NYC parking garages have been offering coupons with discounted rates for a few years. You can typically get coupons with a flat rate for 6 hrs, 12 hrs, or 24 hrs, or with a rate for a particular entry and exit time. Whilst customers seemed to really like the coupon idea when it started, are they still using them? And are the NYC garages benefiting in terms of revenue and occupancy?
Parking Exec (Note: ‘sponsored’ by Spot Hero, a site that provides online pre-paid parking reservations) has done a pretty good summary of how coupons work, how customers benefit, and how parking garages benefit. The bottom line, according to Parking Exec/Spot Hero, is that usage of coupons is on the decline in favor of pre-paid online reservations.
- Customers want a guaranteed parking space, rather than a coupon that might be useless if the garage is full. However, in NYC’s valet-attended parking garages, a vehicle is rarely — if ever — turned away.
- Customers like the ease of pre-payment and not having to pay at the cashier upon exit. Of course, they still have to wait for their car to be delivered by the valet.
- Parking garage operators prefer the ease of adjusting the rates online to the more onerous process of changing a coupon rate.
- Parking garages want to create brand loyalty, rather than ‘rate chasing’ behavior driven by couponing.
We noted the larger garage operators are still using both coupons and online pre-paid reservations, so there must something to this couponing, right?