During the holidays, aside from checking everything off of your shopping list, navigating parking lots can be one of the most stressful ordeals for any driver. With the winter weather, the ground is slippery, visibility isn’t as good, and most shoppers are in a blind rush searching endlessly for a parking spot close to a mall entrance. Here are some of the ways smart technology can help parking operators create a better parking experience this holiday season.
Enable parkers to reserve in advance
Thanks to smart parking software, like ours at Roker, parkers can use their mobile phone to reserve a parking space in advance. They can simply open an app, search the desired location, and reserve and pay for an available spot before leaving the house. This eliminates having to drive around in circles looking for a vacant space, making for a less stressful parking experience.
Make payment easy
It’s the holidays and in most places it’s cold, snowing, and more people are busy with many places to go. The last thing they need is a complicated payment experience in the city when running errands. Easy, accessible payment options are a win-win for both parking operators and drivers. Why? Well, people are more likely to comply and return to your lot if payment is simple. Smart parking software enables operators to introduce convenient payment options such as tap-and-go and prepaid reservations. This gives parkers the flexibility to pay for parking from their smartphone without having to find coins or a ticket with shopping bags in their hands.
Display additional signage in the facility
It’s important for parkers to remember that driving rules still apply in parking lots and garages – and signage is one way operators can reinforce these rules. Some key examples are reminding parkers to check their blind spots, drive slowly, and be cautious of their surroundings to avoid collisions. When parking lots are busier like during the holidays, drivers often feel more stressed and distracted. To avoid this, operators can add additional signage to their facility, such as digital speed monitoring, pedestrians right-of-way, and stop signs.
Collect valuable data to make better decisions
Smart parking technology collects key data that parking operators can use to better understand peak shopping hours, parking behavior, and needs. Is there an entrance to the mall that seems to be more congested? Does a lower level in the parking garage have vacancy during busy hours? Are parkers failing to comply with payment due to the stress of underground bottlenecks? Whatever the results may be, operators can use this data to improve the overall parking experience, make better decisions and confidently navigate the influx of holiday shoppers.
Implement short-term parking areas
Whether shoppers are returning an online purchase or picking up a curbside order, there’s a clear need for short-term parking during the holiday season. This presents an opportunity for parking operators to designate an area in the facility specifically for pick-ups and drop-offs. Through the use of parking technology, operators can review valuable data that highlights the frequency of short-term parkers to better understand the area of the mall that should be used for pick-ups and the appropriate parking duration that should be enforced. Not only does this accommodate shoppers who are simply looking to collect their purchases and head out, but it also alleviates congestion in the parking lot by freeing up spots for shoppers who require a longer parking duration.
During the holiday season, malls and retail stores experience a larger number of parkers than usual. With gifts to purchase and errands to run, the last thing drivers want is a stressful and confusing parking experience. With the help of smart technology, parking operators can simplify the overall experience to be less congested and more accessible for everyone. It’s one more step operators can take to make this a joyful (and not stressful) holiday. To learn more about how Roker can help you improve parking in your organization all year round, contact us here.