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In today’s fast-paced world, people rely on technology a lot in everything they do. Emerging tech makes our lives simpler by bringing a plethora of convenient services right to our doorstep. This spans everything from online shopping to food delivery – and it’s all available on our smart devices.
One such service brought to our gadgets is taxi booking. This kind of service has been around for a while and keeps trending.
But how does it work and how do you create taxi app yourself? In this article, the experts from Northell will take you behind the scenes of the app development process and share handy tips on how to build a taxi app in 2022 and ensure success. From this guide, you will learn:
- What is a taxi booking app?
- How does it work?
- Who needs to create one?
- What key features are there for customers, drivers, and admins?
- How to make money with a taxi app?
- How to build a taxi app step by step?
- What challenges might be there and how to overcome them?
- How Northell can help you achieve success?
- How much does it cost to build a taxi app?
Let’s dive in!
What Is a Taxi Booking App?
In a nutshell, a taxi booking app is an application that lets you have taxi services at your fingertips. With the help of a smart gadget and the Internet, such apps enable users to book a car and driver to take them to their chosen destination.
Often, such apps also provide additional handy features, such as the possibility to plan a ride for a specific time, chat with or call the driver, track the route, and pay for the services with a credit card. Also, there is almost always a convenient rating system that awards both customers and drivers with a specific rating based on mutual reviews, this feature helps one identify the trustworthiness of the person who will happen to be in a car with them.
The pioneer in the on-demand taxi application market was Uber. The company released its famous app in 2009 and triggered the transformation of the entire taxi services market. Today, after Uber’s success, it’s clear that taxi service providers that have a scalable app solution will turn into billionaires because this market’s size is predicted to cross the point of $318 million by 2024. Thanks to the ease of booking and low taxi fares, the online ride-hailing market is projected to grow at the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.08% between 2020 and 2025. So, if you were looking for a weighty reason to create taxi app, that must be it.
How Does a Taxi Booking App Work?
If you are wondering how to build a taxi app, the first thing you must know is that it’s never just one app that you need. All taxi booking apps serve three types of users – customer, driver, and admin. The purpose of use and, thus, the functionality for every group of users will be different. So, in fact, when you ask how to build a taxi app, you actually want to know how to build three different apps combined in one.
So, how does it work?
- From a customer’s perspective, it’s just a booking app that lets them find a cab to get them from one destination to another. The core focus here is on intuitiveness and user experience.
- From an admin’s perspective, your app will work like an admin panel that lets them see the bookings, customers, and available drivers, and manage the workflow.
- Drivers are going to be your most essential users. Thus, from their perspective, your app will have the most diverse functionality. To a driver, your app must act as their work dashboard, progress & revenue analytical tool, customer relationship & communication tool, support center, and GPS navigator – all in one.
Who Needs to Create a Taxi Booking App?
Now, before we go on and tell you how to build a taxi app, who might be interested in doing it in the first place?
Basically, there are two types of businesses that need to build such solutions:
Taxi Service Providers
Obviously, taxi service providers make the first kind of business that must know how to build a taxi app and needs to implement such a solution. With the help of an app, companies that offer such services can gain better brand recognition, improve customer experiences, and, respectively, generate more revenue.
But, most importantly, given the high demand for such apps and the high growth rate of the online taxi booking market, creating their own apps will let taxi service providers stay competitive in the future.
Apart from companies that offer taxi services, in particular, providers of other types of transport services can also benefit from building a booking app. For example, services like Uber or BlaBlaCar, as well as FlixBus, are not exactly taxis. They do provide transportation services but work somewhat differently. And they also stay competitive and successful thanks to offering their clients to receive transportation services online through a convenient app.
How to Build a Taxi Booking App: Key Features of a for the Passenger
In order to answer the questions “how much does it cost to build a taxi app” and “how do you create taxi app yourself”, it’s vital to identify the scope of features included in such solutions.
Here’s what is there on the customer side:
This is the basic feature that will let customers join your system and stay there. It will let customers use your app and store their data in it securely.
