If you go to any large city these days you will see that something has taken over the streets. No, not Uber and Lyft. I’m talking about electric scooters. They are everywhere. They cannot be stopped.
They seemed to show up in the major cities overnight and now they are one of the major modes of transportation for the residents. They are activated via an app and the rider pays for the use. When they are done or reach their destination they are just left for someone else.
People can then also use an app to locate them and charge them, which they are paid for.
This is a craze that is booming — and also brilliant. Here is why.
There is a demand.
They are so convenient that it has created a massive demand. It’s sort of the same way Uber took off. Nobody realized how bad they needed Uber until it became available. Now people couldn’t live without it.
“Once people tried the scooters — because it’s so easy to try them — they realized how convenient it was to activate them and use them to bop around the city,” says Darryl Howard, an online entrepreneur whose website teaches its readers how to start a blog. They quickly told friends and the craze spread fast.
Now you see them being used all day and night. The demand is huge and it was such a simple concept.
They piggybacked off the ‘Uber’ on-demand concept.
There is no doubt that Uber sparked this idea. If there is a huge market for on-demand car rides, then why not scooters, right? Well, when the scooter craze first hit there were two companies. Now there are at least a half dozen major national ones and then several local ones also.
Heck, Lyft even has their own scooter line and Uber has teamed up with one of the companies to allow users to activate them using their Uber app. “There is no doubt that this craze used Uber as motivation and leverage,” observes Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst, an inbound call center service, which you can view if you click here. “The concept isn’t complex. It’s very simple, and that is why is has been so popular and successful thus far.”
It’s self-contained by allowing public ‘charging.’
The cost to run this business is low, as most of these companies have a program that pays the public for charging the units. So, the people that use the scooters leave them for the next person, and there is an army of people actively searching for the low battery ones to charge them for compensation.
“The company has the expense of the actual scooters, but that is minimal as they are being manufactured overseas and the cost is covered after the first couple days of them being used,” offers Ignacio Soria of CANN & Co. “You can buy the same style electric scooters for $299 on Amazon.”
It solves a need.
These electric scooters solve a need that nobody really knew existed until they were brought to market. Electric scooters are nothing new. Anyone could have purchased one on Amazon. But did you see anyone riding around on them throughout the city?
Now, they are everywhere. “It’s almost impossible to picture the city sidewalks without them now,” observes Loren Taylor of Soothing Company, which is a D2C e-commerce website that also educates consumers on what to know before buying indoor fountains. “They simply solve a need. While an Uber is a great choice if you need to go across town, what about if you need to go a few blocks? Well, the scooter is quick and it sure beats walking.”
They solved a need that most had no idea even existed, which makes it a winner.
They made it very convenient.
If you want to take a scooter for a spin all you need to do is download the app and add a payment method. It’s that simple. Once you have the app you simply walk up to the scooter, scan the code and it’s activated and you are off.
They couldn’t have possibly made it any easier. “When you combine a great product that is easy to access you have a winner,” says Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. “Who doesn’t have a smart phone these days? Every single person with a mobile phone is a potential customer.”
They are not excluding any potential customers because they made is so easy and convenient.
The guerilla marketing is consumer driven.
How much advertising and marketing do you see these scooter companies doing?
They don’t have to. “These electric scooter companies are receiving a guerilla marketing impact without spending a dollar,” suggests Chris Moberg, President of Slumber Search. “The product is doing all the marketing itself.” People see riders flying around the city on them and seek out information. They see the scooters sitting on the sidewalk and download the app.
It is consumer driven marketing at its finest. You cannot ask for a more impactful marketing message. This is the type of customer response that every brand dreams of, yet few actually experience.
Fast-moving innovation even for a ‘new’ concept.
When the electric scooter craze first started late last year the barrier to give them a try was very low. Anyone could take out their phone, download the app (companies Bird and Lime were the first two large-scale players in the space), add a payment method and start participating in one of the more popular sporting activity to hit the market in some time.
Someone could literally walk up to one of the scooters on the sidewalk, or wherever they were left, and after a few minutes be riding and enjoying it. Then, more than likely posting on social media and exposing the concept and trend to a large audience. The ‘free’ advertising was a major part of the success of the on-demand electric scooter movement.
“Even though the concept is fairly new, that hasn’t paused the innovation, which is something I’m familiar with as we are in a fairly new space as well that is new to the market,” says Pedro Del Nero of Vaporizer Vendor. “Now it’s even easier to get rolling on them, thanks to Lyft doing their own branded line, which works with their app, and what most people already have installed on their devices. Also, Uber has partnered with one of the brands and allows users to get going within its app too.”
This little charge cuts a minute or two out of the process and it gives the majority of people little to no reason to not give it a try. Sometimes the smallest tweaks to an already successful idea can make it that much better.