Product Analysis: Ola cabs

About

Ola Cabs is a ride-sharing service that enables users to book cabs, rent cars to travel from one place to another. I have used this app extensively(as a passenger) and have considerably changed the way I commute and travel. The app is mostly used by daily commuters, people visiting different cities, and infrequent travelers.

Consumer Pain Points Solved

  • Book the cab anytime and anywhere even at places where there’s no cab stand or public transport – the cab would directly come to you and pick you up. It improved last mile transport.
  • Safety is a big issue while traveling especially at night – You can share details of driver and route with your friends and address the concern
  • Cab pricing was always inconsistent in India and passengers generally had to hassle with drivers to get down at the right price. Quite often it used to result in small fights and unnecessary talks. With Ola, you can check the price right away before booking and also on what basis the price is based.
  • With the options of multiple payment channels, passengers don’t have to worry about not having enough cash in pocket at the time of booking.
  • In the COVID-19 scenario, public transport is not very safe because of the crowd, so the most reliable option is cabs. Here also Ola make sure that the cab driver is following safety measures

Improvement

For customer retention-

  1. Book a cab directly by inserting the cab ID/code

I faced this issue a lot of times where I can see the empty cab right in front of me but when I book from the app, some different cab is booked and I have to wait until it arrives to pick up. Because of urgency most of the time I just go for the alternative in such scenarios. So, to address this issue, there can be an option of directly booking a cab by inserting its cab number of some unique ID which in turn can be placed on some visible place on the cab. It will mitigate the tendency to switch to other alternatives and also reduce the waiting time.

  1. Automatic loyalty program that adds points based on distance traveled using Ola cabs

Passengers always look for cheaper options and consider the factor of whether a particular ride-sharing app is offering discounts/ coupons. I think a loyalty program whereby a user receives redeemable points based on how much a user has traveled can improve the retention considerably. It can be offered in a gamification format like milestones and consistent nudges to remind users of the progress.

For increasing consumer base –

       3.Pay later option to address concerns of users who travel a long distance and low on money at the time of    booking.

Being a student I always had to sacrifice the Ola option because of the non-availability of enough money at the time of booking as for long-distance inter-city travel price is high. And as my parents aren’t tech-savvy, I can’t just ask them to send money urgently using some digital channel. For such issues, there can be a pay later payment option either through inbuilt company service or partnership with third-party microfinance service providers.

Learnings

 

  1. Ola Select – The membership option is really good strategy to retain customers while adding value for daily commuters

2. Refer to the image above- Homepage of Ola The part marked in red is really distracting and unimportant when we consider the purpose of the app i.e booking cabs – “Hicks Law” And also there’s no call to action button or any kind of indication on the page. This leads to users missing the critical component of opening the app and might also lead to confusion – “Fitt’s law” – the longer the distance and the smaller the target’s size, the longer

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