Of all, there was no “mobility sector” prior to a few years ago. While makers of transportation assets were concerned about market share, consumers thought about autos and public transportation.
The term “mobility sector” now refers to all modes of transportation that enable consumers to move from one location to another. More significantly, it refers to how consumers find, reserve, and manage their mobility options.
A telling statistic is that over the seven years leading up to 2017, “sharing solutions” saw a 32x growth in investment, not the way that cars travel.
Growth inevitably brings competition.
A few intriguing technological businesses have grown quickly in recent years thanks to the quick growth of the supply chain, free from hindrances like rivals, predetermined standards, and complicated legacy goals and business practices.
This stage won’t continue.
Mobility is quickly becoming a homogenized market, at which time any services that are not all-inclusive will be ignored or narrowly focused. Unique customer knowledge will overtake market positioning as the main competitive advantage.
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Few brands have yet to realize that in order to capture this insight, maximize customer retention, and minimize CPA – not just in their existing spheres of control, but across every channel that funnels customers to their service and keeps them engaged – strategies and tools will be needed as this blossoming mobility marketplace becomes highly competitive.
Loyalty marketing is here.
This essay explains why a Loyalty Strategy will eventually become the only long-term, sustainable point of distinction in the mobility portal warfare since legacy players will eventually learn how to become more adaptable, and adequate funding will locate inventive growth startups.
The industry leaders will have emerged in three to five years, so now is the time to use loyalty mechanisms to gain the upper hand.
Competitors who fail to grasp these fundamentals will vanish altogether.
The fight to establish a mobile market portal
Since 2012, while I was Group Director of New Ventures and Innovation at eDreams ODIGEO, I have been working on mobility solutions.
After selling the airplane ticket, we realized six years ago that the best value we could offer our customers throughout their journey was to present them with other mobility alternatives at their final destination.
It was a successful finding. The client valued our assistance in navigating new situations securely while retaining some degree of choice. Local vendors in very opaque overseas marketplaces were willing to pay us to increase their sales. Based on their choices, we also discovered a lot about the tastes of the customers.
This presents the booking gateway, a key idea. Intense wars between providers and aggregators have been waged for the past 25 years for overflights, hotels, rental cars, and other services. Because they could bring in a huge variety of inventory to their search and booking systems, companies that weren’t even in the travel sector before the late ’90s suddenly became a customer’s major source (think Expedia or Booking.com).
Similar markets for mobility are quickly forming now that much more “last mile” stuff is accessible via API. APIs are exposing the available inventory of ride-sharing, scooters, bikes, trains, buses, and parking, and it’s possible that Deutsche Bahn, Emirates, British Airways, Marriott, and Tesco will all compete to stay at the front of customers’ minds by assisting with transportation.
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Why? Customers desire options.
As this industry evolves, mobility “search and booking portal” providers will ultimately have the biggest effect on consumer choice and collect the largest profits.
But simply offering options is insufficient. Over the past 20 years, many online travel firms have come and gone due to a lack of finance, agility, or customer-centricity.
That will also manifest in mobility. Apple, Uber, or Airbnb may be able to use their background in creating two-sided markets to their advantage and become significant participants, but their history with loyalty marketing is rudimentary at best. They have shown very little interest in how the loyalty business is changing or what it will look like in five years in my conversations with them. Perhaps their own success has made them a victim.
As a high-growth company, it’s simple to become comfortable, and top executives at software companies are typically not paid for their ability to predict the second or third bounce of the ball.
For a while, Facebook did a wonderful job of anticipating the effects of market changes. Even they are now exposed.
Then who will strike?
As this business develops, we are aware that Daimler, Volkswagen, Ford, and a few more significant brands are vying for market share. Manufacturers and established logistics companies like FedEx, Hertz, and UPS may be able to take advantage of their fleet management expertise (although customers don’t care about fleets, so they will need to find out how to convert these skills into a service).