The next essential feature is a customer profile that will boost the user’s experience and let them use your app conveniently. It enables clients to keep track of their rides and keep their personal information up-to-date.
Traditionally, clients used to pay for taxi and transportation services with cash, but this feature is a game-changer. Featuring multiple payment options significantly improves the app’s quality and creates more convenient experiences for users.
This feature lets app users track the location of their drivers and know when they arrive at their location. It also lets them track the route and time during the ride.
Being able to calculate the approximate cost, route, and duration of the ride helps users plan their rides better and know how much they will have to pay for each particular ride.
The most vital feature of every taxi app is the possibility to book a ride from destination A to destination B right from the client’s smartphone.
The messaging feature is typically added for more convenience to let the customer ask questions or share important information with the booked driver quickly and easily.
This next core feature is there to let users know when a suitable driver is found, when they get closer to their location, when they arrive, when the driver sends a message, etc.
Ratings and Reviews
This feature serves both comfort and safety reasons. Ratings and reviews let clients know how trustworthy each particular driver is and help make their rides stress-free.
This feature helps users keep track of their past rides, including completed and canceled ones.
Apart from the vital base features, there might be some advanced add-ons that will make your taxi app even more convenient. These can include:
- Social login/sign up
- Driver queue algorithm
- Zone/surge pricing
- Smartwatch access
- Phone number masking
- Taxi booking for a friend
- Sharing a ride with other users
- Bill splitting
- Emergency contact
- Multiple destinations/bookings
- Loyalty programs
- Multi-lingual support
How to Build a Taxi Booking App: Key Features for the Driver
Now you know what features to include for clients when you create taxi app. Here’s what you need to include for drivers:
Similarly to customers, drivers should be able to sign-up and login into your system. Ideally, there should be a two-factor verification feature for the security of their bank account details.
This feature will provide more comfort for drivers and let them manage their personal information just like customers do.
Navigation and Route Optimization
You don’t want your drivers to use third-party GPS navigators because that’s just inconvenient to switch between multiple apps all the time. Thus, you need to include solid navigation and route optimization features for more convenience.
This feature has to be there to let drivers know when a client wants to ask or discuss something so that they could respond promptly.
Stats and Earnings
This feature will let drivers keep good track of their rides, earnings, and work overall.
On the driver’s side, this feature is needed to stay updated when the new order lands in the system, when the ride is confirmed or canceled, etc.
Some convenient and popular advanced features for drivers include:
- Availability status
- Real-time requests
- Order accept/reject
- Start/end ride
- Booking cancelation
- Rate customer
How to Build a Taxi Booking App: Key Features for the Admin
Apart from the customer and driver, there is always a third person who manages the whole process and provides support to both drivers and customers.
On the admin’s side, here are the key features you must include when you create taxi app:
The dashboard feature lets admins know how many bookings are there, how much revenue and commissions are earned, how many drivers are available, etc. Simply put, this feature provides admins with all the information they need to create a seamless workflow.
Reports and Analytics
This feature is needed to help admins track the performance of drivers and the app in general in order to identify flaws and deliver better experiences to customers and drivers, as well as ensure higher revenues.
This feature enables admins to see the locations of customers and drivers in real-time to create better matches and provide support/information when necessary.
The customer management feature allows admins to track their information with ease and provide better service. The driver management feature lets admins add, delete, change, and otherwise manage drivers in the system and their information. Finally, the vehicle management feature is there to let admins access, add, delete, change, and manage all vehicle-related information in the system.
How to Make Money With a Taxi Booking App?
When you decide to create taxi app, there are always two main questions that pop up in your head:
- How much does it cost to build a taxi app?
- How can you profit from it?
We will answer the first question further in this guide, after telling you how to build a taxi app.
As for the second question, here are the key ways to make money with your taxi booking app:
The first way to generate profit from a taxi app is to adopt the Freemium business model. The name of this model consists of two words – Free and Premium. The idea is simple. The service or product provider offers customers to use their product for free but with limited functionality and unlock the full functionality in a premium version. This model works great because if a free user receives a positive experience with your app, they will be more likely to convert into premium users and generate more revenue for you.
