Do you have a great idea for a new shared mobility service? You have a written business plan and secured funding? Now it is time to launch the new service; an exciting but a nerve racking period. There are three key elements for a successful launch: the design of your product features, testing the service thoroughly and a thought through launch plan.
1. Focus on Core Features
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for shared mobility services is quite extensive: it includes a vehicle equipped with a telematic system, a website and an app for customers and a backend for fleet operations and customer service. All of which is connected by wireless communication. But that is only part of what shared mobility is about. You need to acquire members, support your fleet and members and have a state-of-the art payment integration. Many telematic software solutions have great fleet management features but struggle with good member acquisition and support functionality. On top of that, it is clear by now, that members need to be able to register, book trips and manage their accounts through an app. Some of these features are very dependant on the business model and market approach an operator decided to take. This means that these features have to be customised and a good software solution is configurable to a certain degree. It is important that you design these features with your business plan and the uniqueness of your market in mind. It is equally crucial to describe them in clear language (f.i. use cases) to the technology vendor so you can find a solution together.
2. Product Validation
Since the heart of a shared mobility service is technology based, it should be self-explanatory that you want to test your core features thoroughly. Devising a good pilot with a thorough test plan and a good mix of testers is crucial so you catch any gaps or technological issues before launching to the public.There are different options of how to do that and the approach, length of test period and test users depends very much on what you are about to launch. You want to choose a more extensive testing if you are introducing a completely new vehicle or technology solution. If you are purchasing existing technology and vehicles you want to test at the very minimum that all the customisations are functional. Professional testers have a structured approach and are really useful to find technological glitches. But it is equally important to obtain feedback from regular users, ideally people who have never used a shared mobility solution.
3. Prepare and Account for a Product Launch
If you come from traditional product launches, you know that a well-executed launch is your chance to grab customers’ attention and make a strong impression. It is crucial that you develop an extensive launch plan taking into account your business and marketing plan as well as growth projection. Good preparation is the key to success of launching your shared mobility service with the impression in the market that it deserves. But like all first impressions, it’s hard to correct if it doesn’t go smoothly right off the bat — especially if it’s a shared mobility option. Once the vehicles are delivered into the field, they are visible reminders of the service and if nobody is using them, it sends a signal to the public.
There is never a guarantee that a new product will be successful but properly preparing for and timing your launch can make your debut — and your product — more memorable. If you design the features of your service well, test them thoroughly and create an innovative launch strategy, you setup your shared mobility service for success from the start.