Converting Shoppers into Parkers by implementing a Real-time Central Reservations System
A1 Express Airport Parking (A1) is an offsite parking operator servicing Tampa International Airport located in Tampa, Florida. A1 provides a wide range of parking options, including self, valet, covered, uncovered, oversize, and cruise port 24 hours daily while offering complimentary shuttle service to and from the terminal building.
The original A1 website design was basic and made up of a collection of brightly disoriented web pages that resembled a brochure. In addition to various links for rates, services, options, coupons, and directions, the unfriendly website contained an unsecured reservations form. Additionally, the website did not include a simple reservation process for the consumer to reserve a guaranteed parking space.
In 2010, A1 implemented a real-time Centralized Reservations System (CRS) on their website that automated transactions, differentiated pricing, and offered automotive services through a pre-booking process similar to travel companies (air, car, hotel). The CRS allowed A1 to establish various marketing channels (travel agencies, corporations, and associations) by providing each channel with a customized reservations system for tracking activity. For the consumer experience, A1 created a simple three-easy-click process that generated an instant confirmation and email notification. This three-easy-click experience made finding rates and inventory fast and easy for their shoppers.
Today, the A1 website receives a high volume of reservations monthly while offering a multi-tier pricing and inventory model to a wide range of channel partners. A1 is located on the first page of the major search engines, distributes monthly email campaigns, manages social networking sites, and has business relationships with several channel partners to enhance its exposure. It is recorded that one channel partner produced over forty reservations in a four month period. Moreover, A1 was able to reduce its cost and brand erosion from working through third-party websites (a.k.a. “aggregators”).