Bob Nixon
Bob Nixon
Sales Director & Co Founder

Bob is the Head of Global Sales, and a co-founder of iCabbi. With a forward thinking mindset, he delivers the second in a series of articles looking at the future of the taxi industry.

Published on 07.11.2016, in News

Apps, payment solutions and loyalty schemes have all come on in leaps and bounds in recent times, the pace of innovation has been breath-taking, when combined with the Internet of Things and the power of Big Data, we have a veritable hot pot of possibilities to attract and reward customers.

Apps, payment solutions and loyalty schemes have all come on in leaps and bounds in recent times, the pace of innovation has been breath-taking, when combined with the Internet of Things and the power of Big Data, we have a veritable hot pot of possibilities to attract and reward customers.

For example I read a very interesting article recently about the very possible likelihood that refrigerators will be free of charge in the future. These fridges will be smart and connected; constantly monitoring levels of foods and drinks within; while building data on the customers usage patterns in terms of preferred foods and drinks at certain times of day, week, month and year supported by contextual data such as weather conditions, customer age etc. It's incredible, when one considers the value of consumer trends and data that businesses will have access to.

Grocery suppliers will know their customers better than they know themselves. Automatically replenishing products when supplies run low. In the name of convenience and increased choice, suppliers will partner with brands to offer consumers alternatives to their favourite products when running low through individually tailored and targeted promotional campaigns.

It's still too early to say how it might pan out, but in considering the issues involved, two clear and very important concepts are highlighted:

  1. The importance and power of knowing your customer
  2. The potential for innovation in the taxi industry

There is probably nothing new in the ideas I've considered but location based advertising and promotions will be key factors in taxi usage and fare payment in the future. Geo-location of pick up address coupled with destination, day of the week and time of day/night will become extremely powerful tools. For example imagine if you hailed a cab in the main entertainment district of a city at 1am and the Taxi company knew from continuous compilation of passenger data that 80% of people hailing cabs at that time and from that location, would stop off for fast food if the detour is less than X minutes and the promotion benefit is greater than Y pounds to them.

Promotions tailored and targeted at the individual, through a rear seat screen or a print off suggesting "A delicious Big Kahuna burger is just 7 minutes away, and we'll pay X% of your fare home, you know you can't resist!" will most likely pay great dividends for all involved.

Also consider the consumer who is going to an entertainment district with the intention of watching a movie in the Cinema - what services will this person want? Knowing before he or she realises what they want is extremely valuable.

I believe that restaurants, bars, shopping centres, cinemas, airports etc. together with data analysis and technology will play a key part in establishing new models where third parties will pay for our cab rides in the future.

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