minicabit | iCabbi Marketplace Spotlight

minicabit CEO Amer Hasan fills us in on all things minicabit and what he thinks about the future of the taxi industry

Published on 30.07.2019, in icabbi marketplace

Introducing minicabit on the iCabbi Marketplace.

 

Visit minicabit on Marketplace

What is minicabit?

minicabit is the UK’s largest cab comparison and booking site.  The award-winning platform enables consumers and businesses to easily compare licensed Private Hire Operators by price, quality, choice of cars and regional coverage. They can then book on web and mobile. 

Over £10 million of cab fares are requested each month on our platform. The average fare booked on our platform is over £45, with 25% of trips taken for business. Given our strong airport experience, we have a contingent of overseas customers who book with us for all their UK trips.

What problem does minicabit solve for taxi companies?

Minicabs in the UK are the backbone of mobility. The industry helps consumers and businesses in every aspect to move from A to B. However, as with every other travel sector, from planes to trains to hotels, the customer is rapidly shifting to booking online. This is highlighted by the success of disruptive on-demand apps such as Uber, which risk traditional cab firms being left behind.

That said, such on-demand apps are really focused on local trips in the UK’s largest city centres, and so we provide an online channel for existing cab firms to compete on reach, quality and price, including beyond the largest cities. Importantly, we can give fleets the actual profiles of online demand, such as the most popular routes searched, so they can optimise their pricing and availability of cars accordingly.

Since there are always customers flying into the UK or travelling across by train, they are naturally not familiar with local operators. minicabit bridges their mobility needs with cab fleets’ availability.

Bookings on minicabit are virtually all pre-paid and made from 30 minutes to 12 months in advance.

Why should UK fleets sign up?

We have between £7-£10 million of monthly searches that are unbooked - due to lack of supply in various areas across the UK. All operator partners should avail of this opportunity - sign up, integrate and start serving the incoming bookings. 

Cab fleets from 3 cars to several hundreds use minicabit to  easily gain bookings beyond their local coverage area without needing to invest in online marketing or online payments technology.  For instance, a Glasgow operator recently obtained via minicabit a prepaid trip picking up from Cambridge and coming back to Glasgow. minicabit’s platform;

  • Provided a customer wanting to make a high-value booking which the operator would not have been able to easily source themselves

  • Applied a range of pricing analytics and tools to help the operator offer a competitive price

  • Took care of the customer’s upfront payment including any processing fees

  • Offered 24/7 support to the cab operator and customer as part of the booking

What are you most proud of at minicabit?

Since launching in 2011, minicabit has achieved a significant number of milestones;

  • We’re the UK’s largest cab comparison website and the 3rd most visited cab website (after Uber and Addison Lee who’ve respectively had a few $bn and decades’ headstart)

  • Backed by Telefonica 02, the mobile operator and VC funded

  • Over 800 cab operators the UK have joined our platform, including almost 100 fleets who use iCabbi’s dispatch software

  • First app to win offers on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

  • minicabit is the official cab booking platform for major travel brands, including Heathrow, Stansted Airport, Expedia, Skyscanner, Ascot and Visit Britain

  • Award - winning platform; Digital Business of the Year, National Business Awards 2018, Best Self-Booking Tool, Business Travel Awards 2018



What key developments should taxi fleets be planning for?

Minicab/Taxi fleets should focus on quality, availability, and pricing to stay ahead against unfair competition by deep-pocketed ride-hailing companies. 

Over the next decade, millennial's will become the largest customers of taxis, therefore moving towards digital automation is a necessity.

What insights have you gleaned from passenger trends on your app in recent times?

They increasingly don’t have any issues about booking high value fares worth a few hundred on our app. Also, customers roaming around the UK are turning to our app to book cab operators they’re not familiar with whenever they visit a regional city/town/village. Our platform can bring these high value, out of town customers into a fleet’s base area without the fleet needing to do any marketing.

What competitive edge do taxi and private hire companies have over Uber and other ride-hail services?

Legitimately operating under local licensing requirements can enable local fleets to support local and out of town pickups (coming into their base area) i.e their reach can go much further. They also tend to support more professional drivers who drive as a trade vs ride hailing apps having to find ‘amateur’ drivers who might do a couple of hours a week outside of their main day job. 

What's the single greatest threat to the taxi industry right now? 

Complacency.

Can you tell us about any new products/services minicabit plans to bring to the market?

minicabit has numerous innovations built within its platform to help serve both our Cab Operator partners and customers. Over the next year, we plan to further automate our bookings, launch new travel partnerships and optimise our commercial offering to bring more revenue to our Cab Operator partners and their drivers.

What is your vision in one sentence?

Make it easy for consumers and businesses to book with Cab Operators everywhere, at a great price and with quality service.

Describe the future of the taxi industry in 3 words...

Available everywhere, online.

Sinead Gillett

Head of Content

iCabbi is the leading global innovator in cloud based dispatch systems, created with and for enterprise taxi partners to drive business growth.

The platform offers full visibility and control of business and is designed to reduce operational costs, increase efficiency through automation and drive customer satisfaction.

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