Uber was the harbinger of the on-demand revolution and it still continues to exert its dominance in the field of on-demand transportation not only in the United States but even globally. There have been instances of the local operations of Uber having been acquired by a few competitors and there are instances of peaceful coexistence between the Silicon Valley giant and the local player.
Uber is a typical example of how transportation on demand still rules the roost with considerable profitability and appeal, while other streams of on-demand services sprout every other day. Every day, Uber handles more than 15 million rides. There are about 91 million monthly active users who use the Uber mobile app and the business has its presence in more than 700 cities and in over 63 countries.
While these numbers talk about the success of Uber, the market projections make these numbers sound minuscule. This, parallel to Uber, opens opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to take on this lucrative market by launching a taxi booking app like Uber.
The market for ride-hailing
By the end of this year, the market is expected to reach $260 billion in valuation. The projected growth rate between 2021 and 2025 stands at a staggering 10.36% which puts the market value at about $385 million by 2025. The user penetration currently stands at about 19.6% and it is expected to grow to 20.8% by 2025. The need for more private travel, the penetration of smartphones, users looking for alternate income, and the increase in affordability are expected to contribute to this growth. While the APAC region is expected to lead the market in terms of volume, the United States will have a sizable chunk in terms of both users and revenue.
The avenues of monetization
The commercial success of an app like Uber can be attributed to its monetization models. There are multiple avenues in which a taxi booking app like Uber makes money.
The biggest portion of revenue comes from the commission that Uber charges drivers. In essence, Uber facilitates earning opportunities for drivers and so, it takes a commission for the rides that the app facilitates. It functions almost like an affiliate program. In most cases, the commission is charged as a percentage of the ride fee. The commission for Uber ranges between 20% and 35% of the ride fare.
Uber also charges cancellation fees and waiting fees from customers if they cancel the ride or if they do not board the cab on time. While some customers have viewed this cancellation fee as something dubious, apps like Uber justify it as a cost for the resources used and compensation for the driver who has engaged in a drive towards the pickup point.
Based on the demand, taxi booking apps also increase. Also known as surge pricing, this pricing model not only increases the revenue for the business but also helps make cabs and drivers more available for users.
Apart from this, some taxi booking apps also host ads within the app. These ads are facilitated by the platform providing companies like Google and Apple. There have been instances where these taxi booking companies also partner with external businesses outside the platform provider facilities to host ads or sponsored messages on their app.
With these many lucrative avenues for making a profit, it is only natural that any aspiring entrepreneur would like to build an app like Uber. Before you embark on this exciting journey, it is important to understand how an app like Uber works.
The way it works
Typically, in a taxi booking ecosystem, there are three distinct entities: the passenger, the driver, and the administrator. Each entity is provided with its own specific app.
When a user launches an app, the GPS picks up the location. Alternatively, the user can also choose to specify the location by manually entering the address and placing the location pin at the pickup point. They can also choose the cab type (hatchback or sedan or SUV) and the time at which they need the pickup.
When the request for the cab is placed, the request is sent out to the drivers in the vicinity. The driver can choose to either accept or reject the request. When a driver accepts the request, they are provided with the details of the user, like the pickup point, the destination, and the contact information. The GPS and navigation step in to help the driver precisely navigate to the location of the user.
In all of this, the user is updated on the acceptance of the request, the steps taken by the driver, and the movement of the driver on a mapping interface. Once the driver reaches the location of the user, they can board the cab. Here again, the GPS comes into the picture in helping the driver navigate to the exact destination. The navigation instructions can also include parameters like road quality and traffic. The fare is calculated based on the distance traveled, the traffic, the pickup point, and sometimes, even the demand and supply.
When the user completes the trip, they can make a payment to the driver either in cash or pay on the app using digital payment instruments (which is more preferred). The user can rate the driver based on the quality of driving, amicability, and professionalism. Similarly, the driver can also rate the passenger based on their behavior. After certain trips are completed, the driver is credited with the earnings after deducting the commissions.
The initial steps
Now that you are aware of the way in which an app like Uber works, you are all set to embark on your business idea. However, there are a few steps that you need to take before you create your app.
The world of providing transportation over a mobile app is lost. Therefore, it becomes imperative for you to select your niche of operation. You can consider factors like your competition, the market, the extent of saturation, and the demands of people. Specifying your niche will ensure that you gain better depth than width when it comes to market penetration.
You will also need to work on your marketing and operation plans. Your marketing efforts will depend on the niche that you have chosen. It is strongly suggested that you use a combination of digital and offline marketing methods. One of the biggest reasons for the success of Uber was its participation in the Silicon Valley networking events. You will also need to devise a similar strategy.
You will need to also strengthen your operational capabilities by ensuring that drivers are always available. There is nothing more disappointing for a customer than them downloading an app and waiting for an infinite amount of time for an available driver to pick them up. It is also to be remembered that in pursuit of numbers, quality should not be compromised. Uber had to battle a lot of legal hassles with respect to the behavior of its drivers.
The technology behind an app like Uber should be the least of your worries because of the availability of white-label Uber clone apps. By using the Uber clone app source code and customizing it, you can make the app appear like it is your own! This ensures that you do not have to waste a lot of time and money when it comes to Uber app development. You can also be assured that your Uber-like app is free from any glitches that might interfere with the basic functionality of the app.
Although there are distinct features for every app, some of them are common and can be summarized under a single umbrella.
The sign-up process should be easy for both the user and the driver. Both of them should have a facility to use social media logins to quicken the registration process. The driver should also have an additional step for verifying their identity and establishing their eligibility to drive a vehicle. The sign-up should also immediately create a profile where users can keep a track of all the rides and usual pick-up locations and drivers, the history of rides offered and the earnings/payments.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the GPS is the epicenter of the ultimate revolution. The GPS should enable users to keep a tab of the driver’s movement and help the driver in navigating to the precise location of the user and the requested destination. This will help drivers be familiar with the roots even if they are new to the location.
The app should be tied up with a versatile payment gateway, so it can accept payments from multiple payment instruments like credit cards, debit cards, Internet banking, and wallets. The payment should also be a smooth process for the drivers, and their earnings should get credited to their bank accounts at the earliest.
The review and rating system is the one that makes the entire app-based cab booking ecosystem democratic. Both the driver and the user should be given an opportunity to review and rate each other.
It is an easy inference from the points above that it all comes down to you developing an app like Uber to launch your taxi booking business. All you need to do is get in touch with the company that specializes in the development and customization of a taxi booking app like Uber. They will take care to understand your requirements and give you an app perfectly garnished with the interface and features of your choice. It is just a matter of time… A very short time before you launch your own app like Uber!