Nov 27, 2023

How to build a website like SpotHero

SpotHero is an online marketplace that allows users to find and book parking spaces in cities across the United States. Build your own parking marketplace like SpotHero with this helpful guide.

Introduction: Why build a website like SpotHero

The success of the online marketplace SpotHero can be attributed to its ability to solve a common problem for consumers - finding and reserving parking spaces in busy urban areas. By providing a user-friendly platform that allows users to easily search for and book parking spots in advance, SpotHero has streamlined the parking process and eliminated the stress and uncertainty associated with finding parking. Additionally, the platform offers competitive pricing and a wide range of parking options, making it a convenient and cost-effective solution for both drivers and parking space owners. This combination of convenience, affordability, and a user-friendly interface has contributed to the success of SpotHero as a leading online marketplace for parking.

How does a website like SpotHero work?

For buyers, SpotHero is a convenient marketplace that simplifies the process of finding and booking parking spaces. Users can search for available spots in their desired location, compare prices, and reserve a spot in advance. The platform offers a range of options, including daily, monthly, and event parking, ensuring flexibility and convenience for buyers. With SpotHero, buyers can save time, avoid the hassle of searching for parking, and secure a guaranteed spot, making their parking experience stress-free.

For sellers, SpotHero operates as a convenient marketplace that connects them with potential customers seeking parking spaces. Sellers can list their available parking spots on the platform, providing details such as location, availability, and pricing. SpotHero then promotes these listings to its vast user base, increasing visibility and attracting potential renters. Sellers have the flexibility to set their own prices and availability, ensuring they have control over their parking inventory. Additionally, SpotHero handles the entire booking process, including payments and customer support, making it hassle-free for sellers to monetize their parking spaces.

What is SpotHero's business model?

SpotHero is an online marketplace that connects drivers in need of parking spaces with available parking spots. The business model of SpotHero revolves around providing a convenient and efficient platform for drivers to find and book parking spaces in advance. SpotHero partners with parking garages, lots, and individual space owners to list their available spots on the platform. Drivers can search for parking options based on their location, compare prices, and reserve a spot for a specific date and time. SpotHero earns revenue by charging a commission or fee for each successful booking made through their platform, providing a win-win solution for both drivers and parking space providers.

SpotHero makes money by charging a commission fee on each parking reservation made through its online marketplace. When users book a parking spot through the SpotHero platform, they pay the full amount for the reservation, which includes the parking fee set by the parking facility owner and SpotHero's commission fee. SpotHero then retains a portion of the commission fee as its revenue, while the remaining amount is passed on to the parking facility owner. This business model allows SpotHero to generate income by connecting drivers with available parking spaces and providing a convenient and efficient platform for parking reservations.

Key features of SpotHero

The most important functionality of a marketplace like SpotHero is the ability to connect drivers with available parking spaces. This includes features such as:

  1. Search and discovery: Users should be able to easily search for parking spaces based on their location, date, and time. The marketplace should provide a comprehensive list of available parking options.

  2. Booking and reservation: Users should be able to book and reserve a parking space in advance, ensuring that they have a guaranteed spot when they arrive at their destination.

  3. Pricing and payment: The marketplace should provide transparent pricing information for each parking space, allowing users to compare and choose the most suitable option. It should also offer secure and convenient payment methods.

  4. Reviews and ratings: Users should be able to read reviews and ratings from previous customers to make informed decisions about the quality and reliability of a parking space.

  5. Notifications and reminders: The marketplace should send notifications and reminders to users regarding their upcoming bookings, ensuring a smooth parking experience.

  6. Customer support: A marketplace like SpotHero should have a responsive customer support system to address any issues or concerns raised by users.

  7. Integration with navigation apps: Integration with popular navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze can help users easily navigate to their reserved parking spot.

  8. Partner management: The marketplace should have a system to onboard and manage parking space providers, ensuring a reliable and diverse inventory of parking options.

Overall, the most important functionality of a marketplace like SpotHero is to provide a seamless and convenient experience for drivers to find, book, and pay for parking spaces.

