Even since Uber took off, a lot of other businesses have been coming up on regular intervals with their own online cab booking apps. There can be no denial of the fact that this industry is on the rise. There are many examples at our disposal which include Ola, Easy Cabs, Lyft, Grab and many others.
Many different cab booking applications are reigning different areas of the globe. But not all such apps can win the accolades. Not all these apps grab the eyeballs. Not all of them hog the limelight. The makers of some of them are even struggling to get back the money they invested, leave alone the profits.
How Does Taxi Booking Apps Work?
The introduction of taxi booking apps has changed the entire scenario of taxi booking services. Earlier it was hard to book a taxi anytime or anywhere we wanted. However, when taxi booking service providers like Uber, Ola, Lyft launched their app in the market, this issue mitigated entirely.
The taxi booking process has become a lot simple, well now you can book a taxi with just some taps and swipes, how much simpler can it get? 🤔
Still, those taps and swipes go through a process though. You can send a request for the taxi through the app; then the app will give you an estimated time of arrival for your cab to your destination. Usually, the taxi reaches within the stipulated time.
This model of business has thrived and attained great success, and it is here to stay for long. To remain in the competition, every taxi aggregator added enhanced features and better functionalities in their app. However, many new apps coming into the market, users cannot expect them all to have a variety of functions or the app the be unique and flawless.
Must-have Features In An On-demand Taxi Booking App
If you want an on-demand mobile app for booking a taxi to be accepted by people, then you should not miss out on these features.
Smooth Sign Up:
The signup process tests the patience of a lot of people. A long and tedious list of inquired details can cost you a potential rider. Keep your signup process user-centric by making it concise. You can also integrate signup via social media so that the user can be saved from the trouble of filling out the details. It makes the boarding of the users on your very smooth and this also forms an excellent first impression of the app.
This feature can give a breath of fresh air to your cab booking app. Even the prime players of this domain are yet to implement this feature in their apps. Here in, you can provide your users with the option of choosing from the various premium plans.
The way these plans will benefit the users is that they will be able to enjoy free rides regularly for some stipulated distance. This distance and the frequency of these free-ride offers will depend on the plan that the user chooses. This feature can bring in a lot of users for you.
This feature is beneficial in three ways. First, the users will be able to share their ride with fellow users are riding to the same location or the locations en route to one’s destination. It reduces the cost of the trip for both the parties. Second, this is also beneficial to you as it helps you cater to the requirements of more users. Thirdly, the option of car-pooling helps to serve the environment as well.
Day Packages & Outstation Services:
With Day packages, the users can hire a car with driver for certain particular hours and kilometers on a rental basis. Users can book the taxi for intercity travel or going outstation.
You can add custom day packages for the customers describing the combination of kilometers and time duration. With this feature, users can enjoy a personalized riding experience.
This feature is again helpful for tourism purposes. This feature allows the users to book cabs to go from one city to another. They can choose to have a particular number of stopovers in the way as per the plan they opted for.
They can decide whether they have to go to a specific location of another city, or they need to move between towns for visiting the places of interest in the region. The charges for these bookings can vary according to the distance traveled.
Once the user has booked a cab, he should be able to track its status. You can use the GPS vehicle tracking system for this purpose whereby the user will be able to trace his current location at every point of the trip. For a good experience, it is necessary that the user is always aware of the whereabouts on a ride.
You can show the user the route being covered via real-time mapping of the locations. And this has to be automated, i.e., once the ride is chosen, the mapping should start automatically on the homepage of the app.
The app booking process must be seamless to retain your potential riders. It should be hassle-free, just a few clicks and done. The user should select his destination, enter his current location, choose the number of seats required, enter any preferences he might have for the car and done.
The app should show him the fare estimation accordingly, and then the user has to decide whether to book or not, with a simple touch of the button.
Push Notification & Real-Time Arrival Status:
Its mandate for your app to have push notifications as these push notifications inform the customers and drivers about any news regarding your app, deals, and offers, and other campaigns. You can use push notification to notify the customer when the taxi had reached near their proximity or just as when the driver had arrived at their destination.
Real-time arrival status helps the customer to get an exact time when the cab will reach their destination.
The Arrival Time Of The Cab:
Once the user has booked a taxi, it is a good idea to keep him aware of the arrival time. The cab may be at some other location in the neighborhood, and it may take some time for it to reach the pickup point of the user. In such a case, the user should be able to track the cab on his home page in real time. It should also show the time within which the taxi can reach the rider.