Another monetization opportunity is presented by in-app ads. This idea implies featuring partners’ advertisements inside your application in exchange for a commission for ad placement, number of views/clicks, etc.
Another way to generate a great amount of revenue is to offer users paid subscriptions. This monetization option can be easily combined with others. For example, you could offer premium-user subscriptions to support your Freemium business model or, if you are featuring third-party ads in your app, you can offer users to buy an ad-free subscription instead.
One of the major revenue sources in taxi apps is online commission. App owners can set a fixed sum or percentage commission or transaction convenience fee and apply it to every booking to keep their business running.
This revenue-generation tactic has multiple benefits. First of all, you can charge a cancellation fee from both customers and drivers, which will provide you with more monetization opportunities. At the same time, knowing that there are cancellation charges will make users (on both sides) think twice before canceling the booking. As a result, the cancellation rate will drop and the reliability of your app will increase.
Pre-booking features are very convenient for users and, thus, common in taxi apps. Let’s say a customer has a flight tomorrow and knows that they must arrive at the airport at X o’clock. With this feature, they will have the opportunity to schedule a ride to the airport, and rest assured that they will make it on time. And the app owner, in turn, can apply an additional pre-booking fee and generate more revenue.
How to Build a Taxi App in 10 Steps?
As a taxi service provider or transport services company, chances are that you don’t have an in-house development team. In this case, if you decide to create taxi app, you will basically have two options – 1) to hire an in-house team or 2) to delegate the app development process to a team of external professionals.
The first option is incredibly time, energy, and money-consuming. It is also associated with many recruitment issues. Thus, it makes more sense for you to work with a reliable development partner.
So, here is how to build a taxi app step by step:
Step 1. Hire a Development Team and Choose the Best Collaboration Model
First of all, you need to find a reliable development partner. You want a company with broad expertise and a strong team that can bring your project to life.
A great choice would be Northell. Our top-rated design and development company has a ton of experience in delivering cutting-edge custom mobile app development services. So, with us, your projects will be in the right hands.
Then you will also need to define a suitable collaboration model that would ensure a smooth project flow.
Step 2. Define Your Niche, Audience, and Analyze the Market
Before the hired team can move on to the implementation of your project, they will need to get more information from you. Namely, the development specialists will need to have a clear understanding of your niche, audience, and market. So, step 2 requires you to define these.
Pro tip: Conduct a thorough analysis of the market and competition to gain valuable insight and shape your own targets, needs, and requirements.
Step 3. Develop MVP for a Taxi App
Developing an MVP (minimum viable product) is a good starting point. This stage requires developing a very basic version of your future app with minimum functionality to see what it will look like in general terms.
Step 4. Choose a Tech Stack for Taxi Booking App
The next step requires identifying your app’s tech stack. At this point, you need to consult with your development partner to define what databases, payment solutions, and mobile and backend services will be used to create your app.
Step 5. Decide on a Revenue Model
One more key aspect you want to define at the early stage is the monetization model your app will use. Earlier, we told you about the best ways to make money from a taxi booking app. Analyze them carefully to find out what revenue model will work best for you.
Step 6. Move to UX/UI
These days, the app market’s focus is on user experiences. Thus, if you want to ensure the success of your app, you must ensure that it delivers exceptional experiences, which makes the design stage one of the most important ones. At this stage, the selected experts will design an intuitive User Interface (UI) and a smooth User Experience (UX) for your app.
Step 7. Develop
The most complicated and time-consuming stage of the project is the development phase. At this stage, your dedicated development team will implement your ideas into life and build a high-quality and functional taxi app for you.
Step 8. Test
After the development stage, you must pass on the project to experienced QA specialists who will test it and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Step 9. Launch
When everything looks good, it’s time to put your app on Google Play or App Store (or both) to make it available to your users.
