SpotHero like parking app development - Ideausher
Start SpotHero-like Parking App Development

No doubt smart parking businesses are booming. With a global market size of $5.75 billion, many smart parking apps, such as SpotHero, Honk, and Parkopedia are making incredible profits in their business.

However, the competition in smart parking apps is less, which makes businesses and entrepreneurs prefer investing their money in building SpotHero-like apps to make great profits. 

So, if you are one of those who want to invest and understand how to start SpotHero-like parking app development, know in detail from this blog.

What is the SpotHero app? 

The app is a parking reservation and inventory service provider company that serves on-demand mobile app parking services to millions of customers. 

SpotHero app has partnered with garage owners, vacant lots, and valets to provide customers across the United States parking spots.

A well-known media company “Time” states, By allowing users to reserve a spot rather than circling dense city centers, apps like SpotHero can help stem congestion and pollution.

Also, the SpotHero app has been mentioned numerous times, such as:

  • SpotHero partnered with Waze to help drivers reduce their time finding parking space faster. Waze is a traffic and navigation application that helps users see traffic conditions in different regions
  • On 22 August 2019, SpotHero raised $11.6 million in the series D round, funded by 30 investors with honorable mentions, such as Alpha Partners and OCA Ventures
  • United Center of Chicago has chosen SpotHero as its official parking partner.

Knowing how the SpotHero apps work will help you decide the list of features and functionalities for adding them to your smart parking app.

How does the SpotHero app work? 

The app works as an intelligent parking system where app users can get information about the occupied and available parking spaces in their cities.

The user first opens the app and taps on the search button to select the destination where they want to park their vehicle. After finding the parking spot, they will contact the space owner directly through the same page to confirm the parking booking for a decided amount of time.

Also, check the workflow of parking apps step-by-step:

1. Search

Users manually or through GPS, and enter the name of the desired location where they want to find parking spots.

2. Compare

The app users can explore and compare the different factors for all the available parking spots in a particular place. 

3. Book parking spots

Once selected, users can book them by contacting the parking space provider from the app. 

4. Payment 

Users can make instant payments when booking a parking spot. Also, they can pay later after picking up their vehicle from parking spot

5. Driveaway 

The users can navigate to their desired location through navigational assistance using the GPS and map feature within the app

6. Park the way

After reaching the parking destination, the users will park their 

vehicle at the allotted parking spot.

Now let’s understand why investing in building smart parking management apps is profitable.

Why invest in building parking management apps? 

Here is the predicted market size of smart parking management businesses, representing the better opportunities to invest in smart parking business:

Market size of smart parking apps
  • According to the market research future: the market size of smart parking management will grow at a CAGR of 12% between 2017 and 2023
  • The PRNewswire report states that the smart parking market will reach $11.2 billion by 2027 from $4.1 billion in 2021
  • North American and Asia-specific regions are the best market segment to target the audience for smart parking management.

Knowing what problems SpotHero solves will help you understand what features you can add to provide a more excellent parking experience to your app users.

What problems does SpotHero solve? 

The features provided by the SpotHero app solve the given problems innovatively.

1. Locating vacant parking spaces

The app saves time for many users by navigating them to the closest parking space. Since people are unaware of nearby parking spaces, they can use this app to find and locate nearby parking spaces.  

2. Offering attractive parking deals 

Earlier, due to the low availability of parking spaces and when there was no SpotHero app, the audience struggled to find inexpensive parking spaces easily. Ultimately, it costs them to pay unnecessary costs to park their vehicle. 

But since the launch of the SpotHero app, the audience can find the best deals to park their cars in their cities by purchasing SpotHero’s monthly subscription pack.

For this subscription, the app charges them 15% of the Commission with $0.99 for each recurring transition. Moreover, the hourly parking cost commission of the SpotHero app is under $10, and above is 20% plus $0.99.

3. Multiple parking paying preferences

Many smart parking apps don’t care about different parking preferences. However, the SpotHero app has managed it effectively.

Individuals prefer their own parking rules. Some want to pay per hour, while some for a full day (mainly to save excess charges if they want to park the entire day).

By considering paying preference, the app offers multiple parking rule options to their customers so users can choose to pay for parking their vehicles which helps simplify the parking options for app users. 

Understand the detailed steps to get started with developing your smart parking app.

Steps to build a parking app like SpotHero

These are the following steps you must go through when you start developing your smart parking app like SpotHero.

