The travel and transportation industry has historically been slow to innovate. Many players in the industry, especially car-rental companies, rely on customer service and employee loyalty, rather than digital tools, to generate business value.
Have you ever noticed that if you and your friend book an Uber cab for the same route and distance, both of you may be charged differently? That is Uber’s dynamic pricing coming into play! Pricing changes dynamically depending on customer data, local events and demand, besides many other factors.
The car rental industry today is enjoying a boom amid rising disposable incomes, improved air connectivity across smaller cities, and healthy growth in business and leisure travel. The U.S. market had its best year ever in terms of revenue in 2018, clocking a 4.8% jump in top line to over $30bn. Even more impressive was the fact this record revenue was realized on smaller fleet base, with revenue per unit hitting an all-time high of $1,131 per month.
Historically, car rental pricing has depended on how large an event was: the larger the event, the higher the price and revenue managers knew all the large events well and that made sense.
Gone are the times when buying a car was one of the first investments of a working professional for the sheer ease and convenience a self-owned vehicle gives you. The Digital consumer single-handedly has altered the entire automotive industry’s supply chain by impacting both production and consumption of goods.
2020 is a year that the car rental industry would want to forget. The pandemic and the challenges it brought in terms of lockdowns and social distancing had the industry witnessing an unprecedented slump. Fortunately, with the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, demand for car rentals is now gradually picking up.
Revenue Managers would agree that car rental pricing is a tricky subject – Price your products too high, and the demand drops, price it too low, and you end up losing revenue. In such a case, it becomes essential to forecast demand by carefully analyzing multiple parameters such as fleet type, season, location, and more importantly, the Covid restrictions in place at that location.