On average, drivers will waste 17 hours of their life a year looking for a spot to park their car.
This time and fuel burnt can add up to a total of $345 a year just for simply trying to find parking.
Believe it or not, your parking lot experience leaves an impression with your customers. Discover five smart parking solutions to help your customers now.
1. Reduce Traffic
If your business isn’t located downtown or in the middle of a big city, you want to try and have your parking lot located away from all of the traffic.
If there is a lot of traffic on the road near or in your parking lot, this can produce more congestion and traffic in your lot. If your customers also have more problems leaving your parking lot and waiting to exit, this will create more congestion. This congestion will make it more difficult for other customers to find parking.
2. Make Security a Priority
Sometimes spots will stay open and vacant even during busy parts of the day because customers are afraid to park there for security reasons.
Maybe the car is next to an old, unmarked white van that has been there for days. Or maybe they don’t want to park next to the shopping cart corral because they’re afraid their car will get dented. Some customers don’t even put their cart back in the corral, and instead leave it in an empty parking space, making it impossible for others to park there.
Some people don’t want to park far away if it is night because they don’t want to walk that big of a distance through the parking lot by themselves.
So having security and moderators for your parking lot can help with all of these issues.
Installing security cameras in your parking lot can also help customers feel safer. You can also hire a security company to patrol your parking lot to make sure that everything is okay. Your customers may feel safer with their presence there.
Having employees take care of stray carts and monitor the corrals can also help improve the safety of your parking lot. Now your customers won’t have to worry about a stray cart denting their car.
3. Consider Installing a Parking Garage
Parking garages are a great way to maximize parking if you don’t have that much space to work with.
Some parking garages are equipped with technology to even tell customers what parking lots have the most available, open spaces and which ones are full so your customers aren’t wasting their time driving on each floor.
For example, the new parking garage at Disney Springs in Orlando uses sensors to know if a car is parked in a spot. If there is a car there, it will tell the display signs that those spots are closed, but these other, empty ones are available. The signs can even direct customers to where those spots are.
In addition to this, there are also different types of parking garages that you can install, and all of them are designed to get the most out of your space.
Multilevel Parking Garage
This is one of the most popular and common types of a parking garage. This can have several levels, which may sound like a dream come true for your customers.
These parking garages are utilized in urban, residential, and sometimes commercial areas.
The design within this garage can vary, but normally there are ramps that go from one floor to the next. In some other types of garages, they use lifts that take your car up to whichever floor they want to go to.
If your budget allows it, this may be a great parking solution. There are pros and cons to both. The garage with the ramps may take longer for your customers to drive to the top level. However, the garage that utilizes lifts may be more difficult to use.
Underground Parking Garage
If you don’t have the space to build a big above-ground parking garage, building one with levels underground may be a good option to consider.
This isn’t as common as one above grounds, but these are typically found in big cities or downtown where parking is really needed but not available.
Automated Parking Garage
If you have the money for it, automated parking garages are the answer to all your parking problems.
The customer just simply has to drive their car onto a platform, and then an automated system will find an available spot and put the car somewhere in the garage. This gets rid of the entire problem of customers having to circle your parking lot to just try and find a spot to park.
The systems work by using hydraulic or mechanical lifts and robots and sounds very futuristic and technologically advanced.
There are many benefits to having this type of garage installed on your business’s property.
You may get more parking spaces out of this option because the parking spaces can be smaller since no one will be getting in or out of their car. This garage also allows the cars to be stacked which maximizes space as well.
There is a little bit of maintenance about once a month for this system, and you will probably have to have someone come out and check it every once in a while to make sure that it is running properly.
But imagine how much happier your customers would be when they find out they don’t have to worry about parking.
4. Designate Spots
There’s nothing more infuriating when you’re trying to find parking than thinking you found a spot only to realize there was a motorcycle there, taking up the entire spot.
Having certain spots designated for motorcycles and compact cars can help save other spots for people who actually need those spaces while also maximizing the space in your parking lot. A Mini Cooper needs significantly less space to park than a Ford truck.
You can also have designated spots for customers who are only going to spend a little bit of time there. For example, if you are a restaurant, you may want to have a few spots out front close to the entrance for people who are just there to pick up their takeout.
If you are a grocery or department store, you may want to think about including spots close to where they can get their food or orders picked up without having to drive around your parking lot while also saving space for your other customers who plan on spending more time at your business.
You could also consider having a few spaces be designated with parking pay stations. Some customers may prefer to pay a small fee to park closer to the front or to avoid having to look for another spot, and this is an extra way for you to make a little bit of money.
However, if you already don’t have a big parking lot, you may not want to do this because if your customers decide they don’t want to pay to park and shop there, they may decide to go somewhere else, and those spots will just be wasted space.
5. Remove Unnecessary Objects
This may be one of the easiest parking solutions you can do.
If you don’t have a problem with parking at your store, you’re probably not worried about the giant dumpster that is blocking six spots. You probably also haven’t noticed the few cars that have been parked out there for the last few months.
But if your customers are complaining about the parking outside, you may want to consider removing that dumpster and putting it somewhere in the back where it isn’t affecting your customers.
Sometimes people leave their cars abandoned in your parking lot, or they may just leave it there all day even if they’re not parking there. This can go back to hiring security to monitor these things, but you can also think about hiring a towing company.
Before you start towing random cars on your lot, you may need to check how to legally do that. But freeing up some extra space could make all the difference in your parking lot. And this means your customers will be happier.
Incorporate These Parking Solutions Today
If you’ve been having your customers constantly complain about problems with finding parking at your business, you may want to think about incorporating some of these parking solutions.
Trying to find parking can easily irritate customers. You don’t want them coming into your store already angry and upset because then they may not want to buy your service or products.
You want your customers as happy and relaxed in your business as possible.
If you don’t want to deal with parking and are thinking about making an online business in addition, check out this article to help you get started.