Hidde de Lange, student at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), wrote a bachelor thesis paper entitled "The future role of the parking transaction broker". In the introduction of the paper, Hidde de Lange states:
"The past decade e-commerce has been growing exponentially with the enormous growth of Internet users worldwide. E-commerce has changed the way companies do business by affecting their entire business models. New competitors such as online transaction brokers create gaps in the revenue model and drastically change competition as we know it. For example, in the hotel branch we can already see the huge impact of such an event by taking a closer look on the website booking.com, an online transaction broker. Hotels all over the world are “forced” to advertise through an equivalent of this website and the result of this is a “leakage” from the hotel industry due to high commissions from transaction brokers which accounted for 5.4 billion dollars in the year 2010 alone (Starkov, 2010). (...)
The commercial parking business is known as a rather traditional and relatively “young” commercial business and this is supported by the fact that there is only a very limited amount of academic literature on the commercial parking business available. Due to the fact that the commercial parking business is relatively young and traditional the current players are potentially vulnerable to the entry of the “parking transaction broker”. Currently the still relatively small transaction brokers such as Yellowbrick and Park-line are quickly gaining market share in the Dutch parking market as intermediaries through the use of websites and smartphone applications. Due to the enormous increase of e-commerce, and even more specific the upcoming of the online transaction broker, it is very important for the current stakeholders in the parking market to determine their strategy with respect to these new players in the parking market."*
Conclusion of the report:
"In the first place a parking transaction broker can intensify its business to consumer (B2C) focus by offering additional services such as actively informing and advising parking consumers about parking facilities by using static and dynamic information of parking facilities and by offering reserved parking spots. It is important that this happens on a national scale where both on-street and off-street parking facilities are connected to the services the parking broker offers. Parking brokers must make sure that not only the heavy users of parking facilities profit but that their services also become more interesting for the general public.
Secondly the parking brokers can increase their focus on the business to business (B2B) side of the parking market in which they actively market both the parking facilities of parking operators and local governments and the final destinations of parking consumers. By approaching the retail sector they can discuss possible promotional activities such as to compensate retail customers for parking through couponing, combination tickets and in-store discounts. Also other facilities and events that attract parking consumers such as museums, restaurants, festivals and theatres can have similar deals.
Next it becomes clear that car manufacturers will play a much more important role in the parking market of the future. The cars of the future will be able to navigate by themselves and will therefore be able to park outside of areas where priced parking is implemented. In addition to this the cars of the future will have implemented parking services and therefore it is important for parking brokers to have a large market penetration in order for them to become interesting for car manufacturers to implement their parking services. Another role the parking broker can fulfil in the future when it has a large market penetration and a large amount of parking facilities connected to its services is the role of a “market master”. This involves the assigning of certain groups of parking consumers to specific parking facilities.
To conclude, the current parking brokers need the cooperation of both local governments and parking operators in order to achieve all sorts of new roles since they are the owners of physical parking spots. Therefore it is important for parking brokers to make good agreements with local governments and parking operators to make sure that they also benefit from the services offered by parking brokers. The facts that the parking broker knows the parking consumers and can mobilize them and the fact that cashless payment possibilities are becoming more interesting for parking operators and local governments can help parking brokers to achieve this. When these agreements are not made properly it could happen that parking operators create their own parking services and this could possible exclude the existing parking brokers."*
*Quotes from "The future role of the parking transaction broker", Hidde de Lange