Not all apps are good. And few are truly great. When choosing a parking app for your city, you’re making the single most important decision after drafting your parking strategy.

When figuring out what the best parking app is, keep in mind that it should not only meet your requirements, but have the potential to exceed your expectations and take your city’s parking where you want it to be. If you’re still unsure about what you’re looking for, take a look at the overall must-haves for your online solution. If that’s settled, let’s dive in deeper to some more specific features your app should have:

1. A parking app must be of top-notch quality

When cities and parking companies introduce parking apps, they more often than not ignore the fact that consumers are very picky. Consumers only adopt and fall in love with a new service, if it is of high quality and feels great. According to studies, consumers use around 3-5 apps on a daily basis. To fit into that tight bunch, the parking app you introduce will be compared to these fantastic, very user friendly services. Your parking app needs to have the look and feel of a top-quality app. No careless execution nor half-hearted features. You must see that it was made to be the best.

2. A parking app must have the minimum of user actions

All consumers are by default lazy. When comparing parking apps, always try the user experience of the different apps and compare them. How many buttons do you have to press in order to pay for parking? Do you have to learn something new or does the app seem intuitive? This includes first-time users. Can you start using the service on the spot? How hard is it? This is the bit that cannot be stressed enough: the app must be so easy to use that there’s absolutely no way it could be made any more so.

3. A parking app must have excellent ratings and reviews

Very few parking apps have 4-point-something stars in the App Store or Google Play. Look for the apps with the highest ratings – what is it that they do right? If you decide to introduce an app in your city or parking lot that has been rated 2 stars in another environment – expect the same result in your case. You want to befriend consumers, not alienate them with hard-to-use tech. User ratings give you the what’s what of real-life users and that’s the most valuable information you can get. Also pay attention to whether good customer service is provided – another important indicator of service value.  

4. A parking app must be easily integratable

The app will not be used in a vacuum – parking enforcement officers must be able to combine it into their system, and the smoother it can be done, the better. This is a no-brainer, as it increases productivity and reduces unnecessary inconveniences that cause costs in both money and time. The app needs to be a welcome addition, not an excessive burden. This also pays off on the consumer side as the fewer mishaps there are, the more reliable and positive the parking provider comes across.

5. A parking app must have a great admin panel

It’s important that you are able to work the app from your side and that it’s transparent enough for you to understand what’s going on. Think what information you need to see, what information you’d like to see, and how the app responds to those. You should basically be able to see your payment traffic and user amounts in your city pretty thoroughly for the app to be worth your while. This saves a lot of time, and shows that the app provider is highly user-oriented.

6. A parking app must be reliable

Cool features are always a nice thing, but the main thing you need to focus on is that the app has one simple function that it performs well (the one function that your city needs, of course). This means that it’s less likely to collapse under a massive amount of maintenance, but rather focuses on staying on top of the job. It also means that the team behind is focused and goal-oriented. Two words – less downtime.

If you have an app in mind, and you got through this list by nodding at each point, then congrats! Sounds like you have the one you’re looking for.

If not, keep looking, and remember that the app you choose should be the final puzzle piece that fits perfectly to your parking strategy as a whole for improving your city’s parking once and for all.

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ParkMan is an efficient digital solution for parking management, and a parking app for drivers to find and pay for parking. Read how ParkMan can help you!

Main photo bymelissa mjoen from Unsplash/CC