Step 10. Promote
After the launch, you have to start marketing your application. Design and implement several advertising campaigns, targeting different consumer groups (i.e. customers, drivers, and admins).
Ideally, you should have a well-defined marketing plan way before the launch, so that you have the possibility to “warm up” your audience before you roll out your product.
How to Eliminate Challenges of Developing a Taxi App: Pro Tips From Northell
Having a detailed guide on how to build a taxi app like the one provided above is a good starting point for developing your solution. Nevertheless, even knowing what steps to take won’t prevent you from a number of common challenges that might arise in the process.
Let’s take you over the most common issues related to taxi app development and share helpful tips for solving them.
When it comes to online taxi booking services, there is a wide array of safety issues that you can face. First of all, there are cybersecurity threats related to data leaks, theft, etc.
Then, there are also issues related to safety on the road. We all know that anything can happen during the ride and ensuring the security of thousands of customers and drivers served through your app is physically impossible. After all, not everything depends on the skillfulness and experience of your drivers.
Finally, there is also always a chance of crimes, including sexual abuse, theft, etc.
Safety challenges require an all-around approach to overcome them. For the safety of data and users’ identities, you need to use a reliable login/sign-up process and apply additional cybersecurity features like two-factor verification.
Safety on the road can’t be ensured to the fullest because it is often out of your control. But, what you can do is to:
- Hire reliable, responsible, and experienced drivers;
- Integrate extra features like emergency contact and the SOS button.
As for the prevention of crime, that’s where you need thorough verification of users’ identities, a clear rating system, and harsh penalties for violations.
When expanding, taxi and transportation service providers often enter markets in other states and even countries. When this happens, a wide range of localization issues arise. Namely, there are almost always process management, language/translation, and local legal regulations issues that arise as the result of the expansion.
When it comes to localization problems, solving them requires a thorough, detailed approach from experienced professionals. That’s where the Northell’s team can come to aid. Thanks to our vast expertise, we are well familiar with regulations and other specs of different markets and know what it takes to satisfy them.
As was said earlier, the taxi application market is growing rapidly. So, it’s quite competitive too. The leaders like Uber, Lyft, Ola, and others have solid positioning in the market. Uber alone holds around 75-78% of the online taxi market share worldwide. As you can easily guess, outdoing the competition (and even surviving it) can be incredibly challenging for new players.
The best way to survive in such a highly-competitive market is to give users something they don’t have yet. In other words, you need to create taxi app with advanced, next-gen features that will set you apart from the competition.
Northell’s Expertise in Taxi Booking App Development: How Can We Help You?
Now that we’ve told you how to build a taxi app, how else can Northell be of help to you?
Our design and development company can become your trusted development partner for this project. And there is a lot we can offer you.
Our broad expertise in app development helps us craft custom app solutions that meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. Our team can boast a diversity of skill sets and an extensive tech stack. Being proficient in iOS, Android, and Cross-Platform tech, we are able to undertake all kinds of projects and deliver outstanding results.
Best part? Our experts always take a hyper-personalized approach to every project. That is, we create fully custom solutions tailored to your unique vision and needs. Thus, entrusting your taxi booking app development to us is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd. So, don’t hesitate, and let’s do something great together!
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Taxi App?
So, you already know how to build a taxi app, what features to include in it, what challenges you can encounter, and how to solve them.
Now, how much does it cost to build a taxi app?
On average, a solution like this takes between 3 and 4 months to implement and requires a team of six professionals, including:
- Project manager
- IT architect
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Quality assurance specialist
The team will need around 1200-1500 hours to create taxi app for you. With the average app development price between $25-$33 per hour, the total average cost of such an app will be around $40,000.
How to Build a Taxi App: Conclusion
Now you know how to build a taxi app in 2023 and make it bring you profit. Want to get into the biz? Then don’t waste time and start acting now!
It might be uneasy to create taxi app. The planning, research, designing, and other stages of the process can be rather tiring and time-consuming. But, it gets so much easier with a reliable partner like Northell and our broad expertise. And, the result will pay off all the effort!