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VIPCars.com is an international rental car broker that connects car rental customers with over 500 car rental services across the globe, working with all the well-known providers, such as Hertz, Alamo, Avis, and others. Like all aggregator sites, VIPCars makes it easy and convenient for customers to compare rates from different suppliers and find the best value for their needs.

The current market cap for car rentals is $60 billion USD, and the global car rental market is expected to grow to $111.6 billion by 2027. One factor influencing that growth is the availability of websites like VIPCars, and the competition among online brokers is intense.

VIPCars had launched before Smartphones became ubiquitous, and as mobile devices grew in popularity, the company’s leadership realized it was time to make their service more accessible to mobile users.

Unfortunately, even the existing website was not optimized for mobile devices. This meant that if a user tried to access the platform from their smartphone browser, the website wouldn’t offer any of the functionalities that took advantage of mobile technology, such as pinpointing that user’s location.

VIPCars witnessed an increasing decline in visitors, which the management team attributed to the rise in mobile device users. In an effort to retain (and ultimately expand) their market share, VIPCars decided to create a powerful, highly usable mobile app.

The Search for a Qualified App Designer and Developer

VIPCars had a talented in-house staff, but they lacked direct experience designing and developing mobile apps. In an effort to create a superior mobile experience on a reasonable budget, VIPCars decided to outsource design and development.

Their search led them to the team at Net Solutions, who impressed them with their range and depth of experience. Net Solutions’ designers and developers asked probing questions and took the time to fully understand the online car rental industry along with the rationale behind building a mobile app in the first place.

Confident they had found the right partners, VIPcars commissioned Net Solutions to design and build the company’s first smartphone app.

Designing & Building the iOS App

Designing & Building the
iOS App

The best app design begins with a holistic understanding of a business’s requirements, so a Net Solutions Business Analyst sat down with staff from VIP cars to fully understand:

  • The website and its functionality
  • User journeys and workflows
  • Proposed app features and requirements

The Business Analyst then worked with his colleagues in the Net Solutions Design department to translate that vision to the new mobile platform.

Optimizing Search Speed &
Form Design

One key element of VIPCar’s vision was to create a mobile app that delivered search results at lightning speed, otherwise they might lose mobile customers to faster apps.

They hoped to accomplish this by having the app work directly with the engine that collates all rental car information (known as the CRBMS system). In other words, rather than having the app sit on top of the website, it would deliver results directly from the CRBMS. To make this possible, Net Solutions’ developers worked with the VIPCars team to understand their APIs and data XML, seamlessly integrating the app with the CRBMS system.

When designing the user-facing elements of the search feature, Net Solutions ensured that users had a range of search options—without crowding the form or overcomplicating it.

Additional Features

Having optimized search, the app’s most essential element, Net Solutions built the following features:

  • Promotions codes that allowed users to take advantage of discounts
  • Location services allowing the app to identify the user’s location and easily find nearby car rental providers
  • A Comprehensive booking management section where users could view their bookings, cancel them, or generate a voucher for printing or sharing as a PDF
Successful Launch

Successful Launch

Net Solutions produced the app on an accelerated timeline, allowing VIPCars to quickly launch on the Apple Store and start winning back market share. The iOS app’s success gave VIPCar’s in-house development team the confidence they needed to build the Android version of the app on their own.

Thanks to a quick response to evolving technological demands, VIPCars managed to deliver the features their customers desired in the format that suited them best. This ability to adapt to changing market forces is one reason VIPCars remains a key player in the industry today.

Results

VIPCars was a pioneer in online car rentals, connecting consumers to car rental services across the globe.

Having launched prior to the rise of smartphones, however, the platform was not optimized for mobile devices. With more users turning to mobile devices to book car rental, management noticed a decline in visitors and a drop in business.

Net Solutions designed and built an iOS app that:

  • Delivered quick search results, since the app interfaced directly with the engine that collates all car rental information (rather than sitting on top of the website)
  • Enabled promotion code input so users could take advantage of discounts
  • Used location services, allowing users to find rental locations nearby
  • Included a comprehensive booking management section where users could manage their accounts, cancel reservations, and more, directly from the app

The launch was so successful that VIPCars used it as a prototype for their android App, which they built in-house. Both apps allowed VIPCars to remain competitive, winning back market share.

VIPCars continues to thrive in the industry today.

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iOS App?

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