Effective competitive strategies in ride-hailing services

Published on
August 30, 2022

Effective competitive strategies in ride-hailing services

Ride-hailing as an industry has transformed how we get around our cities, providing consumers with dependability, safety, and convenience while also providing drivers with an opportunity to set their own pace and essentially be their own boss. A conducive and competitive business environment is critical for enabling industry growth. In a healthy market, drivers and riders would be free to choose the app that best met their changing needs. Ride-hailing service providers should be at the forefront of adopting the following strategies that make them stand out in the market.

Competitive strategies for ride-hailing services

When developing effective competitive strategies, ride-hailing apps should consider three key elements.

1. Product differentiation

Product differentiation distinguishes your product or service from the competition for your target audience. It's how you set yourself apart from your competitors and boost brand loyalty, sales, and growth. Concentrating on your customers is a good place to start when it comes to successful product differentiation. A good example of product differentiation in the ride hailing industry is the Mobi app, where all users, aside from using the app for transport, can earn a passive income through the Mobi Powershares.

2. Cost leadership

When a company projects itself as the cheapest manufacturer or service provider of a specific product or commodity in a competition, this is referred to as "cost leadership." It is difficult to implement the strategy because management must constantly work to reduce costs at all levels in order to remain competitive. Cost leadership is very effective in gaining a higher market share since the competitors ought to either keep up with the low prices set by the cost leader or give up. Walmart is perhaps the most famous cost leader, having used a cost leadership strategy to become the world's largest company. Walmart's advertising slogans, such as "Always Low Prices" and "Save Money. Live Better," communicate to potential customers the company's emphasis on price cuts.

3. Focus Strategies

This competitive strategy directs marketing and sales efforts to a specific market segment. This strategy seeks to capitalize on untapped or underserved segments of a target market. An example of this strategy in ride-hailing is the Women only drive services and the VIP services.

Here are a few strategies that ride-hailing apps can adopt based on the three elements

1. Special group(s)driver service

Expectant women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are special groups in society who need special care and handling when it comes to commuting. Ride-hailing services should take advantage of this niche and provide trained care to these groups. 

2. Partnership with airports, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls

Transport is an essential element in any business; therefore, the market is huge. Instead of focusing on people service, which is pretty much crowded, a ride hailing company can partner with other industries such as the hospitality and retail industries to provide delivery services and run errands.

3. Zero-emission vehicles

A Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) is a vehicle that produces no emissions from the onboard power source (e.g., All-Electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). Electric (battery-powered) cars, electric trains, hydrogen-fueled vehicles, and human / animal-powered transportation are all zero-emission vehicles (e.g., bicycles, velomobiles, carriages, etc.). Bolt is an example of a ride-hailing service that has adopted zero-emission vehicles, the Bolt Scooter, available in various countries.

4. VIP service (only premium cars)

Regarding product differentiation, ride hailing services can invest in premium cars to provide premium, private, and luxury services to a specific market. This could be very lucrative in the Kenyan market due to increased tourism, hospitality, and investors visiting the country. Local clientele includes weddings, exclusive events, cooperative functions, and meetings in exclusive destinations.

5. Pet-friendly

In Kenya, pets are not allowed to travel with their owners on public modes of transport such as matatus or buses. This restricts the movement of individuals with their pets to privately owned or hired vehicles. Ride-hailing apps can add this feature to their product description to encourage pet lovers to use their services.

6. Pre-booked rides

Consumers of services wish to pay for convenient, easy, and effective experiences when it comes to rides. The luxury of booking a ride in advance helps passengers and drivers plan and avoid wasting time waiting for each other. For example, the scheduled ride option allows riders to book an Uber cab 30 days in advance. When a booking is made, the traveller will receive a booking reminder 24 hours before the booking and another 30 minutes before the cab arrives.


The ride-hailing business in Kenya is booming and will continue to thrive in years to come. The mentioned competitive strategies will aid ride-hailing services up their game and remain on the map for the long run. This is why Mobi introduced the passive income module and is thriving in the Kenyan market

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