Imagine driving on a busy day, everything seems a little chaotic, and the thought of finding parking in a crowded vicinity really sends a chill down the spine, right? The problem of finding a parking spot near your destination is nothing new; with a continuous increase in the number of vehicles on the road, parking is going to be an issue. However, there is an intelligent solution to this basic problem; car parking apps. These apps are a necessity in current times, especially in metropolitan areas.
Car parking apps are now integrated with artificial intelligence, which delivers accurate results in finding a parking spot in the nearest parking lot. The majority of these apps are based on the infrastructure of the parking lot or the company owning the parking space. One such car parking application which is extremely popular among users is the SpotHero app. As the name suggests, it spots a parking location for your vehicle in your vicinity; it can also pre-book a parking spot and pay for the same automatically, making your everyday tasks easier. There is a massive increase in the demand for car parking app development like SpotHero in the past few years. Let’s dig into the process of the development of an app like SpotHero. But first, let’s get to know the SpotHero app.
What is SpotHero App?
SpotHero can be described as a car parking app with astonishing features like searching parking spots (just by entering few details like time, location, and date.), Advance booking of a parking spot, precise navigation, and mobile pass parking. Users are in love with this app; the functionalities of the platform help them easily navigate through one of the toughest challenges of their daily life. Earlier, the company started as a private parking firm that allowed people to rent their parking spots in the city of Chicago. People got amused by the service and the rates of the firm, later the company launched the app, and now they serve in more than 300 locations across the country.
The company was founded in the year 2011, and since then, it has been delivering excellent parking services to its user base. In simple terms, you can think of SpotHero as an online parking reservation service. It actually makes your parking task extremely easy by finding you a spot and later connect you to the relevant parking authorities. It also delivers an option where you can book in advance. This feature is extremely helpful in case of any appointment or an interview; you don’t have to waste a significant amount of time searching for one. SpotHero offers an extremely feasible payment option that allows customers to pay via credit card from the app.
How Does SpotHero Work?
A car parking system that is integrated into the infrastructure of the parking lot is loaded with sensors and lasers that detect a vacant or occupied parking space and update the same on the car parking app. In the case of the SpotHero app, you have to open the app, tap on the search button on the home screen, select your destination where you want to park; then contact will be displayed, call them to confirm the availability, then wait for your parking to be confirmed. Please note, you can extend the parking time at your convenience.
One of the major reasons for the popularity of the SpotHero app is the guarantee of reservation of a parking spot or get your money back. They are able to do so because of their extremely dense network and their reliable partners. They only deliver what they advertise. The inventory of the parking spaces is updated in real-time, which ensures a fewer number of cancellations. When you get the parking space, and you have used the service for a desired period of time, it delivers you an extremely easy inbuilt payment option, making the process easier. The app offers multiple payment options; you can choose from the option displayed in the app.
Car Parking App Development Timeline
An app like SpotHero is one of its kind; however, there are numerous apps that operate in the same genre, but they lack some of the features and functionalities. The market is full of apps, but only a few of them can make it big; the reason is simple; they serve the needs of their audience with ease. Remember, the audience of any genre doesn’t like any complex applications; they want simple and effective apps that help them deal with problems such as car parking. In order to develop an app like SpotHero, you must be aware of the market trends and various challenges that might affect the success of your project. Hence the first step in the development timeline is market research.
Market Research & Analysis
The car parking app market is bustling with many new apps that are trying to make their way. There is still a lot of room for another project that fulfills the expectations of the customers. The first thing you can do in the development timeline, conduct in-depth market research that reveals some great insights for the overall project. These insights will help you in crafting a perfect roadmap that will guide the overall process to make a flawless car parking app.
The market research should cover areas that should reveal the reality of the market. The first step, learn about the competitors in the market; since you are developing an app like SpotHero, you should start with the same as your primary competitor. Learn everything about them, from strategies to the business plan, the number of features they are delivering to the users, try to find mistakes or loopholes which your project can fulfill. The next thing in line is knowing the audience. The only factor that can make your app successful is the users. Try to find out their expectations from a new car parking app. In order to get accurate results, conduct a survey with the most relevant questions.
Effective market research can be conducted in two ways, either assign the task to your in-house marketing team or hire a professional market company that does the job for you. List out your requirements to the marketing firm, and they will present you with a detailed report. However, there is a third option; you can just purchase a market research report from any online marketing firm; they categorize these reports as per the genre.
Planning & Execution
A detailed market research report would deliver you facts about the market that are unknown to the users. Use those insights to carve a detailed roadmap that highlights the important steps of the process. Car parking app development requires effective planning to make the overall process easier with intelligent insights gathered from the report, layout the problem statement that users want a new app to solve. List out their expectations and derive a plan to meet those expectations. The planning process should include deciding the number of features, tech stack, and the design of the app. Let’s get to these elements of the project.
Features to be Included in the Development of App like SpotHero
Any application is known for its extensive features; they are used for marketing the application post the completion of the development. Most importantly, these features are the answers to the problem statement of the users of this genre. Mind you; there are several features that are common in most of these applications, such as registration, onboarding, notifications, and much more. Here are some of the features of the app that are mostly used and should be considered in the car parking app development.
User Panel Features
- Authorization: Allow the user to confirm the identity of the vehicles.
