Parclick is the reference website for online parking reservations in Europe.
At first Parclick was an MBA project, but in 2011 what began as a hypothetical became a real company. Since then they have adjusted their business model to offer the best products to the customer. Not only do they help their users get great discounts on parking rates, but they also help car parks to maximise their infrastructure without any risk. In addition, little by little they are making their way in the payment of on-street parking (Regulated Parking).
The idea of creating an app which facilitates the search and booking (off street) of parking spaces has its origin in a fairly common situation which is not pleasant to experience: Luis Paris, CEO of Parclick, and his wife, went to a U2 concert in San Sebastian, but they were unable to get in because they couldn’t find a parking space.
Luis decided to start digitising the search for parking and concentrating it on an App. They have managed to be pioneers in very crowded cities, and that has been possible thanks to Google Maps.
Geolocation is the core business of Parclick’s business model. That’s why it was essential to find a system which would support not just an app but a whole business strategy.
Before using the Google Maps Platform, they tried other map providers. However, they found that no other service covered their needs as Google Maps did through its APIs.
Parclick has been able to approach a sector which had been anchored in traditional methods in a totally innovative way. Thanks to Parclick and the Google Maps APIs, today the end user can enjoy the advantages of geolocation and digital transformation together.
But it will be easier to understand to what extent Google Maps APIs can be the basis of a business strategy and lead an app to be a pioneer in the services sector, seeing the results through the lens of who really matters: the customer.
Let’s say that in this case the client is us and that we are looking for a private parking space in a city which we are visiting. Let’s say we’re in Porto and we want to look for parking for a week. The first logical step will be to search for available parking in the area which interests us. To offer this service, Parclick uses:
- Autocomplete (Places API): offers predictions based on the location of the search, anticipating the complete writing of the address. This system of address validation reduces the margin of error in the search and with it the margin of cancellation of the purchase/reservation.
Once we complete the search, the map will show us the points where there is parking, that is, we will geolocate the available parking. This is possible thanks to two APIs:
- Geocoding (Places API): geocoding is the process which converts addresses (such as “Torre Picasso, AZCA, Plaza de Carlos Trías Bertrán, 1, 28020 Madrid, Spain”) into geographic coordinates (such as latitude 40.4505067 and longitude -3.6930797222222225) which serve to arrange markers or positions on the map.
After having seen all the options which exist to park, we will surely want to see which one we like the most. For this, each person can establish their personal parameters. That is, we may want cheaper parking, in which case we’ll want to know the prices, or we may only care about the parking ratings to know that we’re leaving our car in good hands, in which case we will look at the rating resulting from the opinions of other users. Maybe we want to consider both. Either way, Parclick offers this and more information through Google Maps and does so using the following API:
- Details (Places API): offers details of establishments and/or points of interest such as schedules, rating, prices, etc.
Finally we will want to know how long it took to get to the parking from our position, for this:
- Directions (Routes API):calculates the distance and time to go from point A to point B and shows the optimal route of the journey.
It seems simple, right? It is. The Google Maps APIs make success simple. The founders of Parclick had a good idea and decided to rely on geolocation as a business strategy. Google Maps Platform is the tool which made it possible.