It's all about the on-demand business, and it takes a great mobile app to build it


By 2020, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.87 billion, providing a huge opportunity to match on-demand services with real-time supply.

The best example of on-demand business is Uber. You book a cab at the tap of your mobile and it is delivered at your doorstep within no time. The grocery delivery giant Instacart is another fine example of how on-demand economy is disrupting the industry. After the customer places an order via an app, its pickers collect the grocery from a store and deliver it to the customer in as little as an hour, or as per the schedule slot. Airbnb and Netflix are also great examples of on-demand economy.

On demand business is revolutionising customer behaviour and is changing the way people shop or transact. It is defined as the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfil consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. Simply put, it is a perfect solution for the customers who are looking for speed, convenience and simplicity. Customers get an instant access to products and services as and when they want. According to a report from Harvard Business Review, on-demand economy is attracting more than 22.4 million consumers annually and $57.6 billion in spending.

A few of the services that currently fall in the scope of on-demand business, but not limited to, are:

  • grocery delivery
  • transportation
  • health & beauty
  • food delivery
  • fitness
  • laundry
  • housekeeping
  • event coordination
  • caretaking (babies, elderly and pets)
  • any other service that can come to the doorstep of the customers as and when they choose.

One of the most crucial elements of on-demand business is that it does away with ownership. The modern-day customers prefer renting or sharing, instead of buying. On-demand offers lesser expensive alternative to ownership. So, there has been a rise in rental products over the last few years. For instance, Cityfurnish is an on-demand furniture rental platform to fulfil temporary furniture needs for homes and offices with respect to wooden furniture pieces and branded appliances.

So, if you are operating any of the businesses listed above, it’s time to build a mobile app and do ‘uberification’ of the service you are providing. By 2020, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.87 billion, providing a huge opportunity to match on-demand services with real-time supply. As the on-demand industry grows, customer will expect mobile apps to avail these services for instant consumption.

Ordering food or calling a beautician from an app is far more convenient than making a call. A mobile app will also enable customers to track their service orders in real-time, make cashless payments and leave their reviews/ratings. If you want to create a loyalty programme for your on-demand business, you can do so by offering coupons, vouchers and discounts through the app.

However, earning trust for their mobile app would be crucial to any on-demand business. It will all depend on how conveniently, quickly and efficiently customers would be able to place their orders, schedule the delivery, track, pay and review. The waiting time between order and delivery will be a huge deciding factor. So will be the integration of inventory management into the app. The technology used in the mobile app and how seamlessly it provides customer experience would also be another feature integral to the success of the on-demand industry. Customers will prefer on-demand apps that have easy-to-use features, but with rich UI and UX.

The future of on-demand business lies in building a great mobile app. It will call for creativity and passion. It will revolutionise the way people live, interact and transact. It will personalise the experiences for customers. Without it, you can’t expect your customers to find you and seek your services.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)