As pre-booking for on-site airport car parks becomes the norm across Europe, customers are looking more closely at the value for money they can get online. No longer content with paying more for the practicality of pre-booking, customers demand maximum value when deciding where to park – so are your online prices giving them what they are looking for?
Would your customers rather fly a plane than park a car?
A recent article in the Independent revealed that the price of parking at some airports in the UK is more expensive than the cost of storing a plane, with differences of up to £50.
In response to negative customer perceptions about the cost of parking, several airports across the UK have started to promote their services with online discounts and improved advantages for those who pre-book, in an effort to make on-site services more practical, flexible, and better value than those offered by competitors.
An article in Which? magazine, The Price of 7 Days Parking, also highlights the dramatic differences between on-site and off-site parking options at UK airports, whilst also contrasting the “drive up” rates to those found online for the same car parks. This comparison in particular shows that at some locations, the cheapest option is not the competition, but the online pre-booking offer, which can offer savings of up to 78%.
An international approach
Around Europe, similar patterns to those seen in the UK have emerged. As the only pan-European provider of airport parking services, ParkCloud has clear insight into how the ups and downs of what is on offer influence customer decisions. Its ParkVia website network, comprising parking reservation websites in each of the countries where ParkCloud is present, offers easy access to a choice of services, allowing customers to compare the various parking options at their departure airport.
Pre-booking and online promotions are frequently available on the ParkVia network. Parking providers make use of the online marketing platform to encourage customers to choose their services over competitors’.
In Belgium, Charleroi Airport’s recently opened low-cost parking service was made available for pre-booking through the ParkVia network; and in four languages, for maximum visibility. Customers now have access to 500 spaces at discounted prices: a week’s parking for €60, down from €86. At Barcelona’s El-Prat airport, a special discount is offered to customers booking though the ParkVia network: 25% off the price of a parking space in AENA’s on-site car parks.
Are discounts the only way forward?
Discounts are quick to implement but other approaches include capacity pricing, where the price of a space varies depending on the volume already sold; and timed pricing, where the cost varies according to the customer’s arrival and departure day.
In today’s competitive market, yield management and structured pricing are important to balance offering good value whilst optimising the revenue streams from airport parking. In ParkCloud’s experience, combining the two goals leads to excellent results, in terms of both customer satisfaction and revenue control. Pre-booking plays a vital role as a platform for informing and attracting customers. Online promotions and the practicality of advance reservations have proved to be the motivation behind thousands of customers still using on-site parking every month, at airports across Europe.
If you’re interested in adding pre-booking to services offered at your car parks, why not get in touch with ParkCloud today. Pre-booking is one of the most relevant tools for making parking profitable, and provides unparalleled access to customer data, translating it into trends, patterns and the key information you need to maximise the use of your spaces. ParkCloud specialises in this technology and the many uses of it, and can help you get started with optimising your parking revenue today
ParkCloud, founded in 2008, is a global provider of car park reservation systems and online marketing services, operating more than 100 websites in 25 different languages, on behalf of hundreds of car parks across 34 countries on 5 continents.
Corporate Communication Officer