Zipcar is a car sharing service that operates in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It provides self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to car ownership.
Zipcar’s revenue has grown from $13.7 million in 2005 to $131.2 million in 2009. The team has accomplished this by tapping into the secrets of experience design: how to stay focused and create a deep, clear understanding with customers. At every point of member contact, Zipcar uses design to drive loyalty and growth, from online and mobile interfaces to signage in the parking lot and notes in the driver’s seat.
The value of this service is inarguable: its 400,000 members report an average monthly savings of more than $600 compared to car ownership, and each Zipcar takes 15-20 personally owned vehicles off the road. Zipcar’s challenge has been to establish a use system that is clear, easy, and reliable so that the first experience of booking and using one of their cars is as easy as the hundredth.