How On-Demand Service Apps Can Elevate Your Business

It’s hard to imagine how we completed our everyday tasks before on-demand service apps. Is it time for your business to get in the game?
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Uber and Lyft. Netflix and Spotify. Seamless and Postmates.

Today, practically everything we want or need is right at our fingertips. And that’s thanks to on-demand service apps. 

These applications seem like magic. Remember the days when we had to call restaurants to deliver food? Or when we needed to hail taxis to get from place to place? Those days are gone. Now, we can’t imagine a world where we don’t have immediate access to myriad services, from shopping to cleaning and beyond.

Many businesses across industries can benefit from offering on-demand services. Is it time to incorporate them into your fold?

What Is an On-Demand Service App?

Most of us use on-demand service apps, or simply on-demand apps, practically every day. These tools are vital to the gig economy, which connects workers to customers to perform a variety of tasks. The apps facilitate contact between the user and the individual or individuals who will perform the work.

Like it sounds, this type of app enables the quick and efficient delivery of services. Usually, customers are able to specify preferences to improve the quality of the services and personalize recommendations accordingly.

While each on-demand app has a unique structure, most of them work following a similar pattern:

  • Both users and workers create profiles on the app.
    • Users initiate a request.
    • The provider who can best fulfill the request is connected to the user.
    • The provider can accept or decline the request.
    • The provider delivers the service.
    • Payment is deducted automatically from the payment method on file.
    • The consumer may have the option to rate the service. In some cases, the provider may be able to rate the consumer, too.

Essentially, the business — or app itself — acts as an intermediary between the user and the provider. 

Benefits of on-demand apps

These are just some of the benefits of on-demand service apps, both for businesses and customers:

  • Real-time services
  • Cost-savings
  • Reliability
  • Payment gateway diversity
  • Low-effort solutions
  • Choice availability 
  • Sustainable practices
  • Business visibility

Types of On-Demand Apps

Food and Meal Delivery

Examples:

  • DoorDash
    • UberEats
    • Seamless
    • GrubHub

These types of apps allow consumers to order meals and groceries from local or national businesses. 

Ride Share and Transportation

Examples:

  • Uber
    • Lyft
    • Via
    • Curb

This is a classic on-demand model. Users simply specify destinations, and apps like Uber will connect them with drivers who can take them there.

Healthcare

Examples:

  • Doctor on Demand
    • LiveHealth
    • Talkspace

The field of healthcare is ripe for software development. This has been particularly evident during the pandemic when more and more patients relied on service via apps and web platforms — also known as telemedicine.

Cleaning and Home Services

Examples:

  • TaskRabbit
    • Thumbtack
    • Tidy

Now, on-demand service apps can make it easy to secure workers to complete a variety of tasks, from cleaning to repairs.

Pet Care

Examples:

  • Wag!
    • Rover
    • Urban Leash

From dog walking to pet sitting, a wide variety of pet services are available via these apps, which connect providers with clients.

Entertainment

Examples:

  • YouTube
    • Hulu
    • Netflix
    • Spotify
    • SoundCloud

Entertainment platforms, such as streaming and music services, are sometimes characterized as on-demand apps too, given that they allow users instant access to shows, movies, and music.

Steps and Tips for Success

1. Conduct Market Research

There is serious competition in the on-demand app market, so it’s critical to conduct research to identify existing gaps and potential audiences. There’s certainly room for new innovations, so if you do your due diligence and identify the need and want, you’ll be better equipped to create a successful plan and product — one users will respond to.

You should also identify the competition and explore how to set yourself apart from emerging and existing services.

2. Define Your Audience

Part of market research is figuring out who your prospective users are. What are their needs? What are their likes and dislikes?

Keep in mind that your app won’t appeal to everyone. The more well-defined your audience is — in terms of age, race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, education, and so on — the more you’ll be able to appeal to the specific niche.

3. Pick Top Features

An on-demand app is meant to fulfill one specific purpose. Initially, focus on this need. One mistake businesses often make is trying to include too many features from the get-go. Packing in an abundance of possibilities will detract from your app more than it will boost it. This will confuse and overwhelm your users, not to mention end up being very costly.

In other words, less is more. It’s important to ensure your app is fulfilling its purpose before you add bells and whistles. Once your app is more established, you can add more features.

However, there are some qualities that every on-demand app should have. For example, you’ll need to add a payment gateway. Profiles are usually a must, too, as are notifications. Consider which on-demand features, like geolocation, are critical for your app.

4. Find the Right Developers and Approach

When you’re first getting into the on-demand app market, you may find that you don’t have the necessary skills on your team. Instead, you may want to look elsewhere — turning, for example, to outsourcing. That way, you’ll be able to identify a partner with experience in your specific niche, such as transportation, food delivery, or entertainment. Plus, you’ll rest assured that these developers are equipped to incorporate the features you want.

Think about the tools you want to use, too, in terms of languages, frameworks, and approaches. Work closely with your team, whether it’s in or out-of-house, to determine the right way to build your product.

On-demand apps have revolutionized the landscape of several critical markets. With so much to offer, they can bring your business to new heights. Is it time for you to get in the game?

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