Best strategy for online innovation in a small car rental company

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Hi,

A customer, car rental company, currently its online presence suffice in relevant static content and a short "contact form" , which users enter their details and afterwards a live representative gets back to them and ask about their order request.

We built an online engine, in which ,now users can search for cars, see their prices and order online. After order is submitted , a live representative returns to ask for credit card details . (we haven't embedded automated payment yet - phase B)

Now,the customer fears that adding to the live site the new search model may decrease conversions since users will only use the new model to see the car rental prices, but not necessarily proceed to place an order.


What would be suggested implementation/marketing strategy be like ?

Thanks in advance
Roy
#car #company #innovation #online #rental #small #strategy
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    One of the most successful students in our eCommerce learning program used to work for a car rental company. He eventually left the car rental business because his websites were doing so well, but I remember him telling me that the car rental company's website was the first website he ever worked on.

    He said that the car rental company used to have a website where people had to fill out a contact form and then a representative from the company got in touch with the prospective customer to try to book a reservation. He recommended a live booking engine, such as the one you are implementing. When the company switched to the live booking engine, they received 20 TIMES the number of reservations as they received the old way.

    The reason reservations went up is simple. Consumers want instant answers and do not trust companies that hide their prices/availability. They want to reserve their cars without having to talk to someone. They do not want to be "sold" and are used to how things are done in the modern world where you can book a car rental while you are in-flight. People do not have time to wait for answers and they certainly do not want to provide all of their contact information for a car they may not even reserve. There are dozens of other companies a consumer can use where they do not have to do that.

    In fact, I would go one step further and have consumers input their credit card details on the website so that they do not have to speak to anybody before they show up at the rental counter. You'll have to implement an SSL, of course.
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    • Profile picture of the author royCloud4U
      Thanks Dave ,

      I needed to be reminded to add users behavior patterns to the equation .
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Originally Posted by royCloud4U View Post

    Hi,

    A customer, car rental company, currently its online presence suffice in relevant static content and a short "contact form" , which users enter their details and afterwards a live representative gets back to them and ask about their order request.

    We built an online engine, in which ,now users can search for cars, see their prices and order online. After order is submitted , a live representative returns to ask for credit card details . (we haven't embedded automated payment yet - phase B)

    Now,the customer fears that adding to the live site the new search model may decrease conversions since users will only use the new model to see the car rental prices, but not necessarily proceed to place an order.


    What would be suggested implementation/marketing strategy be like ?

    Thanks in advance
    Roy



    So, are your car rental prices similar to competition prices?

    Traffic is going for the lowest price regardless what you do with the website.

    Are the live reps. actual sales people or low paid reps? Assuming traffic makes it that far.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      So, are your car rental prices similar to competition prices?

      Traffic is going for the lowest price regardless what you do with the website.

      Are the live reps. actual sales people or low paid reps? Assuming traffic makes it that far.
      Regardless of whether they can book on the website or they have to wait to be contacted, price is always going to be the biggest factor unless you provide some sort of service that nobody else does (like delivering a car to a person's house/hotel - not just picking them up).

      That is an industry that is 95% about price and there is very little brand loyalty. The price is eventually going to be known. The question is, do you want to take up a bunch of company employees' time quoting those rates and making reservations or do you want to let a computer do it for you? The other question is "what does the consumer want"?

      The big companies let the computers do the work. The main reason smaller companies do not is because car rental reservation software is complicated and expensive. There are very few players in the market of reservation software for car rental companies. It usually adds thousands of dollars of cost per month - something few small companies think they can afford. They see employees sitting around in a dead car rental office and think they might as well put them to work doing something. The problem is, the consumer on the other end has already booked his car with a place that allowed them to do it online, so very few of those calls ever come.
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  • Profile picture of the author partagid
    Thank for informations.
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