However, partnering with IT companies can help you ease the app development process due to having experience building SpotHero-like apps. Now, let’s check the steps in detail.

1. Decide your platform goal for smart parking apps

Identify the intent to build your intelligent parking app by looking at what your audience pain points you can solve by building your smart parking app. Also, you can decide whether you will offer your app free or paid by choosing the app monetization models for your smart parking app.

2. Do research in the smart parking industry 

Performing market research will help you understand your audience and competitors in the smart parking industry. Also, market research will help you find areas of improvement in smart parking apps by adding new features and functionalities.

3. Partner with experienced IT firms

You will need an experienced IT company to help you build and launch your smart parking app on different platforms. The IT firm will understand your project needs and business requirements to decide how they can build and shape your smart parking business effectively.

4. Decide a list of features for your parking app 

Based on market research, you can best create a list of features you want to add to your smart parking app. Also, we have discussed the list of both basic and advanced features, such as user registration, location search, payment integration, location tracking, etc, which are essential for your smart parking app.

5. Select app design for your smart parking platform 

Having a great app design can help you deliver the best and simplified parking experience to your app users. Make sure the design you will choose for your app is simple and engaging enough to let your users easily interact with your app. You can demand a prototype from your partner IT company to let you experience your app user interface before your app enters the back-end development stage.

6 . Choose the right tech stack for your parking app

Proper selection of the technology stack for building your smart parking is important. Selectively choosing your app tech stack will help you to build an app with better stability and smooth functionality. 

However, your partner IT company can help you select the text for building your app to ensure you will not face any challenges while starting its backend development.

7. Start smart parking app development & testing

It is a development stage where your app will become fully functional by starting its backend and front-end development. Also, the development team will build and set up its database, servers, APIs, storage solutions, etc., to make your app fully functional and ready to launch.

Also, the development team will test you multiple times to ensure your smart parking is free from any technical bugs and drawbacks. 

8. Launch your smart parking app

App launching also plays an important role when starting your innovative parking app platform. At the time of app launching, you will need to follow the rules and guidelines of each app distribution platform where you will launch your intelligent parking app.

9. App maintenance

This stage will let you improve your app with each update by offering the latest features and eliminating technical glitches in your app.

Now, let’s check the basic features of the SpotHero app.

Basic features you can add to your smart parking apps

A smart parking app like SpotHero has multiple features to simplify the parking experience of its app users. However, along with the users, the app owner and space owners (who will provide parking space)  will need the set of features that we will discuss in this section. Let’s start first with app users.

I. User panel features

The panel will contain the following features for app users:

1. Register

Once users download the app, they will register with the required details, such as their name and email address. Moreover, social media integration will help users to avoid filling in their details and registering directly by simply clicking the signup button to link their social media account with the app.

2. Location-tracking 

Tracking location is one of the best features of smart parking apps. We can’t avoid this feature as without location tracking, how can we find user locations and suggest the best space to park their vehicles?

At the time of app installation, you can ask users’ permission to track their location whenever they open smart parking apps like SpotHero. 

Moreover, this feature will help users to share their location with their friends and relatives via messages or social media platforms.

3. Search option 

Another essential feature to add to smart parking apps like SpotHero is a search option where users can find a particular location in a city or store where they want to enjoy discounts. 

Enabling a search option will simplify their parking experience to find nearby parking spaces for a particular place in the cities instead of using other navigation apps. 

4.  Setting arrival and departure times

The feature will help users set their arrival and departure times, i.e., How long they want the parking spot to be occupied with their vehicle. However, this feature also helps parking space providers to arrange space for upcoming riders by checking bookings in the app. 

5. Booking 

The booking feature helps users to pre-book a parking slot from the app to avoid unavailability when reaching the destination. The user can search for different parking spots nearby the destination they want to locate and can choose to pre-book. 

This feature provides a fantastic app experience for users to avoid frustration by the unavailability of parking spots when reaching their destination. 

6. Multiple payment gateways

Offering multiple payment gateways is essential to allow users to choose the payment option they want to pay for parking services in your app. 

Enabling multiple payment options will help you to boost revenue by allowing them to pay through any payment services they want.

7. Manage parking history

Recording parking history will help users to check their parking records to get familiar with the best parking spot around the destination so they can book the same spot again whenever they decide to reach that particular place.