- Map: Allow users to locate the parking location they have booked on the map easily.
- Parking search: Allow the users to find an available parking spot in the vicinity.
- Parking lot booking: Allow users to look up the details of the parking and book the spot.
- In-app navigation: Help users in navigating to their booked location by providing step-by-step navigation.
- Favorite parking spots: Allow users to review their most-booked locations.
- Payment: Users can easily pay online right through the app with multiple payment options.
- Parking history: Allow users to view various parking locations they have used before.
- Parking extension: Allow users to extend the parking time instantly. Most useful in cases of emergency.
- Offline mode: Allow users to use the app without any internet connection. Users can still access various functions of the app.
- Settings: Allow users to change various parameters of the app at their convenience.
- Reviews & Ratings: Allow users to rate the parking service they used to be aware of the other users on the platform.
Parking Controller Panel Features:
- Authorization: Allow the controller to accept bookings of users or authorize any parking.
- Viewing parking lots: Allow the controller to get real-time data about the status of the parking spaces.
- Notifications: Aware controllers about the incoming booking of any user and other activities on the app.
Admin Panel Features:
- Powerful dashboard: Allow admins to control everything from one place. Dashboards consist of every function of the app.
- Manage parking spots: Allow admins to manage available and booked parking spaces, alert the users once their parking time is over.
- User Management: Allow admins to manage the number of users on the platform, deactivate dormant users, etc.
- Bookings Management: Allow admins to manage the incoming bookings as per the availability of the parking spaces.
- Manage payments: Allow admins to confirm or decline the status of payments of the users.
- Manage commissions: Allow admins to accurately manage the commissions of the parking owners.
Tech Stack to be Considered
The features or the overall operation of any app is dependent on the tech stack of the app. In the case of the SpotHero app, they have followed a minimalistic approach to power their features and functions. However, you can always compare the tech stacks of various competitors and choose the one that suits the interests of your project.
Most of the car parking app development processes in the market have used NGINX, Amazon CloudFront, Backbone.js, Underscore, etc., for the purpose of application and data.
For the purpose of various utilities associated with the car parking app Google Analytics, Twilio SendGrid, Mailgun, Mixpanel, Mandrill, Optimizely, Crazy Egg, etc., are widely used. The main motive is; the app should work properly, and the internal processes should be in sync with the help of DevOps; hence, for the purpose of DevOps, New Relic can be used, and G Suite, Zendee, Zopim, etc., can be used as business tools.
Prototype and Testing
Now that you have decided on the features and the tech stack that will be used in the development of your car parking app like SpotHero move towards the final stage of the development process. Make sure the design of the app is ergonomic and is appealing to the users but don’t overdo the same. No one likes a complex design; it should be simple and elegant. The most important features of the app should be visible at all times for enhanced accessibility.
After you are done with the designs and prototype development, it is time for testing. Always test the application before rolling it out to the public. Hire an experienced team of developers and experts from a reputable app development company like SYMSWEB and perform iterative testing until you receive satisfactory results. A generic development team for such app development generally consists of a project manager, developers, QA, testing engineers, and business analysts.
How to Make Money from Your Car Parking App like SpotHero?
When you put a lot of effort into a project, it’s just natural to expect something in return, it could be appreciated for many people, but for most of them, it is the return or the revenue. There are numerous ways you can use to generate a significant amount of revenue from the project; here are some of the common one used by the top players of the car parking apps genre.
Subscriptions: You can always offer a subscription to use the service, which gives a sense of reliability to the users. Design the plans to suit the pocket of your customers. Make sure to introduce the decoy effect between various weekly or monthly plans.
In-app Purchases: Offer some premium features to the users which they want to use. You can offer a lower version of a feature as free and charge for the advanced version. You can also introduce a premium feature, especially for the same purpose.
Commissions: Since we are taking SpotHero app as a reference, you must have noticed they charge a percentage of commission from their parking owner partners. You can surely implement the same.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Development of Your App like SpotHero
A lot of capital is invested in making an app regardless of the genre. The technology integrated into these apps doesn’t come cheap, but you can regulate the cost by sticking to the relevant needs of the project. However, there are certain factors that can affect the cost of the overall development process. Let’s discuss the points in brief.
Number of Features: The more features you will integrate into your app will increase the cost of the project as it involves the use of different technologies and APIs.
Platforms: Every user in the world doesn’t use a single platform. Some percentage of the population uses iOS, Android, etc. Developing an app on more than one platform can increase the cost of the overall development cost.
Development Partner: You have to choose a reliable development partner that helps in developing a full-fledged car parking app. However, you can choose from the options of a freelance development team or hire a reputed mobile app development company. Various companies offer extremely feasible hiring models that help in managing the overall budget.
Ready to Develop Your Car Parking App like SpotHero with SYMSWEB?
SYMSWEB is referred to as the leading app development company in the market. We have vast experience in developing a range of mobile applications for various genres of the market. Our team of engineers and experts is highly skilled and knows every in and out of the car parking app development genre. The high client retention rate explains the flawless quality of our applications.
Our engineers are trained to develop the mobile application as per your precise instructions and deliver a product that matches your expectations. We follow a result-oriented development process in the market that allows us to deliver more—still thinking? Fill the form now to connect with our experts over a 30-min free consultation call!