Transparency In Payment:
Your app must have a payment gateway to make the whole payment process hassle-free. The user should be able to choose the kind of payment method he/she wants. The app should be such that they can make the payment from within the app itself. This includes cash, UPI and eWallet.
In the case of online transactions, you should use fully trusted gateways. These include PayPal, JustPay, Braintree or Stripe. The user must be fully involved in each step. Integrating such payment modules involves technical complexities which will require long hours and resources which means more money.
Ratings And Reviews:
This feature is very crucial for cab booking platforms. It enables the rider to rate the driver of his cab and also the riding experience. They can also post reviews about how they felt and what can be improved. These reviews do not always have to be critical. Sometimes riders also appreciate certain acts by the drivers. Reviews and ratings form the feedback mechanism of this app.
Few of the times, the riders portray a reckless behavior to the drivers. News headlines also report of the threats that drivers face from such passengers. The drivers are the key people in your business. To ensure their safety as well, you can include the feature where they can rate the passengers.
A lot of times users want to check the details of their previous rides. They can have their own reasons behind it. But you must ask your mobile app developers or the application development company to add this feature in order to ensure that the users can check the details of their past rides.
You can show them the data of their last ten trips, or maybe the rides in the previous three or six months. This period is up to you to decide.
When the user has booked the cab, the app should give him all the details for his/her trip, which includes the vehicle number, the model of the car, it’s color along with the arrival time. It makes it easier for the rider to identify the cab when it reaches his pickup point. The app should also inform him about the name, contact details, experience and rating of the driver.
Nobody likes to type in the same details time and again. If your user uses the cab frequently to go to some particular fixed locations, it is a good idea to save those locations for him/her. So that the next time the user wants to go to those locations, he/she can just select it with a click. Seamless booking with an even richer experience.
Coupons And Rewards:
Users love coupons and rewards, and a happy user equals profit. 😁
One way you can keep your users happy is by treating them with rewards and coupons when they use the app regularly to book cabs. When they make payments for these rides, they can apply these codes in the promo code section, and thus they can avail the ride at a discounted price. Apart from regular use, you can also provide gift coupons on special occasions like festivals.
This feature is driver-centric. The app should show the users the shortest route possible to reach the location of the rider. It helps in reducing the time that the rider spends waiting. Once the rider is inside the cab, the app should guide the driver to choose the shortest route to reach the destination.
When the users open the app to book a ride, it is not always the case that they want to travel at that time instant itself. A lot of time, users want to make plans for touring beforehand. To avoid vehicle booking hassles at that moment, they want to make the booking for the cab in advance. Make sure that your app includes this feature of scheduling rides to cater to this segment of users.
It’s a method to give incentives to your current users to bring in new users to the platform. It sounds to be a win-win deal for both you and your users. You give your users an option to refer and invite. When they click on this button, a link and along with it a message is generated, which the users can send to their contacts via messaging or social media like Whatsapp.
These users then earn rewards and coupons when a new user signs up on the app using the referral code that they sent.
Read also: On Demand Best Laundry App Development
Paying The Drivers And Collecting Fees:
Commission from drivers is one of the ways by which you will make money with a mobile app. Also, you should pay the drivers with a minimal amount of paperwork. All the requirements for this should be handled from within the app itself. You can add features wherein you pay the driver at the earliest while deducting a particular amount from the payment as commission.
Emergency Button And Emergency Contact:
This feature is to ensure the safety of the rider. When the rider feels some threat from the driver, they can press the emergency button in the app, and it will send all the details of the ride to the contacts that the user has set in the emergency contacts settings. Then the person in your emergency contact list can then take the necessary action for the situation.
Analytics plays a crucial role in any business. With proper, in-depth analysis you can serve your users in a more personalized manner. You can also keep track of the aspects you should target to retain existing customers and drive in the new customers.
How Long Will It Take To Build a Taxi Booking Mobile App?
Considering all these features, it will take around 4 to 15 months.
However, it would involve a lot of management effort and communication with app development firms. Also, you need to be thorough with the breakdowns of the costs and the time duration.
What Would Be Your Next Step?
If you want your taxi business to be successful like Lyft, Uber, and Grab, then provide your users with an app that is either similar to these or better than these. Make sure your users can book a ride in just one touch or maybe more, but it has to be hassle-free.
Just in case, you have any more questions or queries, or you are confused about any of the features mentioned above; then you can consult with the top mobile app development companies that may have developed on-demand apps like these.
Finally, you are now all decked up with the knowledge of all the essential features to integrate appropriately into your cab booking app business. Find the right mobile app development company that will care about the implementation of these features in your app, and you are ready to disrupt this industry.
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