8. Feedback and ratings

To offer a fantastic parking experience in your app. You can allow users to submit and access feedback and ratings of other riders to know the situation of parking spots at a particular place they want to reach. 

Also, the rating and feedback feature encourages park space providers to keep their space clean and safe to get more bookings from riders of smart parking apps.

II. Admin panel features

1. Reports

The section will help the admin to check multiple reports, such as charges, parking requests per day, preferred spots and charges, driver information, and so on. 

2. Manage users and drivers

Admin can access and manage drivers’ and users’ profiles from this panel. The section will contain the entire information of all the app users that the admin can check.

3. Accept/reject users

Admin can choose to accept or reject users’ requests and add/eliminate drivers related to booking parking spots.

4. Bookings

The section will help the admin to monitor and track the parking costs and booking status of every parking spot available in the app.

5. Managing earnings

Admin can track their earnings from all the sources, such as subscriptions, in-app purchases, and transaction records made within the app. 

6. Discount and offers management

Through this panel, the admin can manage and create the app’s offers, such as discounts and customer loyalty programs.

7. Manage Reservations

Admin can manage issues like double booking on a single spot and other parking-related activities by tracking all the parking activities to offer the best parking experience to the app users.

III. Panel for drivers and parking space provider

1. Register

This panel is for parking space providers and drivers (that offer pick-and-drop services) to join the app to offer their parking space and make money from app users. The driver can log in to the app by their email IDs and social media accounts.

2. Personal details

The space owner and drivers can submit their basic information, such as their name, email address, gender, etc., along with a copy of their ID. The feature will help owners know the details about a person who will provide parking space for the vehicle. 

3. Add/reject user booking requests

The feature will allow parking space providers and drivers to accept and reject requests depending on the parking space available for new vehicles. 

4. Contact customers

The feature will allow app users or drivers to get in touch with the park space provider so the owner can arrange parking space for the upcoming riders. 

5. Payments collection

The space provider and drivers can collect payment from app users, and later payment information is transferred to the admin panel. The feature will help space owners and drivers know their earnings by allotting their parking space and pick-and-drop services to the users. 

6. Check reviews and ratings

Ratings and reviews help space providers and drivers to know how their customers are satisfied with their parking and pick-and-drop services. Also, this information gets passed to the admin panel. 

Consider adding the following advanced features to your smart parking app to offer additional advantages to your app users.

Advanced features of parking-finding apps

These are the following advanced features you can integrate into your app:

1. Price comparison

App users can compare the prices of parking spots at a particular location to get the best deals for parking spaces. The feature will encourage parking space providers to offer space at low rates to get a large customer base. 

2. Push notifications

Providing updates through push notifications can help you to increase user engagement. Also, the users can stay up to date without missing any critical information about their parking status with the latest updates through the help of push notifications. 

3. Multiple cities option

The option will help users to find a parking spot in other cities to ensure they will get a parking space whenever they reach a particular city. 

4. Waiting list

The app users can check the availability of parking spaces with the help of a waiting list feature where they can get the estimated time to get their preferred parking spots. 

Also, the waiting list will help users locate available parking spots to park their vehicles at a decided time.

5. Live-traffic information

You can embed this feature to let your users find the traffic density on each route so they can carefully choose the route with less dense traffic to reach their parking palace at the earliest.  

Check out the list of required tools to start SpotHero-like parking app development.

Tech stack for building SpotHero-like app

Here’s the tech stack you can use to build a park management app like SpotHero:

PurposeTech Stack 
Application & DataNginx, Backbone.js, Underscore
UtilitiesGoogle Analytics, Amazon Cloudfront, Twilio SendGrid, Mailgun, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Mandrill, CrazyEgg
DevOpsNew Relic
Business Tools GSuite, Zendesk, Zopim

To manage your budget properly, you can check the following costs, affecting factors that can decide the budget for building your smart parking management app.

Cost-affecting factors for building parking management apps  

The app development cost depends on many factors, such as a list of features, the development charges of a different app development team, choosing free/paid app-building tools, and so on.

However, you can check the following factor will help you adjust the budget to build an app like SpotHero

1. Backend and frontend development 

Both frontend and backend development contains a set of tools and technologies and the availability of developers to build a platform in specific programming languages such as Go or React. Finding qualified and experienced developers in building parking management apps is hard to find. 

Also, choosing the app development method between monolithic and microservices will affect your budget to build an app like SpotHero. 

