Think about it for a minute- what product or service you want that isn’t available online? From daily groceries and custom jewelery to hiring a taxi and booking a villa, there is virtually nothing that you can't access from the comfort of your home. And if something is available online, it is almost certain that there is an app for that. But it wasn’t always the case, in fact this convenience and in way, power, has been around for a very short while.
To get a glimpse of how on-demand apps are changing the shape of businesses just roll back a decade where if you were running out of milk, you had to visit the nearest store. Need to book a taxi? Walk down the street and wave for any taxi to stop. But now with ubiquitous Internet and deep smartphone penetration, all you have to do is pull out your phone, click some buttons and the rest will be taken care of.
Traditionally, service providers and consumers have been on two entirely different sides, each oblivious to other’s competence and aspirations. But now using the power of Internet and smartphones on-demand apps work as a bridge between the two… Take Uber for example, earlier taxis and commuters were entirely disconnected and it was only a matter of chance for people to find rides on the street. Now with the app in place, each user can readily access the information of how many taxis are around him or how has been the past behavior of the driver they just booked and much more.
This bridging of gap between businesses and consumers has two major benefits-
1. It delivers instant gratification to customers by ensuring anything they need is available now;
2. It has expanded the horizons of businesses to the global level. And it worth mentioning here that with improved logistics and real-time tracking technologies, no business is today limited by geographical constraints and can easily serve customers around the globe.
So, if we attempt to condense the transformation brought by on-demand apps, it can be roughly expressed as:
- New Opportunities
Businesses gain unprecedented access to much larger number of customers through on-demand apps which was otherwise impossible with a mere physical store or even a web application.
- Global competitiveness
As the scope of every business expands, they often start to overlap and the degree of competitiveness is taken from any local area to the global arena.
- Increased and personalized sales
One of the key reasons of such success of on-demand apps is that it not only helps businesses boost sales, but also exposes them to the customers on a more personal level, that further leads to delivery of customized services.
- More options
With on-demand apps on their phone, customers are no longer limited to any fixed number of vendors but can readily explore endless options that were previously inaccessible.
- Higher transparency
Be it comparing the price of services offered by differed vendors or simply tracking their order, customers have now much more control over the entire shopping experience by gaining a deeper insight which previously impossible.
- Instant gratification
This is actually one of the key factors driving the exponential growth of on-demand apps and related business. Since people are by nature, restless and impatient, having such a powerful tool in their hand enables them to quickly satisfy their needs.
Where does this lead?
If there is one thing certain about on-demand apps, it is this- it is not a trend that will eventually fade out but a comprehensive market shift which is here to stay. So if you are a business owner, you can either adopt and adapt to this new technology or be ready to face your oblivion.
Also, as it is always the case with technology, on-demand apps themselves will evolve with time and further shape every business they get into. While until now, the transformation has largely been contained into different isolated sectors like logistics, transport, laundry, food delivery, among others, the next phase may witness some form of fusion between any two or more of such sectors. Take Uber and Uber EATS for instance, at the moment, they are operated as two entirely different units but it is more plausible if they merge in future to cut operational costs. Moreover, the entire transport and logistics services too can gain a lot if they somehow manage to sync their operations.
And while these predictions are in terms of businesses, the next phase of transformation on customer-side has already begun. With powerful cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning at their disposal, these apps are now empowered to continuously track their user behavior, analyze their preferences, and predict what they might need next. This phase of preemptive services- i.e have services ready even before customers demand, is truly the next frontier of on-demand apps that will truly disrupt every shopping activity we have ever known.