Mobile Apps The Main Focus Of Car Rental Competition
Rental car companies going all out in an app frontier
Unpredictable times calls for unpredictable solutions. Who would have thought that 10, or even five years ago, the car rental industry would be going through a period where fickle consumers would replace brand loyalty? Or that technology would be in the driver’s seat steering players to whatever destination promises the Next Big Thing?
Let’s face it, competition won’t be driven by autonomous vehicles or green technology any time soon. For now, the weapons of choice are those icons on people’s smartphones promising customers more options than ever. The hope is that a company unleashing an app that promises the most suitable solutions tailored to client needs will provide them with the market advantage it so badly needs to lead the pack.
Mobility doesn’t garner the same alluring headlines as self-driving vehicles, but that’s where the latest battle in in the trenches is being waged. This week, car rental company Sixt revealed that it’s managed to stave off ride-sharing customers, particularly in Germany, and witnessed profits jump by more than 12 percent within the last year. Combining all its services under one app has been credited for the company’s recent fortunes.
“Bundling our products in one app and the digital interconnection of our fleet open up significant cross-selling potentials, allowing us to use our marketing budgets more efficiently and enabling us to utilize our fleet still better,” said Henrik Imhof, a senior vice president at Sixt.
Avis has been making a great deal of noise over its revamped app that has been instrumental in the company’s loyalty program recently winning an international Magellan Award sponsored by Travel Weekly Magazine. Company performance hasn’t been so shabby, either.
“The Avis app enables customers to control every aspect of the car rental process through their smartphone, including changing or upgrading to the exact vehicle you want to drive, extending your rental on-the-go, as well as providing you details of the nearest petrol station and parking options,” said Tom Mooney, a senior Avis manager, on the contribution the app’s had on company business.
Other players like Enterprise and Budget have also reaped dividends over how the app has increased customer convenience, especially with the addition of a monthly subscription option introduced earlier this year by both companies.
The app shift has certainly encouraged vehicle management software program creators and distributors to roll out dynamic new platforms geared towards mobility. Bluebird is one such company that’s dedicated time and resources, with the launch of its new and improved RentWorks Mobile app.
With RentWorks Mobile, cellular connectivity enables simple remote contact with customers, especially with speedy check-in and check-out processes. Credit card scanning is now a breeze thanks to a user-friendly interface. The platform can also be used on Android and iOS devices.
With a more intense app battle for attention going on, the big winner is the consumer.