2. App complexity 

The list of app features and functionality will determine the complexity of app development. Avoid exceeding your app development budget. At the start, you can pick only the basic features and functionalities required to build an app like SpotHero; later, you can add more advanced features and functionalities to your platform on every app update. 

3. Selecting app distribution platforms

Android and iOS are the most popular platforms for distributing apps among users. To avoid exceeding your app development budget for app publishing, you should choose only one platform at the start, such as Android at app launching, and later you can include the iOS platform to scale your app among the new user base. 

4. Size of the development team

This factor involves choosing between a freelancing team or an app development company. It might be possible that you may need low investment when parenting with the freelancing team, but there might be risks that the team can leave you at the time when they are stuck finishing your project due to the lack of experience in building apps like SpotHero. 

While there is no chance that an app development company can leave your project in the middle, you can do perfect research on app development companies to know whether they are experienced in building apps like SpotHero or not. 

5. Location of the company

It can be easily noticeable that app development costs depend on the Pacific regions of app development teams. The app development cost is higher in western countries while lower in Asian countries. 

You can do proper research on each region to know from where you can get the best deal to start SpotHero-like parking app development.

Let’s check how these smart parking management apps make money so you can monetize your app to its full potential.

How do parking-finding apps make money?

There are multiple ways through which the parking finder app makes money that is discussed in detail:

1. Subscriptions

You can charge subscription fees from your users just like some popular apps such as Netflix, Uber, and Spotify. You can allow users to purchase and renew their monthly subscription each month.

Moreover, the subscription-based revenue model was successful for many apps available in the market. 

2. Reward Points

The best way to make money from on-demand parking finder apps is to offer reward points to your app users, which may feel unprofitable. Still, later it will surely give extreme profits at a later stage when your app starts generating regular users. 

3. Commissions

As discussed earlier, the SpotHero app charges a fixed commission percentage on each payment; you can also implement this revenue model to your parking space finder apps. 

4. Referrals

What could be better if your customers promote your business to their relatives and friends? Offering referrals can help you generate more app users, eventually becoming the income source for generating profits in your business. 

However, when you start building your parking management app, you may face the following challenges that can be easily tackled by partnering with an IT expert.

Challenges involved with on-demand parking app development

Developing SpotHero-like apps include the following challenges you must know to handle them better when starting app development:

1. Gathering accurate information

It’s not possible to collect accurate information all the time as you can face challenges in the following factors such as getting accurate location data of parking spots, precise data of audience base (to optimize your app better), and so on.

2. Price comparison filter

Gathering exact price comparisons between each parking space is difficult. Also, sometimes it creates confusion among users in selecting the right parking spot for their vehicles due to having multiple choices to park their cars.

3. Location tag

This feature allows users to track their cars; however, sometimes, this location tracker feature doesn’t perform very well, making users track their vehicles manually due to some glitch within smart parking apps. 

 4. Collaboration with organizations and cities

Making partnerships with cities and businesses is challenging as the app owner has to give benefits to their partners, such as parking providers, individual spot owners, and municipalities.

So how to build a SpotHero-like app and make profits?

With innovations and technologies, many parking applications are already booming in the market. Still, there is room left enough for improvement.

You can research other parking applications to know how you can add features and technologies that remain to add so you can offer the best parking experience to your app users. 

Also, even after coming up with a list of all the beneficial features you want to add to your app, you will need the experience to create an app and launch it in the market.

You can certainly train your team in app development and marketing practices, but it may take so much time. Also, any of your business competitors can benefit from this time gap to go ahead from your business.

However, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced app development team that has already launched many parking applications for their clients, such as Idea Usher.

Idea Usher understands the working of parking apps and their business model very well, which can help you build your SpotHero-like app starting from scratch.


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1. How do I build a parking app? 

You can build your parking management app by following the given steps. 

  • Do market research on your competitors and audience
  • Make a list of features that you want to add in your parking management app
  • Contact app developers to build and publish your app 
  • Create MVP of your parking management app
  • Launch your parking management app to the market.
  • Add Advanced features to your smart parking app in each updates 

2. How does the parking space app work?

Smart parking apps help users to find their nearby parking spot by booking the place through the app. App allows users to compare the prices of nearby parking spots with the help of GPS and map integration within the smart parking app.

3. How do parking apps make money?

The app takes commission on each transaction made between riders and parking space provider.Talking over other ways to make money, the app charges monthly subscription fee from their app users and shows. ads of different brands on the app.

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