In the taxi industry, companies such as Uber and Hailo have created entirely new business models threatening traditional taxi brokers and companies. They have eliminated the requirement for a centralized dispatch centre by using mobile apps to connect passengers directly to taxi drivers. The smartphone’s GPS tracking capability can instantly and visually display how close the taxi is.
Furthermore, once the ride is completed, the app can automatically transfer the funds for the fare from the passenger to the taxi driver. The app vendors take a portion of each transaction (about 15 percent) and taxi drivers claim savings of hundreds of dollars per month. In the future, traffic patterns could even be analyzed to more accurately estimate the taxi’s arrival time.
When Ports Coffee & Tea replaced the cash registers in their coffee shops with iPads, they realized that the flexibility of wireless payments opened up a whole new business model opportunity – selling coffee in the park at events. This is a great example of expanding a successful venture beyond the limits of brick and mortar through mobile and wireless technologies.
American Apparel’s strategy as a progressive brand leader resulted in the creation of an entirely new business model when it set up a store on a private island of the virtual world Second Life. Instead of real clothes, they simply sold virtual clothes for avatars for about one dollar each.
Tesco’s Home plus grocery chain in Korea had a very specific business objective they needed to address. Home plus wanted to increase its market share significantly, but it would take years to expand and catch up to established competitors’ store sales volumes.
Home plus decided on a very innovative new business model that could leapfrog competitors. It built makeshift stores by placing full colour posters of its products (as they would appear on its real‑world store shelves) on subway walls. While waiting for a subway, people can simply scan the QR code underneath any product to make a purchase.
The payment transaction is completed on their smartphone and the groceries are delivered to their home later that day. This introduces an entirely new business model for grocery shopping and the strategy is enabling Tesco to gain market share without significant cost overhead of brick and mortar.
Tesco’s objectives were clear – increase the number of registered users for its grocery delivery service and increase sales. The results were significant. Over 10,000 people in Korea visited the Home plus makeshift QR code stores and ordered groceries using their smartphones, all while waiting for a subway. Registered members for the service increased 76 percent and online sales increased 130 percent, making Home plus the number one online grocer in Korea.
Next, Home plus is considering the challenge of selling to consumers that are not comfortable getting products delivered to their home. For this audience, they are trying to figure out how to create a logistics system that would actually have your order ready for pickup at your last subway stop so that you can take it home with you.
Watch the Video: QR Code Business Model Innovation – Home Plus: Tesco launched virtual Home plus stores in subway stations in Korea. Riders simply had to scan the QR codes to get products delivered to their home later that day – an entirely new business model! <goo.gl/GVTpK> (Duration: three minutes)
They do not have a large centralized vehicle parking lot, but rather, park a car or two or three near heavily trafficked areas. And in some cases, those parking spots may even be provided to Zipcar for free because of the benefit received by the municipal government or business that provides the spots. No rental counter is needed because every part of the account management, contracting and payment processing is handled by a mobile app.Next let’s consider the rental car industry with companies such as Budget, Thrifty and Hertz. They own thousands of cars, rent large expensive airport parking lots, have numerous employees that work the car rental counter and rent cars by the day or week. Now consider the business model deployed by Zipcar.
Zipcar customer support is provided through low cost call centres. Smartphones and specially equipped cars eliminate the requirement to pick up keys for the vehicles since renters can lock and unlock the doors with the app. The app can even remotely honk the horn to help you find the car in a crowded parking lot. Since transaction costs are considerably reduced, cars can be rented for a half‑day, an hour or even just 20 minutes to pick up milk and bread. The benefits to car renters are obvious – convenience and no need to buy a car or own a parking spot. An entirely new rental car business model is born.
But why stop there? Imagine a car rental company that does not own any cars. The California car rental company GetAround.com has simply created a business model that lets car owners rent out their own cars from their driveways – everything from a Mini Cooper for $5 per hour to a Tesla Roadster for $50 per hour. GetAround.com focuses on the creation of the online environment and mobile app, marketing, contracting, payment processing and car insurance.
Its business model enables GetAround.com to earn a transaction fee for every car that is rented. Car owners get obvious benefits – cash in the bank and the good feeling that they are contributing to the environment by providing a service eliminating the need for more people to buy more cars. One BMW car owner actually gets his entire car payment covered by renting out his car a few times a month.
Watch the Video: Business Model Innovation – Rental Cars: Learn about how the rental car industry is being transformed with new business models from companies such as Zipcar in the U.S. and Buzzcar in France. Buzzcar has created a platform for participation – a peer-to-peer network that enables people to rent cars to each other. <goo.gl/ls9ZN> (Duration: 12 minutes)
If smartphones can be used to rent cars, what other new business model might be possible