On-demand apps are all the rage now. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is simply an app that brings together customer and service provider. So any app that you use to get a service to your doorstep is an On-Demand App. Uber started it the rush by offering to bring you a cab to where you are for a price that is less than most other taxi services. There are On-Demand Apps for almost anything now, laundry to food delivery and plumbing and even massages. Getting an app up and running for a service is the way to go.
An Uber for everything
In the tech industry, this trend is often called ‘uberization’. There are more apps that are coming up as the Uber of that industry and it is growing fast. The ideas are amazing, think about a service that you would really like or want, but are unable to get from where you are. Yes, that can be made into an app.
Pick your battles
It is not impossible to grow to be an international brand, but it is unlikely that a new app is going to overtake established brands. Is Uber the best Uber out there? Absolutely not, in fact, there are people working on apps that can be a lot better, safer, and even cheaper than Uber in the same industry. They might even get famous and people start using it, but Uber was first, they cornered the market and hailing cabs through a phone has become synonymous with Uber. It’s like Google, you don’t search on Google, you simply ‘Google’ your queries.
What to do then? There are virgin markets and services that still need On-Demand Apps. Look for a niche market, then slowly expand. The app need not be customer facing. It can even be business based on-demands.
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why On demand apps fail
The main reason for many On-Demand Apps not lasting as long is because they fail to find the right balance between the growth of the business and growth of customer base. Most On-Demand Apps do not have any real inventory. They employ a minuscule number of people, most of them tech developers. At best, there may be a few delivery personnel and a few vehicles and that is pretty much it.
At first, the business side will need to expand, but that will have to grow along with the technical aspects. Your app will need updates and it has to work the same way it did for ten customers when it scales up to ten thousand customers. If it doesn’t, bad reviews will pop up almost immediately. The trick is to expand fast with minimal margins. That is pretty much the Amazon philosophy- keep on growing, minimal margins and all.
The first few months are key. There is going to be a lot of demand, people will tell their friends and it will be all poised to take over the world, but that will not last for long if you are not able to substantiate the growth with service to match. Management of demand is key, you need to be able to ride the hype and grow with it, never letting the dying of the hype kill your brand.
There are chances where a heavily moneyed company will show interest in the app and take it under new management. That is, at times a good thing, especially if you are struggling with a business aspect of the app. Many tech-strong teams look for investors to take over the business while they stick to keeping the app alive by making it light, fast, and user-friendly. That, after all, is the dream.