Comprehend the situation
To make sure I understand the case, we are building a mobile app that enables tourists to find bike renting shops and rent a bike through the app? Also, we are focussing on revenue generation, which means more bookings and monetization opportunities through the app.
Identify user personas
Budget traveler: A college-going early 20's Rob taking a semester break to travel in South America with his savings from the multiple part-time jobs he juggled in the past semesters.
Family vacation traveler: A high earning middle-aged adult John who has a habit of taking seasonal vacations in summer and winter along with his family.
Business traveler: Jeff, a management consultant, who visits multiple clients in various countries on short-term assignments and looks to explore the place whenever he gets time between his busy schedule.
I want to analyze the customer segments based on three factors - Interest, Available Time, Willingness to spend. Below table summarizes my analysis.
|Family vacation traveler||Medium||Medium||High|
Since we are focussing on revenue, we need customers who have high willingness to spend. We also need someone with interest and time to engage in the activity of bike riding. Hence, I would like to focus on Family vacation traveler users.
List down the needs
- Wants to have a majority of his time spent leisurely with family rather than worrying about logistics and planning a day
- Safety and security are the highest priorities. Concerned about helmets, speed limits, crossings, etc
- Looks for other information such as rest areas, restaurants, places of interest
- Wants to park the bike and quickly hop on and hop off at locations as per day plan
- Likes to stop frequently and take family pictures
Cut through prioritization
I will focus on points 1, 2, and 4 because of 2 reasons. First, our chosen customer is ready to spend only when his must-haves are met. In this case, his must-haves are safety and taking time out of planning so that he can have more family time. Second, closely integrated with planning a travel day is taking the hassle out of thinking about bike parking. Our target is to provide seamless renting and riding bike experience without adding any additional friction. Also, the technologies required to facilitate this experience, which I will be discussing in the solution part, are readily available at low cost or even for free.
List the solutions
I want to clarify that it is ok to use any latest technology that is available today?
Integrate with google maps/trips public API: The idea here is to keep the user engaged with the app all the way from check-in to return while identifying opportunities to monetize along the way.
Sensor-enabled: This IoT device mounted on a bike is similar to locking and unlocking the front door of your house through mobile apps. This provides flexibility to leave the bike at many places and have it securely locked. It can also be used to analyze data from other bikes and provide timely notifications to the user about the weather, traffic, etc
Evaluate the solutions
With our business goal of revenue generation in mind, implementation costs become a deciding factor. We want to build a solution that does not add any ongoing costs per usage. The sensor-enabled solution requires constant monitoring and analysis of data as well as incurs a substantial fixed cost in the form of building the IoT device. Although we can try with a limited number of bikes focussing on one area, the development costs involved won't reduce significantly. I believe that puts us at huge risk as we are losing strategic flexibility by investing a lot upfront.
On the other hand, a mobile app integrated with Google maps API is "build once and operate forever" mechanism. We can have the user hold on to the app through the entire journey. Monetizing opportunities include commissions from bike shops that list on our app and serving location-based advertisements such as restaurants. Costs include google maps usage fee, which can be packed in the booking fee. We are essentially bringing in all bike rental shops under one umbrella while at the same time forcing them to be competitive by providing safe, secure, and convenient experience for the user as monitored by customer ratings. We also take the pain of trip planning by leveraging Google trips that suggest day plans based on user's preferences.
To put it all together, we build a mobile app leveraging Google maps API that shows nearby bike rentals, provides online check-in, and acts as a guide suggesting places to visit while serving location-based advertisements.