These days, online cab booking and ride-sharing is a big market and yet it is a highly competitive niche. To thrive in this segment, a taxi-booking app should be extremely competitive and must cover every essential feature that popular players in the market use. Be advised that you would be competing with the likes of Uber, so there is hardly any scope for anything less than Uber in this market.
Interestingly, the cutting-edge features of the Uber’s collection of different mobile applications for users and the drivers are not tough to acquire. In fact, several regional and global businesses have surfaced in different parts of the world with not only similar but many innovative features as well. Following the same business strategy as Uber’s (outsourcing vehicles rather than buying), many new taxi booking and ride-sharing applications are running successfully in the market.
Do you also have a dream of starting your taxi booking business? This article will guide you with a detailed comprehension of not only about how to build an app like Uber without spending millions but also how to choose the most profitable business model and features for your app cluster. You will learn about the existing business model of Uber, how many apps do you need, what features should you include, and how to get your app developed in a few days only. Let’s begin.
A Perspective of Online Taxi-Booking Market
The online cab booking market has experienced a massive boom in the previous few years. With smartphones and mobile internet going prominent among the consumers from developing countries, what began in a first-world country like the USA with Uber is now a behavior of daily commute in third-world regions as well.
Although Uber still shares a major proportion of the global ride-sharing market, several regional players have been giving the giant a tough competition with their niched business ideas. In fact, we have seen Uber adopting similar tactics like its regional competitors to attract local consumers. Currently, Uber’s global market value is over $72 billion.
- Uber’s revenue in gross bookings for the recently revealed quarter was $12 billion.
- Until now, the ride-sharing giant has served over 5 billion bookings.
- The United States alone accounts for over 40 million bookings every month.
- After 2017, online cab booking accounted for over a 40% share of the overall taxi market.
- As per Statista, the US cab booking services will account for over 2.81 billion dollars by 2020
[Image and Information source: Statista]
With a compound growth rate of 10.08%, the global cab market will grow exponentially during 2020-2015, which is huge. To conclude, the market for online taxi booking is still massive enough to accommodate a large number of regional players.
Guide on How to Build a Taxi Booking App
Taxi industry functions within heavy regulations and harsh competition from both online and offline players. To succeed in the market with your ridesharing or taxi booking app, you have to ensure that you are offering something that others are failing to offer. That’s why the first step is always finding a profitable niche.
Step 1. Find your Niche
Beside a unique value proposition, you have to find a niche that is less competitive and yet possesses enough opportunities to drive targeted customers. For example, Uber targets two types of people: Those who want to book a cab for daily or occasional commute and those who own a taxi. As a niche, you could target daily commuters going to offices with a ride-sharing app.
Step 2. Conduct Technical Audit & Research
There could be N numbers of niches to target as per unique opportunities in your local region. Analyze your market, current players, pain points of the target customers, and gather the unique requirement data that you can map in an existing business model like Uber, or you can design a new business model with improvements accordingly.
Step 3. Create a Taxi booking app documentation
Create a detailed technical specification document with objective, required functionalities, app architecture, and preferred tech stack that you want to use. If you don’t have an idea about preparing the document, you can always list your requirements and preferred features, the developers will take care of the rest.
Step 4. Proceed with the development of your app(s)
Analyze your requirements, take the requirement document to a development company, and they will let you know:
- How many apps do you need?
- Which tech stack to use?
- How much time will it take?
- How many resources does it need?
- How many stages and milestones will it require?
- How much would it take to complete the project?
Based on the above factors, you can divide your overall project into different tasks, starting from feasibility study to designing, development, testing, and deployment
Step 5. Deploy your taxi-booking app
Once the developers complete the project, they will deploy it to a live environment and conduct final testing to ensure if it works properly on all the target devices.
How to develop a taxi-booking app like Uber?
You might ask about how does the development happens in a taxi-booking app. For the convenience of reference, let’s take Uber’s application as an inspiration and find out how your taxi-booking app should be and how you can develop it economically.
Ease of use:
The whole purpose of starting an online cab booking business is offering a much easier and helpful alternative to the users for whatever they have been relying on until now. To make sure your app makes a difference in their life, you should aim for certain enhancements on the following aspects:
- Simple: Simplify the booking process with a one-tap booking without physical hailing, phone call, or search.
- Clear: Remove any uncertainty about when and what type of car will arrive post-booking; let them choose.
- Payment: Simplify the payment process by letting users pay via multiple channels: cash, card, and wallet.
- Split: Make it easier to split fare online, as most people who commute together often share their taxi fares.
- Transparent: Make fare calculation transparent with accurate fare estimate of a trip, and how it came to be so.
No matter how easy it is to book a cab on your app, if it’s not solving the pain points of your target consumers, there is no use of it for them. Make sure you are being helpful to the users by focusing on the following pain points:
- Security: Offer peace of mind and sense of safe commute by giving them an option to track their on-going trips. Besides, offer the emergency alert button as well.
- Quality: Ensure the trust on the quality of the service through a two-way rating using that both drivers and passengers can rate each other for every trip.
- On-demand: Let them save some time by seamlessly booking a cab whenever and wherever they need on-demand. Besides, they must get a choice of service, from luxury to economical options.
- E-receipts: Automatic electronic receipts and ride history make it easier for users to refer their old rides whenever they want.
The online cab alternative to the physical ride-hailing is entirely a different segment and follows a completely different structure. However, the online structure itself differs from model to model. The booking process may be similar in all kinds of online cab booking apps, but the target customers may seek different things.
For example, ride-sharing and taxi booking are two different niches. In taxi booking, you target commuter and taxi drivers, while a ride-sharing model may target commuters and everyone with private cars and those who want to get paid to offer a lift. Just like the difference between Uber’s and Lyft’s model.
However, in either of the cases, your app will be just an intermediary that connects those who want to make money giving rides and those who need a ride. You will own the technology that connects riders with drivers and makes transactions easy.
Whether you operate in the Uber-like business model or offering lift in Lyft’s model, you would be making money following two major sources of revenue:
Commission from drivers: The drivers make money offering the rides. As the platform owner, you can charge a commission from drivers on every booking they get from your app. Uber’s commission range between 20-25% of the total ride fare.
Service fees: Beside commissions from drivers, you may charge a flat booking fee from the passengers as per the final fare. The same model can also allow you to add other costs such as security, value-added service, or fee for handling online transactions.
Cancellation and waiting fees: You may charge a proportion of the estimated fare as a cancelation fee if a user cancels a booked ride. Similarly, you can add a waiting fee, which increases per minute if the user wants an arrived cab to wait for a while for any random reason.
Uber clone script:
An Uber clone script is a collection of ready-made white-labeled apps develop on Uber’s business model. If the overall structure of your preferred business model and application workflow resembles that of Uber’s, you can save a huge amount of bucks by using an Uber clone, rather than developing the same from scratch.
A typical Uber clone comprises of the following modules:
- An app for customers
- An App for drivers
- Web-based back-end panel for admin
- Web-based front end panel for users and drivers (optional)
In many Uber clone scripts, you might get a hybrid, single app for both the drivers and the customers. There is nothing wrong as long as the app offers all the required features for both the users. The benefit of using an Uber clone is you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousand extra dollars developing the same thing from scratch. An Uber script can come around in 1K -2K dollars with the same set of features and functionalities. It’s better to use a ready-made solution than re-inveting the wheel each time you want to make a cart. This is how your Taxi booking app should be.
Jessica Bruce is a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. She also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.
Follow me on Twitter @Jessicabruc (https://twitter.com/Jessicabruc)