With our smartphones as a hub, we can get almost anything with the swipe of our fingers. There are apps that can get us services on demand – from food to a ride to a handyman to a dog walker to even a bodyguard—and the list goes on and on. We are part of the “smartphone revolution”, and, with that, our needs and expectations when it comes to the way we interact with brands is changing. On-demand apps have been steadily growing in popularity due to these expectations of the modern-day consumer.
The primary way that consumers have evolved is through expectations; they can get exactly what they need when and where they want it. By now, consumers demand this, which has led to the popularity and success of on-demand apps like Uber and GrubHub. Some brands like Amazon have added an on-demand component to their existing business model to keep up with the modern-day consumer.
Consumers are becoming increasingly used to getting services on-demand and if you have an idea for an on-demand app, you just may have the next big hit on your hands.
Why On-Demand Apps are So Popular
Part of what makes on-demand apps so popular is that there are so many of them for various niches. And, as consumers are starting to get used to having goods and services on-demand, they are expecting this at an exponential rate from multiple brands.
Additionally, these apps continue to be so popular because they allow consumers to be spontaneous and make purchase decisions when they feel like it. Not only that, it has burgeoned an entire classification of employees, giving relatively unskilled laborers a steady source of income.
Popular Industries Utilizing On-Demand Apps
In order to gain a better understanding about the on-demand industry, let’s take a look at a few apps responsible for the popularity of these apps:
FinTech: Payix in a leading tool in the FinTech world that provides collection tools, payment processing resources and business intelligence solutions to lenders and auto dealers.
MedTech/Health Care: Luna is an on-demand app that connects physical therapists with patients and offers in-home physical therapy.
HiTech:Shiftgig is an on-demand workforce management solutions that allows businesses to find niche workers and manage schedules, budget and talent in one seamless app.
Retail: Giants like Instacart give consumers the ability to get their grocery shopping done and delivered to their home, while being able to comparison shop, discover sales, and read labels.
What On-Demand Apps Mean for Businesses
72% of Americans have hired at least one on-demand service provider this year. That’s huge, and shows that if you have a truly innovative app idea for the on-demand space, you might have the next hit on your hands.
While there is room for new business ideas in the on-demand app industry, there is also plenty of opportunity for current businesses to add an on-demand component to what they offer. If your business hasn’t capitalized on the on-demand app trend yet, you might want to examine the possibilities, because, chances are, your competitors may have something in the works.
Understand a Pain Point
Many of us know what it’s like to feel like the day is too short to get everything done. Busy consumers are the backbone of on-demand apps, and are fueling the rapid rate in which new apps are coming out. Can you identify another pain point besides being busy? The marriage of these two pain points is the recipe for app success.
Components of a Successful On-demand App
Based on some of the popular on-demand apps that we explored above, there are some common components of a successful on-demand app. Let’s explore a few:
- Geo-location: Ensuring the ability to track goods or services en route to the consumer, and proper communications with the employees.
- Easy payment: Connection with a payment portal to make it easy for consumers to pay and tip.
- Ratings: Allow consumers to rate and view ratings of their brand experiences, as checking reviews is a normal everyday step for any online purchase. This gives social proof for new users and useful feedback for the brand on how to improve the app and service.
- Employees: A pool of employees ready to represent your brand and offer services, as well as a solid design/UX/IT team. Remember, these services depend on speed and quality, so hire wisely.
- Interface: Consumers expect an easy-to-use interface; there are too many competitors to lose to inferior UX.
- Technology: The back end of the app should be solid and consistently checked for quality assurance and upgrades.
- Shareability: Give your users incentives to share your service with family and friends, like discounts or free services. Likewise, a referral program for employees makes a lot of sense to keep your talent pool stocked.
How to Make It Grow
Keeping all the above keystone tips in mind, you can start vetting developers. At least to start, you’ll likely want to look for a mid-range developer agency; you want it small enough to get the personal attention and ideation to nail the early stages down, but big enough to expertly handle the technical and logistical aspects of a solid app. Finding a development agency that truly connects with you and your ideas solves quite a few problems.
Next, you have to explore growing a user base. Again, this is a process you should start before your planned launch date. Start locally, engaging any local retailer that might be interested in reaping the mutual benefits of an on-demand service. This is a low-risk way to beta test your app, and see what works and what doesn’t. Start your referral program, and think about a social media campaign that targets both users and potential employees. As your service grows, continue to pay attention to vetting your employees and keeping up on any bugs that might pop up in your app. Customer service is everything, so your app should include easy access for the users to lodge complaints and offer suggestions, and for you to answer their concerns promptly. As for your employees, you should look at retention rates (i.e. good pay, subsidized transportation costs) and how to maximize efficiency by synchronizing routes for any delivery services.