproof your business in the long run. Rezcomm’s digital parking management solutions are the backbone of efficient airports and will continue to benefit your airport and open doors to new revenue-making opportunities as your business grows.

Benefit from an advanced Reservations solution to simplify prebook parking and improve customer experience, along with ongoing support and guidance from our industry-leading experts.

Join airports around the globe in making Rezcomm your partner of choice for parking. Download our Reservations brochure and Book a Meeting to get started.