By- Yinebeb Bahru
It has been a one-month since I left Addis Ababa after I get a better job. When I was in Addis, in the time of emergency and at midnight, I and my close friends always give call to either Ride or Feres taxi-hailing platforms.
Both RIDE and Feres were the biggest taxi-hailing/ booking platforms in Ethiopia. Currently, both platforms operate mainly in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The ride is the leading taxi-hailing platform in Ethiopia with over 42,000 drivers since 2016. However, in recent years over 20 competitor companies joined the taxi-hailing market, among them Feres is the major competitor for Ride, it’s difficult to get detailed statistics about market share respectively. However, before I prepare this article I ask detail information from taxi drivers and passengers in Addis, who use both Feres and Ride, the major taxi-hailing service providers in Ethiopia.
Surprisingly all of them preferred Feres over Ride, In this article, I will try to address key factors that shrink Ride’s market share by its major competitor Feres, and also I give some recommendations on the digital transformation perspective:
Street pick up
Feres have a street pickup feature for its Android and iOS applications, a street picks up feature offers a chance for customers to book randomly without giving a direct call to the contact center, which means passengers ask random taxi-looking, “taxu can you pick me?” Instead of requesting a through the app or giving a call. In Ride, you should call 8294 or use the RIDE Passenger App to begin the strip, laterally Ride developers understand this limitation and they add street pickup features a few weeks for both Android and iOS users, a feature isn’t good in terms of security, however, both passengers and taxi drivers hate this requesting a through the app or give a call for contact center, That’s why the majority of drivers and passengers prefer Feres than Ride.
Ride charges 12% commission from drivers however Feres charges only 8% commission, pay to the company. Also, Feres charges 10 ETB per kilometre but Ride charges 12 ETB, plus to that Just like Ethiopian airplanes Sheba miles, Feres will give a gift known as a mile for both passengers and taxi drivers to load money in the E-Birr app depending on the distance they travel, passengers can use this mile for future travel. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available in Ride.
(Note: $1 is approximately 53.0 Ethiopian birr.)
When customers are asking Feres drivers. This approach gives drivers to easily find another passenger who made a request and is also less time-consuming for passengers and also minimizes waiting time Price.
Fast Call center response
If you give a call to Feres call center they pick up immediately, when you came to Ride it’s another story, you should wait until the robot finish talking and you press some number based on the robot’s instruction of your choice.
Drivers are the main beneficiaries of the taxi-hailing platform competition in Addis. This is because drivers can register their car from different taxi-hailing platforms, at the same time and they open different applications at the same time and when they get a request from either one of them, they will choose what they want.
Last but not least
I highly recommend all taxi-hailing platforms consider digital-first culture for their business, it helps to expand their customer, and also it helps a business gain more customers. Digital-first culture allows those companies to reach an international market. The changes should focus on enhancing the customer experience. Companies need to start by evaluating the needs and wants of their customers. Once identification is required, businesses must ensure that the new technologies meet the specific customer needs. The new customer experience should be positive and consistent.