Building functionality like SpotHero from scratch would require significant investment in terms of time, resources, and expertise. The cost would depend on various factors such as the complexity of the features, the platform(s) it needs to be developed for, the size of the development team, and the location of the development team. Additionally, costs would include expenses for design, development, testing, infrastructure, marketing, and ongoing maintenance. Considering all these factors, it is difficult to provide an exact cost estimate, but it could range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

How to create a successful alternative to SpotHero

  • Conduct thorough market research to identify gaps and opportunities in the parking industry.
  • Develop a user-friendly and intuitive mobile application and website for easy access and navigation.
  • Implement a robust search and filtering system to allow users to find parking spots based on location, price, availability, and amenities.
  • Collaborate with parking lot owners and operators to secure a wide range of parking options in various locations.
  • Offer competitive pricing and discounts to attract users and encourage repeat usage.
  • Provide real-time updates on parking availability and pricing to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Implement a secure and seamless payment system, allowing users to easily book and pay for parking spots.
  • Incorporate a rating and review system for users to share their experiences and help others make informed decisions.
  • Offer additional features such as parking reminders, directions to the parking spot, and loyalty programs to enhance the user experience.
  • Invest in effective marketing strategies to raise awareness and attract a large user base.
  • Continuously gather user feedback and make improvements based on their needs and preferences.
  • Establish strong partnerships with local businesses, event organizers, and transportation companies to expand the reach and services of the platform.
  • Provide exceptional customer support to address any issues or concerns promptly and efficiently.
  • Stay updated with emerging technologies and trends in the parking industry to remain competitive and innovative.

Successful SpotHero competitors

  1. ParkWhiz: ParkWhiz is a direct competitor to SpotHero, offering a similar online marketplace for parking reservations. Both platforms allow users to search and book parking spaces in advance, but ParkWhiz has a larger presence in major cities across the United States. While SpotHero focuses on providing a seamless user experience, ParkWhiz offers additional features such as event parking and monthly parking options.

  2. ParkMobile: ParkMobile is another competitor to SpotHero, but with a slightly different approach. While SpotHero focuses on pre-booking parking spaces, ParkMobile offers a mobile app that allows users to pay for parking on the spot. This means that ParkMobile is more suitable for short-term parking needs, while SpotHero caters to those looking for longer-term parking solutions.

  3. JustPark: JustPark is a UK-based competitor to SpotHero, offering a similar online marketplace for parking reservations. JustPark has a strong presence in the United Kingdom and Europe, providing users with a wide range of parking options. While SpotHero primarily operates in the United States, JustPark offers international coverage, making it a suitable choice for travelers.

  4. BestParking: BestParking is a competitor to SpotHero that focuses on providing users with the best parking deals and discounts. While SpotHero offers competitive pricing, BestParking specializes in finding the most affordable parking options in a given area. This makes BestParking a preferred choice for budget-conscious users who are looking for the best value for their money.

  5. ParkWhiz for Business: ParkWhiz for Business is a specialized offering from ParkWhiz that caters to corporate clients and businesses. This sets it apart from SpotHero, as it provides tailored solutions for companies looking to manage their parking needs efficiently. ParkWhiz for Business offers features such as expense management, reporting, and centralized billing, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses with parking requirements.

Options to develop a website similar to SpotHero

Developing a SpotHero-style online marketplace from scratch is a significant, costly endeavor. However, today there are numerous ways to construct a marketplace that do not necessitate a large budget.

The option you should select depends on:

  • The features you believe your marketplace requires
  • Your technical abilities (or the skills of your team)
  • Your budget
  • The available time.

The various methods to construct a marketplace are:

  • Utilizing WordPress and plugins
  • Building on existing open-source software
  • Utilizing a combination of no-code tools
  • Utilizing a dedicated no-code marketplace SaaS tool
  • Developing on top of an API-based marketplace SaaS tool

In addition to your limitations in terms of skills and budget, you should also consider the speed of learning. Launching your SpotHero-style platform quickly allows you to rapidly understand your audience. These insights assist in creating a platform that users prefer over any other existing solution.

Sharetribe's marketplace software is designed with this iterative learning process in mind.

Initially, we assist you in launching a platform like SpotHero in one day without any coding. Use the 14-day free trial of Sharetribe's Build plan to get your marketplace ready fast. After the trial, you can subscribe to either continue building or launch your marketplace and go live.

Once you have launched, you can learn what additional features and functionality your platform needs to cater to your audience. You may want to completely change the design and workflow, integrate multiple third-party services, or develop a mobile app. With Sharetribe, you can easily customize all these modifications and much more, either independently or with assistance from our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we have been constructing marketplaces for over ten years. Our experience and expertise are available to you through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of how you choose to build your platform.

Best of luck with your SpotHero-style business!

Read more

Start your 14-day free trial

Create a marketplace today!

  • Launch quickly, without coding
  • Extend infinitely
  • Scale to any size
Start free trial

No credit card required