2020 was a stark wake-up call for us at GoCar. The pandemic has certainly not been kind to businesses, and car-sharing was not spared from the impact of MCO after MCO.
The still-raging pandemic has been teaching us a lot on being resilient, finding opportunities and ideas to innovate, whilst continuing to engage with our users. For us at GoCar, this meant continuing the mobility service we are known for, but in a different way to deliver added value to our customers.
To this end, instead of waiting for the vaccine to change things, we went back to the basics – looking at needs, learning from our users what works and what does not. Here’s what we found in the booking data:
While bookings reduced over MCO 1.0, our users came out from lockdown and travelled domestically, pushing kilometres (km) travelled comfortably above pre-pandemic levels. Even with CMCO 2.0 and MCO 2.0, average km travelled fared better than the total lockdown in MCO 1.0, underscoring the need for car-sharing – a practical and affordable alternative to conventional car ownership. From a low base, we saw a 120% increase in short one-way trips, with mostly less than an hour use due to travel restrictions as consumers needed a safer mobility option compared to public transportation.
Despite the pandemic, GoCar users have clocked over 10 million km travelled in 2020, with improvements in longer booking periods, customer retention rates and affordability via One Way Trip.
Additionally, GoCar was recognized by Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Award as Car-Sharing Company of Year 2020 (Malaysia).
Solutions for everyday Malaysians
When COVID-19 first hit, it immediately resulted in severe travel restrictions. We quickly shifted to meet new consumer needs within the community. Not long after MCO 1.0 was announced, we started offering medical providers needing dedicated cars with free usage of GoCar vehicles and free petrol, in partnership with Shell. At the same time, we stepped up sanitisation efforts, and included wipes inside each vehicle so customers can still use GoCars with peace of mind.
We also saw usage from other areas within the community – college students needing to share a car back to/from their hometowns after their schools closed and reopened, working adults needing safe transportation to travel in, families needing a bigger car (like an MPV) to go cuti-cuti Malaysia (instead of flights).
Pivot to Subscription
2020 also saw a steady increase for longer usage (for use of 3 days and above) which accounts for 50% of GoCar daily usage. With this, GoCar Subs (subscription service) was introduced to offer extended usage plans that are flexible, and a wider range of vehicles too (with option to Swap).
At GoCar, we believe that Subscription is a natural part of the customer progression – from sharing (hourly, daily, weekly use) to subscription (monthly, yearly use), Subscription is about meeting the needs of consumers looking for a simpler way of having access to a vehicle. GoCar Subs offers a wide range of models within 5 categories, at a single price point per category: Econ, Base, Plus, Exec and Luxe. GoCar Subs also offers SWAP, where customers have the flexibility to change to other cars within the GoCar Subs garage up to two times a year.