On-demand apps are all the rage now. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is simply an app that brings together customers and service providers. So any app that you use to get a service to your doorstep is an On-Demand App. Uber started the trend by offering to bring you a ride to where ever you are for a price that is less than most other taxi services. Now a days there are On-Demand Apps for almost anything, from laundry and food delivery to 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 specific industries and the market is growing fast. The ideas being thought of and implemented 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 ride sharing app out there? Absolutely not, in fact, there are people working on similar apps that can be a lot better, safer, and even cheaper than Uber in the same industry. They might even get famous and have lots of 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.
Benefits to On demand Apps
Why is this style of app and business models so popular? Why should you be interested in implementing one into your business?
There are many benefits to an on demand app such as the huge market area you are able to reach with a mobile app. The ease of making a purchase on a mobile device reduces a barrier to sales for your company and in some cases you no longer need to find the customer, they can find you.
Purchases do not have to be made from customers homes, as they often are with online sales through web browsers. Instead the customer can use the app to make a purchase from where ever they are which can lead to much higher sales. Customers often really like the cashless aspect of on demand apps as well as the ease of purchase when the app stores their information.
Depending on the design of the app the user experience can be smooth, easy to use, and efficient which will lead to repeat customers and many recommendations. The on demand app is also something that can be easily scaled, given the right developer team. Even if your business might not rely on an on demand app entirely, this mobile technology can definitely help bring you more sales.
Why Some 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 and it can be a slippery slope from there. 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 seem like it is 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 eventual slowing 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.