A Synoptic Guide to On-demand App Development 2020
I woke up this morning pretty late for work, I had to rush to take my bath and have breakfast but my car won’t just start, thanks to Uber I made it just in time to attend my morning meeting. Our world today is evolving very fast, making it very easy to get simple things done within a blink of the eye. With the use of our smartphones, we can get any service at our doorsteps from logistics & couriers, food delivery, grocery delivery, and the list goes on.
What is an On-demand service app?
They are software that acts as a mediator between a business and its customer. They allow customers to order any kind of service of their choice and make sure their order is prepared and delivered within a very short stipulated time. They are used in various fields in our world today and there are such platforms in education, healthcare, beauty, cargo, taxi, food, and many other fields and they are all accessed within seconds. A survey was done in the United State and among the on-demand apps, the online marketplace has been discovered to have the highest annual on-demand economy spending with an average of $35.5 billion out of the total of $57.6 billion spent on these services, followed by transportation, food and other services. This information will be required by developers who intend building an on-demand service app to know a lot of users are always looking to close relatively good deals in shopping sites.
Reasons for using On-Demand Service App
A survey was done on why people use on-demand service apps and the few reasons were highlighted:
⦁ Availability: Today, it is very easy to have access to a smartphone or a tablet device, so it makes services easily accessible when required. It is very easy to book a cab or order a plate of food rather than going to the market and the devices to meet this needs are readily available.
⦁ Lower Costs: It is cheaper to use this service than opt for the equivalent traditional method/providers. Anyone can order a plate of food rather than going to the market, buying the raw materials, going back home, preparing the meal and then eating. The time and effort is way easier with the use of on-demand service app.
⦁ Adjustments to User Preferences: Because on-demand services have examined their users want, it makes it easy to deliver services as prompt as possible. For instance, it takes 2 to 3 hours to have your carpentry job done rather than wait days to have the same piece of job done.
⦁ Various payment method: On-demand apps allow users pay for services with various methods which may include pay on delivery, online payments while others makes use of fast e-wallets which are highly secured, fast and reliable
⦁ Variety: There are more than 2 apps in each category so it makes it easy for users to pick the app which meets the exact need rather than settle for a close solution. David needs a counselling session and would pick an app which does exactly that rather than picks one which always him see a medical doctor.
How do such apps work?
⦁ Download app: User must have access to the app by downloading and installing it.
⦁ Sign Up: User signs up for the required service.
⦁ Request: Places a request.
⦁ Matching: The apps connects them to the service provider.
⦁ The service provider checks on the request and accepts it if there are resources or rejects as the case may be.
⦁ Payment Authorization: Authorization of payment for the service which may be done immediately or on delivery of product.
⦁ Service Delivery: Service provider delivers product.
⦁ Confirmation: Customer confirms the product and gives a review.
⦁ Deduction of payment: Some payments are required to be done before delivery or after so user pays for service and the payment is deducted and sent to the service provider.
Types of On-Demand Apps
Let us take a quick review on some of the most popular categories and consider the leading apps under them.
Today many people including myself who can’t go home to get lunch, sit from our offices to place an order for a proper meal. Food delivery has been a field that has been very successful because every human requires food so it is really amazing that your desired meal could come anywhere you are, and what makes it special is you are eating something you so desire. There are couple of on-demand apps for ordering food, for example:
⦁ Zomato: It is food delivery app that provides information, menus and user-reviews of restaurants, and also has food delivery options from partner restaurant in selected cities which include United States, Australia, India, Canada, Turkey, UAE, Portugal etc. Their services have proven undeniably excellent with super quick delivery, online payments, free order and many others.
⦁ Swiggy: This is Indian’s largest and most valuable ordering platform where users order food online from a restaurant and have the food delivered at their door steps. Just like Zomato, they have proven very reliable and early 2019, they expanded their services into general product deliveries, under the brand name Swiggy Stores.
⦁ Doordash etc.
This is a basic need of any community, moving from one place to another where customer send a ride request, drivers receive request and come to pick their passengers. The customers must have GPS navigation systems to catch nearby taxis, communication channel and a feedback system. Some of the big players of the transportation include:
⦁ Uber: This is a convenient software that enables customer submit ride requests that is immediately sent to a driver closest to you, alerting the person of your location. The driver comes to pick the passenger and drives them to the requested location. They also offer peer-to-peer ridesharing, service delivery, food delivery and micromobilty systems with electric bikes and scooters.
⦁ Ola: It is also known as Ola Cabs and it is a ridesharing company used to book rides very easily and fast response time. It is Indian’s largest mobility platform and it is one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies serving in many states across Australia, New Zealand and UK.
