We had previously reviewed online cab startup Olacabs’ mobile application back in June. The company has been working on newer features for its app over the last few months based on consumer feedback and have now released an update for the app which adds multiple features designed to make it as easy as possible for users to book a cab across the city.
Let’s get down to checking these new features.
The UI of the app hasn’t changed completely but certain design elements have been considerably tweaked and make the overall user experience much better than before. We spoke in the review earlier about how the app was pretty straightforward and easy for users to operate. They have retained the same simplicity in the new update.
The previous version of Olacabs allowed booking a cab from the user’s current location but the updated app makes it possible for you to book from anywhere as long as you specify time and date of the desired pickup. You can also book multiple times in one go. This will make life easier for users who want to schedule their pickup. You can schedule your pickup by tapping on the ‘Ride Later’ option.
Olacabs has gotten onto the latest trend which is spreading across many online services, especially e-commerce firms by debuting their own wallet system called Ola Money. You can now directly recharge your Ola Money account by using your debit/credit cards and netbanking account. The Ola experience thus becomes a whole lot smoother with there no longer being a need for paying at the end of the journey thus ridding you of trifling issues like having the right amount of change. Olacabs is the first online cab booking service in the country to implement this feature.
The update also brings along with it an interesting referral program which seeks to drive adoption for Olacabs and help both users and the referred users reap some benefits. If you refer a friend and they use Olacabs based on your referral, then you get Rs. 50 in Olacab money once they have taken their first ride. Your friend also gets Rs. 50 worth of Olacabs money for joining. This is reminiscent of Dropbox’s referral program when it started. This approach got dropbox a lot of users. Depending on the actual need for the product in the cities, Olacabs stands to get increased usage because of their referral program. This referral money only exists in Olacabs/ wallet and can only be redeemed while using the service. Now, if you send this to even 100 of your contacts and say, 20 of them use it then you stand to make 1000 bucks. That is a good amount and will definitely compel you to use Olacabs’ service whenever you need a cab next.
Other new features that have been implemented are the online Rate Card which provides you information about the charges you will receive when traveling and ‘Help’ section which lets you call Ola or report an issue from the mobile app.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Olacabs spoke about the new updates,
“We are excited to launch the 2.0 version of our app. The first version of the app was received very well by our users who liked the app’s simplicity and convenience. A large number of our customers have been using it regularly to book an Ola. However, we felt there was scope to make the app even more user-friendly. So, we went back to the drawing board, with feedback from our users, and identified fresh aspects that can be added to enable easier payments and multiple advance bookings.”
I like how Olacabs is going around building its product, especially in a country where booking cabs online is still not a big market yet. The product is extremely compelling and will get many people to use it provided they fix competitive prices. Competitors include CarzOnRent, Savaari, Meru Cabs, EasyCabs etc. Olacabs currently stands out among the crowd with its new features. Their focus on mobile will reward them, as usage of smartphones will increase every year.
If you are a frequent traveler in a city or across cities, I recommend that you try out Olacabs, just because of its feature set. The service is currently operational in Mumbai, Delhi/NCR and Bangalore.
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