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What is parking reservation software and how does it work?

12 Oct 2022
Sarah Marks

Imagine this. You’ve arrived at a venue and entered the car park, only to find a long queue of vehicles in front of you, all desperately trying to find spaces. Your stress levels start to rise. Are you going to be late? Will you ever find a spot? What if you don’t have the right coins for the pay and display metre? The parking anxiety is already taking its toll and ruining your customer experience.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thankfully, many savvy airports, venues and other businesses are now seeing the light and investing in a new generation of smart parking systems that make parking easier for everyone.

Here we will discuss what parking management software is, how it works and the benefits for parking operators and car park users.

What is parking management software?

Parking management software or smart parking systems are central reservation systems designed to secure and increase online bookings for parking operators and businesses with car parks. With a global shift from physical money to contactless payments and digital currency, more and more companies are using online parking systems to meet the demands of modern-day drivers.

Additionally, parking management software simplifies vehicle parking and traffic flow management within a car park. For example, parking operators can digitally track the number of cars and spaces in a car park, and with more complex solutions, they can even alert and guide drivers to open spaces.

Parking management software can be integrated with other equipment, including but not limited to parking metres, cameras, sensors, automatic gates and lighting systems. Various solutions are available; however, most are designed with the same goals – to make car parks safer, more efficient and more profitable.

How does parking management software work?

Smart parking systems vary in functionality and usage but broadly speaking; each will offer the following features:

Traffic tracking: An online parking system usually records inbound and outbound car park traffic. It will track free spaces and tell operators how many cars have passed through the car park over a certain period. It enables operators to automate their car parks for continuous monitoring and benefit from true occupancy data in real-time with live parking available and occupancy levels.

Manage space types: An airport parking system or other smart parking systems will enable the operator to manage and control different parking types, such as disabled spaces, VIP spaces and electric vehicle charging spaces.

Multi-location management: Whether you have a multistory car park with several different floors or car parks spread over multiple locations, parking reservation software will enable you to monitor each parking lot from a single location.

Access controls: Operators can integrate online parking systems with access controls like QR code ticket scanners or vehicle number plate recognition that only grant access to drivers with a pre-booked parking space.

Reporting: One of the valuable features of smart parking systems is data capture. Companies can use parking data to improve traffic flow, provide analytics and calculate ROI, giving you more control and insights over your car parks.

Payment options: As mentioned, smart parking systems are compatible with contactless and digital payments for customers’ convenience.

Permits and subscription management: An online parking system will usually offer the functionality to manage and track permits, passes and subscriptions for staff and visitors.

Ecommerce: A flexible venue or airport parking system will integrate seamlessly with your ecommerce website so you can offer pre-book parking reservations to customers.

What are the benefits of parking management software?

Smart parking systems that incorporate parking reservation software, tracking and contactless payments are replacing archaic pay and display methods that require customers to have coins to pay for their parking. All businesses (no matter their size) can benefit from an online parking system, including:

  • Airports
  • Hotels and conference centres
  • Entertainment and sports venues
  • Shopping centres
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Commercial car parks and multi-storey car parks
  • Train stations

And the list goes on.

General benefits of smart parking systems

Smart parking systems give businesses a better understanding of how their car parks are used. In addition, having access to advanced data and analytics on your car park will enable you to improve flow, reduce congestion and monitor your car park easily.

A venue or airport parking system can also help improve your car park security by storing number plate data and managing inbound and outbound vehicles. This benefits not only your business but also the employees, customers and visitors using your car parks.

Operational benefits of an online parking system

As we explained at the beginning of this blog post, parking can be a pretty stressful task. Parking worries cost your customers time and may even negatively affect their overall experience with your business. Offering pre-booked parking reservations alleviates these concerns about using your business and provides a more convenient way for customers to pay for their parking. In addition, by making it a smoother and more enjoyable user experience, parking management software will help enhance your business reputation, attract more customers and increase your revenue from loyal, repeat parkers.

Using an airport parking system or online parking system for your business is an affordable and flexible way to take control of your operations. There is no need to outsource parking management to a third party and lose out on valuable customer data. With your own cost-effective parking management solution, you can get to know your customers and respond quickly to their changing needs and those of your business.

As well as saving money, there’s the opportunity to make more of it! Yes, with smart parking systems like Rezcomm’s Reservation modules, yield management tools and dynamic pricing strategies can be used to generate more revenue from your existing car park spaces.

Airport parking system environmental benefits

We’re well aware that airports and businesses in other industries are constantly looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. So you may be interested to hear that smart parking systems can reduce congestion and pollution. This is achieved by ensuring a better traffic flow through your car park and even guiding cars to available spaces, so they are not sat in unnecessary queues, wasting fuel and emitting pollutants.

Reporting benefits of smart parking systems

We’ve already touched on the reporting functionality of parking management software, but it’s worth reiterating. There is much value in collecting real-time info on your car park and its users. Firstly, it can help you identify areas of improvement. Secondly, make sure you maximise ROI from your available spaces. Finally, arguably most importantly, it offers a deeper insight into how customers behave and use your services so that you can tailor your offerings accordingly.

Combine the Rezcomm Marketplace’s powerful Reservation, Customers and Marketing modules to build valuable relationships with your parking customers, targeting the right offers at the right time and optimising revenue-driving upsells and cross-sells. What’s more, there’s the opportunity to integrate your online parking system with your loyalty programme to identify and reward frequent parkers, to encourage them back to your car park time and time again. For more expert parking tips, check out our blog post, ‘25 Tips from the Parking Ecommerce Experts.’

Secure technology you can trust

Is it time you switched to an online parking system to offer pre-book parking reservations and manage your car park more efficiently? Download our Reservations brochure to discover our smart and scalable parking management solutions for businesses like yours. And when you’re ready, Book a Meeting with our team of parking industry experts and benefit from a tailored strategy to maximise your parking revenue.