⦁ Free Now etc.
James, a good friend of mine had a plumbing issue and he had it fixed within few hours by tapping his phone a couple of times. It has become very easy to solve household chores from house cleaning, repairs and basic house hold work. A couple of apps have helped immensely in this regard and they include:
⦁ HomeAdvisor: This application is used to connect home owners to home service contractors, allowing users to compare between contractors for a particular service to book an appointment.
⦁ Task Rabbit: This app matches freelance labor with demand from users, allowing the, find immediate help with basic everyday task, including handyman work. It is a trusted app for TV moving, moving household appliances, and tackle as many home projects.
⦁ Merry Maids
⦁ Thumback etc.
It might sound so unreal but some patients do not need to visit the hospital to talk to their physician as that can be done with applications. With mobile apps, it allows providers effectively streamline communication between patients and service providers and makes it possible to effectively manage a patient’s condition. This is not to say patients do not need to go to the hospital as some diseases require use of complex medical tools but On-demand healthcare apps make it easier to connect patients with their doctors instead of queuing up in waiting room to see a physician. Some of these kind of apps include:
⦁ Doctor on Demand: This app helps to break the barrier of client’s inability to see a doctor at an instant. Everyone should have access to a certified doctor where and when it is needed. A lot of people have lost their lives in the waiting room and this is where this app comes in to play efficiently. The app connects people to high quality physicians with or without no insurance saving time and money.
⦁ Teladoc: The app offers comprehensive virtual care solution capable of serving people and organization anywhere. It seamlessly connect general medical, mental health, and complex care to deliver convenience to its users.
⦁ Airstrip One
⦁ Patient Keeper
How to build a successful On-Demand Service?
This may not be as difficult as first imagined and you have seen the need for one.
This is a very important step to building any app at all. Understand what you want the app to do, the target audience, the problem faced and the solutions met by the application. It is not enough to be concerned by the development of the app as that just guarantees the proper functioning of the app. Here are a few tips;
⦁ Learn the target audience: This is very important because this determines the success of the app. You must understand their behavior, needs, financial strength as all this will enable you build an app that they can relate to. The more you know about your users, the easier it is to build something they never get tired of using.
⦁ Own unique functions: The problem with most apps is they try to solve too many problems at a time and lose the main reason they got into the business in the first place. Own a definite solution for a definite problem and add other features around it. It is important to attract your users to their problem and not give them a bunch of features gotten from other apps.
⦁ You can’t please everybody: Remember we talked about a target audience, which should be your priority as you build the app. You probably won’t get features that will please people from every age group or ethnic group so focus on the majority.
There are certain features that cannot be ignored as you develop your app. First, every user on the platform must register, place order, make payments, track their products, receive notifications, secured accounts and log off the platform. Any other feature may be additional but every on-demand service app must having the following as their functional requirements. The basic features include:
⦁ Registration and profile management: Allow registration via email/phone and password combination. It should also allow use of Google, Twitter, Facebook accounts.
⦁ Geolocation: Useful for tracking delivery or finding direction to any place. It can be implemented using Google Maps for Android devices or Core Location framework for iOS devices.
⦁ Notifications: Every user expects their app to give them information on completed payments, request, messages, order updates, reminders and many others where push notices is the most convenient way of getting such updates. They are implemented by Google Cloud Messaging for Android devices or Apple Push Notification Service for iOS devices.
⦁ Payments: Makes it easy to get money from users and payment methods are added according to customer’s preferences and country. This feature is also heavily dependent on security of the system because users will not have their accounts details manipulated at any given time so security must not be taken for granted.
⦁ Feedback system: This helps customers evaluate their experience on the platform and also help developers know lacking features and correction on previously existing features.
⦁ Help and Support: This feature helps to assist users in case of minor or major problems on the platform and it helps to enhance customer experience.
This refers to the platform which the app will run on. There are lot of technologies involved in building an app so it is important to deliver the app on platforms that are popular to your target audience and all of this is should be specified during research. Pay attention to web platform (running on a web browser), native app (e.g. iOS or Android) or cross-platform technology (a cost-effective method for running app on both iOS and android devices).
It is also important you find the right team for the project, it may be an in-house team which are used by projects that need constant support and maintenance and it is often expensive as salaries, insurance, taxes and other bills are covered by the manager. Offshore developers can also be employed; it is great for both short and long term projects and is proven to be cost-effective.
The influence of On-demand apps in our world today cannot be overemphasized, they make us ensure services are gotten and enjoyed at the comfort of our homes and every business today requires one to create a shortcut between the users and the business. It might not be easy to build one with its demanding features but it is necessary so as to stay relevant in this ever-growing world of ours.
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