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Parking Industry Yearbook 2022 Interview: Sarah Becherer, VP Marketing @ Ocra

Get My Parking‘s annual Parking Industry Yearbook is chock full of thoughtful, insightful, data-driven content that looks back at the previous year and predicts trends for what’s to come.

In this year’s edition, Sarah Becherer, our VP of Growth, talks about her experiences in 2022 and the factors that will determine growth in 2023.

Read the full interview below or on page 27–28 here:

Parking Industry Yearbook 2022 (on the Get My Parking blog)

Book cover graphic credit: Get My Parking, January 2023

We’ve seen the industry undergo a lot of changes in 2022, with EVs coming in strong, the effects of the pandemic easing off and digital monthly parking seeing a rise in popularity. How would you describe your growth since January 2022 – in terms of product innovations, steps towards future-proofing your business, or increase in revenue?

It was a sensational year for Ocra and our partners!

We all love a good data point, so I’ll hit you with the figures:

As of mid-December 2022, over $17.54 million in gross sales and more than 420,500 transactions are flowing through the Ocra platform. We teamed up with 20+ new parking operators this year and onboarded more than 220 locations. 

Relevantly, the bulk of this activity took place after releasing Version 2.0 of our platform in August. This is colossal growth, and we’re on track to smash it in 2023.

A couple more highlights… 

– In response to overwhelming demand, we launched Ocra Version 2.0 (a full bottom-up rebuild of our centralized consumer demand channel management platform for operators) in August 2022.

– We nearly doubled our team, bringing on some brilliant and innovative engineers who make impossible things happen every day.

– We were first-time exhibitors at NPA 2022, and several members of our leadership team had the opportunity to share the stage with parking luminaries in timely, topical sessions.

– After rebranding as “Ocra” in Q4 2022, we launched our new website and parking technology blog in Q1 2022. The site is lightweight and easy to get around, and the blog is packed full of content that I’m really proud of, including lots of interviews with folks who are enacting real change every day through the strength of their vision and leadership.

Do you have any new innovations or changes being made to Ocra as a service that you’re excited about sharing?

Oh, definitely! There’s a lot in store for Ocra and our partners in 2023, including an exciting fundraising announcement, big partnership roll-outs, and massive enhancements to our platform and user interface.

We’ll continue to hire talented people to put pedal to the metal on building integrations that enable operators to manage every aspect of their online business (rates, inventory, blackouts, reporting, and more) centrally from within our platform.

What I’m personally looking forward to the most is sharing our partners’ successes. Many of the operators who we’re working with are seeing significant ROI utilizing our solutions, and these outcomes are enormously exciting for everybody involved.

One such story we shared out recently is about how one of our partners, a leading national parking operator, is knocking it out of the park at a key location by implementing Ocra’s “Optimized Product Structures” to attract two new customer segments: the “last-minute” parker and the “plan-ahead” parker.

Here’s the whole story. But basically, we’ve got these massive unique data sets in our platform, and operators can use them to identify improved rate and duration structures (called “Products” in Ocra) that convert new customers and increase per-space turnover. Then the operator can enact them across all their demand channels in just a few clicks.

The operator saw results within the first two weeks like an 103% increase in online revenue, higher per-space turnover, a shorter advanced booking window, and 4x increase in online transaction volume. Pretty cool, right?

Graphic credit: Get My Parking, January 2023

There have been many changes in the industry in the past couple of years inspired by concerns and conversations about the environment. Has your company taken any steps towards more sustainable and eco-friendly practices or solutions like EVs or clean energy?

The parking industry mobilizing around sustainability initiatives and making decisions today with the environment in mind is critically important. It’s something that we need to do together, all aligned towards the same goal, as a rising tide is what raises all ships.

Some of the ways that Ocra helps foster sustainable innovation are by a) making intros between operators/tech companies and EV companies and b) empowering our partners with integrations for faster entry into the market. 

I’m proud to say that the companies we work with actively demonstrate awareness of what we can all do to prioritize the environment, and their business practices reflect that. They practice what they preach – and we do, too.

What are your predictions for the future of the parking industry in 2023?

There is really no other industry out there right now like parking! We’re picking up so much speed in terms of innovation and the adoption of new ideas and technologies. 

I believe that in 2023 we’re going to see a massive influx of integrations between different players in the space to standardize, centralize, and monetize data. 

Defragmentation will continue to be a priority and more strategic partnerships will emerge. For Ocra, this looks like continuing to build complex custom integrations with customer demand channels so we can pull, pool, and parse all of that data behind one log-in and present it in a way that’s accurate and actionable for operators.

By “Rosetta Stone”-ing all of these data points, which look very different depending on which seller console you’re logged into, we can give our partners the ability to holistically manage their online business. 

We’ll accomplish that through mutually beneficial partnerships with operators and technology companies and keep building those pipes to facilitate the open and secure exchange of data so that it can be effectively monetized.

Check out the full yearbook (which is chock full of insights) and add Sarah on LinkedIn!

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