Think the on-demand app trend is just a fad? Think again. The value of the on-demand economy continues to grow rapidly, reaching nearly $60 billion last year. The customer base for these products is also growing. Statistics indicate there will be approximately 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world by 2019.
On-demand apps have already changed the way professionals do business in many industries. This tech revolution will likely continue as more customers embrace the benefits they offer. Businesses who take advantage of this emerging market now will benefit from improved customer service, while those that lag behind will struggle to compete in the near future.
Why On-Demand Apps Are Popular
Again, there are billions of smartphone users in the world. Thus, there are billions of potential customers for on-demand apps.
Successes like Uber have also demonstrated to users the value such products can offer. As always, customers want convenient and efficient service. Being able to schedule a ride in seconds certainly meets that criteria.
For the same reason of convenience, there are now on-demand apps for ordering food, hiring plumbers, finding babysitters, and more. That’s why businesses are focusing on how to develop apps that stand out from the crowd.
It’s no longer enough to simply design a bare-bones app for scheduling a particular service; there’s a significant degree of competition in the on-demand app market. Businesses now must emphasize how their apps can dramatically improve customer service and user experience to ensure they succeed.
The Impact of On-Demand Apps on Business
Make a Service as Seamless as Possible for Customers
Perhaps more than ever before, businesses across numerous industries are focusing on reducing friction for customers. They’re looking for ways to make their services easily accessible. On-demand apps facilitate this.
For example, imagine two plumbers: one with an on-demand app, one without. Imagine that both plumbing companies also have a relatively similar reputation among past customers, and charge relatively similar rates. There aren’t many key differences between the two companies in terms of overall quality and affordability. If someone needs to schedule a basic service, they’ll likely select the plumbing company with the most convenient scheduling process.
Scheduling service with one company may require calling the office directly, waiting for someone to answer the phone, and trying to describe the nature of the problem. For the other plumber, the task for customers may be as simple as opening an app and tapping a few buttons. It’s easy to assume the average customer would choose to hire the plumbing company with an app. This same idea applies to on-demand apps in any industry. The convenience they offer appeals to today’s consumer.
However, reducing friction is merely one way to make an app stand out. After all, most on-demand apps already offer this feature to a degree and so it’s not unique enough to ensure an app will succeed.
Tailor Services to the Individual
Thus, the rise of on-demand apps for business will also result in an increased focus on personalized service. Personalization has a major impact on revenue and brand loyalty. Surveys consistently indicate that customers expect this type of service from businesses. Younger consumers, in particular, who have grown up in a world where major brands have constantly worked to enhance personalization efforts expect businesses to treat them as unique individuals.
Brands can offer greater personalization via an on-demand app by tracking user behavior and making recommendations accordingly. This tactic has become very effective thanks to innovations such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
In the past, human employees may have been responsible for analyzing customer data and using it to offer a greater degree of personalization. That’s no longer the case. AI can automatically and efficiently analyze data every single time a customer uses the app. The more often they use it, the better their experience will be. The AI will simply have more opportunities to learn about their tastes, preferences, and behaviors. Incorporating this technology into an on-demand app is a smart way to distinguish it.
Boost Customer Loyalty
It’s also a good idea for businesses to incorporate rewards programs into their on-demand apps. Loyalty programs tend to make a positive impression on customers. Additionally, they give potential users a greater incentive to download the app.
A recent survey indicates the average person is more likely to download a banking app if doing so provides them with access to special promotions and rewards. It’s safe to assume they also feel the same way about on-demand apps. Thus, offering special deals can be a useful means of attracting initial users in a competitive market.
Of course, customers will benefit from these shifts in business priorities. That’s why it’s clear the on-demand economy is here to stay. Users embrace these products for obvious reasons. Companies in virtually any industry can take advantage of this opportunity by creating useful apps.