Trying to find a place to relax briefly between your meetings? Do you need to work for a couple of hours on your project but you consider Starbucks a noisy place to go to? Did you just have a run and need to have a shower before you get back to the office, but your house is quite far? No matter what your situation might be, Recharge is the mobile app that can provide you with all of the above facilities!
What is Recharge?
Recharge is a pay-as-you-go or short-term hotel booking app. As many other newly born apps or platforms, such as Uber and Airbnb, it puts some of our spare resources in great use while at the same time creating profits and value for its participants.
How does it work?
By opening the app, you are provided with a map showing the nearest hotels with available rooms. You select the room of your preference and press “Book now”. After your booking, you are given 30 minutes to arrive at the hotel before Recharge starts charging you for your stay. Your only transaction with reception would be to pick up your key and return it there since, checking-in & out as well as payment, are facilitated through the app. No advance bookings are allowed since Recharge is an on-demand service. Hotels have the freedom to update their inventory real-time according to their own needs and plans, thus maintaining full control over their assets.
How much does it cost?
The payment structure is either by minute or by the hour and indicatively could cost $0.66 / minute or $40-50 / hour for a stay at a 4-star hotel.
What about efficiency criteria?
The business model of Recharge is relatively new but has already been proven to bring joint profitability for all stakeholders (Carson et al. 1999). As far as the customers are concerned, it maximizes their utility by serving an unmet or under-served need. Taking hotels’ side into account, Recharge is providing them with increased occupancy of their assets which in turns brings 250K – 1M annually in additional revenue, depending upon hotel size and inventory allocation.
Examining the investment and effort that the hotels and customers must exert in order to enjoy that service, Recharge seems to be dealing effectively with keeping both at a minimal level. The customer only need 2 clicks to submit their bookings. Furthermore, hotel managers report, according to Recharge’s website, that they find Recharge’s dashboard very easy to use.
Recharge has also taken into account the institutional arrangements really seriously. In order to protect hotels from unwanted visitors and the app from negative publicity, Recharge is providing hotels the possibility to rate visitors. Much like drivers rating passengers at Uber, this feature provides the functionality needed to keep unwanted customers out of the ecosystem and ensure a positive experience for all the parties involved.
What are its future plans?
The services provided by the app are currently available in San Francisco and New York for iPhone users only. Additional locations such as, Los Angeles and London are going to become available in the near future though. Moreover, an application for Android users will be available in the spring.
Carson, S.J., Devinney, T.M., Dowling, G.R. and John, G., 1999. Understanding institutional designs within marketing value systems. The Journal of Marketing, pp.115-130.