Pierluigi Galassetti, Managing Director of Vroomerz, Europe’s largest luxury car hire platform, discusses the challenges of the luxury hire industry.
“The industry needs to adapt to the modern digital age in order to survive. How? By meeting the needs of the luxury consumer under one roof.”
Experiences are fast becoming more important in the luxury industry. Nicknamed the ‘Experience Age’, we are living in a time when today’s generation of luxury consumers value doing and sharing over buying and owning.
Rather than owning an Aston Martin DB Volante for example, luxury consumers are hungry for the experience of driving a premium car at their leisure while sharing the experience of cruising along the Amalfi coast. For businesses in the luxury car hire industry the experience factor has become a unique opportunity for companies to take advantage of.
Meeting demands of the ‘experience age’
Whether you’re renting a five star villa in the Algarve or hiring a Ferrari 488 GTB to cruise Cannes, the luxury experience often begins prior to setting foot in the hotel or getting behind the wheel.
With luxury hire, a certain level of service is expected beyond the product itself. At the very least a customer should never experience poor communication, lengthy queues, or a hire that didn’t meet their requirements. Instead, companies in the luxury hire industry must strive to offer above and beyond the customer’s expectations.
In order to successfully achieve this, it’s important that luxury hire companies are also striving to continuously modernise their service. Luxury consumers want convenience. They want to place an order and receive on-demand with delivery straight to their doorstep. They want to be able to click a button and board a plane tomorrow.
How to ensure your platform matches your offering
There are no longer any excuses for those in the luxury hire industry to drag their feet with the booking process for example. Lengthy enquiry forms and ambiguous pricing isn’t acceptable as a method of ‘exclusivity’. It’s time to open up the luxury hire industry and make it easier for customers to book freely with a few clicks. Otherwise luxury hire companies risk frustrating their target audience who expect to be able to hire a Lamborghini as easily as they can book a flight on their phone.
Today, traditional luxury hire brands are threatened by an archaic system. It’s easy to think that the modern luxury consumer with their discriminating taste and preference for quality, would shy away from making expensive purchases online and instead opt for a personalised customer service and one-to-one consultation, but you’d be wrong. The modern luxury customer demands all that and a seamless booking experience.
Today mobile booking platforms and search engines are revolutionising the luxury industry, and no luxury hire company can afford to ignore this if they are to continue to offer the premium service that their customers expect.
For all the searching and booking platforms out there there’s no reason why luxury consumers can’t also receive the same simplistic experience. Take the luxury villa hire industry for example. Creating a platform that collects and compares luxury villas from multiple suppliers whether that be via Onefinestay, Airbnb or Luxury Retreats, cuts out the enquiry process in order to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to search for and book a luxury villa online.
The same is true for luxury car hire. Customers looking to hire a luxury car want to be able to view exactly where, when and which cars are available with transparent pricing. Up until now if you’re looking to hire a premium car on your next luxury holiday you face the chore of enquiring with various suppliers that work in that area just to be able to find the car you’re looking for. There’s no reason why the luxury car hire industry can’t also adapt to offer the same flexibility and ease of use that every other industry is already offering.
By bringing suppliers under one roof we can open access to the most varied fleet of qualified luxury cars across Europe, giving customers the greatest options on price, make and model, and keeping with the premium service that modern luxury customers continue to expect.
As with any e-commerce platform there are difficulties and challenges to overcome. This is especially prevalent in the luxury hire industry where consumers are essentially able to rent a Lamborghini Huracan Spyder and purchase a bus ticket within the same space. That’s where trust comes into play.
Starting-up in the luxury industry
Building trust in the luxury market is nothing new; it’s what luxury brands do best. However, creating trust online is more difficult. You want to offer the booking experience and ease of use that a customer can expect with a standard hire service, but with the sensitivity that comes with a luxury transaction.
With luxury hire, the first impression is key. No matter what product or service you’re offering, expectations are especially high in the luxury industry, which is even more challenging if you are a new company with a new offering trying to breakthrough an established marketplace.
Start-ups must prove themselves. No matter how revolutionary the idea, there is no room for error. A new company must live up to expectations just as established brands do, and continue to provide the same premium level of service typically associated with luxury hire.
In the luxury car hire industry, what would normally be considered perks, such as door-to-door delivery and real time cost and availability, must not only be included in the offering but must represent the norm. While an all-inclusive digital platform may seem like a godsend, it is not enough on its own.
The demand for modernising the luxury hire industry comes from recognising the consumer’s wants and needs. When speaking with frequent luxury travellers it’s apparent that frustrations stem from a lack of a comprehensive system for booking luxury cars that is quick and easy to use and offers complete transparency.
In order to progress, luxury hire companies need to be the pioneers of services that make life easier for the customer. They need to stay on top of emerging technologies and watch how they evolve in order to incorporate them into their own strategies and better suit the needs of the modern luxury consumer.
With a passion for premium cars and a love of the open road, Pierluigi Galassetti founded Vroomerz with former GT racer and Primerent founder Saverio Castellaneta in 2017. With over 20 years’ experience in the luxury automotive industry, Pierluigi serves as General Manager of Primerent, the first luxury car-hire company in Europe, and Co-Founder & Managing Director of Vroomerz.
For more information visit: Vroomerz.com