Especially during the Christmas season, there is a shortage of parking space in city centers. Large crowds of shoppers lead to parking chaos and queues, exacerbating the Christmas stress that many are already feeling. To get Christmas shopping off to a more relaxed start, we discuss how digital parking management can lead to more efficient use of parking spaces, improve the parking experience and thus help to keep customers happy and increase sales.
Challenges for retailers and shoppers during the holiday season
Especially during the Christmas season, there is a shortage of parking space in many city centers and shopping malls. A large rush of customers, especially in the evening and on Advent weekends, can lead to a real parking chaos: Backups in front of the entrance barrier, long waits, making laps until a free space is found and, to top it all off, standing in line in front of the vending machine, fully loaded with purchases, in order to be able to pay and escape the Christmas hustle and bustle again. In addition to long shopping lists and errands, the existing parking chaos can lead to significant Christmas stress. To get Christmas shopping off to a more relaxed start this year, we discuss how digital parking management can lead to more efficient use of parking spaces, improving the parking experience and thus helping to keep customers happy and increase sales.
Often, a high rush during the Christmas season leads to congestion in parking lots and parking garages in inner-city areas. Customers search in vain for parking spaces, have to wait a long time at parking machines and there is often a backlog due to the need to stop at parking barriers. Another problem is broken parking barriers, which further increase waiting times and place an additional burden on staff. The parking shortage at peak times and especially on Advent weekends lead to a real fight for parking spaces, causing customers to experience delays, become impatient and often return home frustrated at the end of the day after their Christmas shopping.
Understaffing and excessive demands
Retailers suffer from staff shortages, especially during the pre-Christmas period. If there are complaints from parking lot guests, employees are quickly overwhelmed. This affects both parking lot staff and employees in shopping centers and supermarket chains. With higher customer traffic and operations, the failure rate of barrier systems that are already at risk of failure increases - the organization and execution of necessary repair work of defective hardware can thus become a further burden for both staff and customers. Instead of Christmas spirit, Christmas stress prevails.
Illegal parkers pose another problem, as they use free parking spaces of retailers or shopping centers without visiting the stores and generating sales. There is a shortage of parking spaces for shoppers who want to buy and generate sales, as existing parking spaces are occupied by illegal parkers. As a result, retailers miss out on a significant amount of revenue. In addition, following up on parking violations requires a lot of manpower and time. The result: lower sales, lower profitability, higher labor costs and both dissatisfied employees and customers who experience Christmas stress due to a poor parking experience.
Digital parking management: how retailers and parkers benefit during the pre-Christmas period
One solution to the above challenges is the digital parking system from Peter Park. Classic barriers become superfluous here, as the license plates are automatically recorded by cameras when entering the parking area. Thus, the parking process starts without the need to stop in front of a barrier.
At the end of the parking process, payment can be made as usual at a parking machine using a debit/credit card or cell phone. Alternatively, it is possible to leave the parking area and automatically complete the parking process and the associated payment via the integration of a partner parking app (e.g. EasyPark or Parkster). Capturing the license plate number upon entry and exit records the parking duration as well as the completion of the parking process. At the same time, it is also used to process the payment in the background - making a trip to the parking machine superfluous.
Focus on the Christmas business
The tracking of parking violations by an external provider and the elimination of barriers that are susceptible to repair greatly reduce the workload of retail staff. As a result, there are fewer complaints and less time-consuming repair work. Now employees can better concentrate on the high volume of customers in the store, improve service and devote their full attention to sales-oriented consulting.
Retail customers also benefit from digital parking management solutions. Waiting times are reduced or even avoided by a smooth flow of traffic without barriers, and payment is simplified by cashless and contactless payment options. The seamless parking process is accelerated, resulting in a more pleasant parking experience. As a result, customers are more satisfied and have more time for relaxed Christmas shopping - without any parking stress.
The digitalization of the parking area and automation of all processes within the parking process increase the efficient use and thus the profitability of the area, also due to the optimized utilization. The digital license plate control at entry and exit automatically tracks parking violations. This means that parking violations can be detected and tracked without additional personnel costs. Lower acquisition costs and the elimination of maintenance costs for the barrier systems result in lower costs and an optimized parking process and parking experience for visitors.
Advent and Christmas shopping without stress
A seamless and optimized parking experience attracts visitors to the city center and stimulates trade and sales during the pre-Christmas period. In this way, the interests of various groups are covered and brought into harmony: visitors and shoppers can complete their purchases and errands without stress, and retailers benefit from high visitor numbers of customers willing to shop. Municipalities enjoy high visitor numbers in the city centers, flourishing trade and revenues, while at the same time the economic efficiency of parking areas is increased and the inner-city parking pressure is minimized.
The use of a digital parking system increases the efficiency of parking areas. The elimination of barriers, automatic tracking of parking violators and digital payment options reduce waiting times and costs. By optimizing parking areas, customer satisfaction is increased and high crowds are no longer a problem. Thus, not only parking operators, but also retail customers and municipalities profited from a digital parking experience.
Peter Park is a digital parking system that eliminates the need for parking tickets, barriers, and parking discs. Peter Park System GmbH transforms parking lots into mobility hubs by providing parking lot operators and municipalities with automatic license plate recognition and cloud-based management software. The system from Munich was launched in 2019 and is already available in Germany and Austria.