Want to set up your home lights so they turn on as soon as you walk through the front door? Or have your music start to play in certain rooms of your house without you having to get up from the couch to press any buttons? Well, instead of buying the equipment and then searching Yelp or customer directories to find someone to install these items for you, companies are simultaneously offering you the option of requesting an appointment with a technician at your home upon receipt of the goods. According to a report by Crowd Companies and Vision Critical more than 110 million North Americans are now part of the collaborative economy and participation has grown by 25 percent in 2015. In Germany and Switzerland half of the population has already used collaborative economy products or services. And this trend is likely to accelerate in 2016.
What is On-Demand Service?
Convenience and speed, customers today want whatever they order right away and at a time that is best for them. Remember the days when you had to sit down at 8pm every Monday to watch your favorite TV show? However, thanks to DVRs and streaming services, most shows now are available “on-demand” and you can fit your viewing in to your week wherever you’d like. So think of on-demand services in a similar way. They are services customers can order when they want, and receive the service right away. Hungry? Rather than heading out to a grocery store or restaurant and picking something up yourself, on-demand often means whatever you wanted comes to you. Rather than having to run errands or doing tedious tasks that take up a lot of your time, on-demand service makes it so things come at a time that’s good for you.
How On-Demand Service Works
On-Demand service works in a couple different ways. Customers can log onto a marketplace where they can book service directly from a particular provider. Food delivery services like Seamless work this way; customers order food on the app directly from the restaurant they like and then it’s delivered to them. The other type of on-demand service has customers place a service call that a software system then pushes out to relevant people nearby who can choose to accept or reject the gig. Mila works this way by matching and dispatching friendly helpers from the neighborhood, so called “Friends” that help customers with their telecommunications products. This is crowdsourcing within the on-demand economy, and is popular with ridesharing, home, and telecommunications services where experts or locals are needed to do particular work.
On-Demand Service Categories
Whether you need someone to help you install window blinds or to build Ikea furniture, there’s a startup out there, like TaskRabbit or Handy, that lets you order these services on-demand. Swiss company, Brack.ch, now collaborates with Mila to offer in-home services on-demand when customers purchase goods from their store, joining the ranks of other retailers who offer services in conjunction with products that need to be installed, set-up, or built. This eliminates a step in the buying process for the customer and improves the customer’s experience since they will no longer need to search for someone to do these services on their own.
Restaurant and grocery delivery are becoming increasingly popular as busy professionals and families try to squeeze as many things as possible into their days. A large number of startups in the U.S. and Europe are offering these services on-demand, including Deliveroo and Instacart.
Retail Same-Day Delivery
Thanks to the popularity of online shopping, customers now want to be able to purchase items online and receive them the same day. Gone are the days of walking or driving over to a store and walking through the aisles until you find what you need. Now, through companies like Amazon, you can order many of the things you need online and have them delivered that same day. And even if Amazon doesn’t have what you want or you can’t order directly from a specific store and get same-day delivery, other startup services are offering on-demand service delivery via people who will go pick up your item for you and then deliver it to you.
While car services have long been popular in the on-demand service world, new services are popping up that offer parking solutions to customers. Ever been late to an appointment because you had to spend half an hour looking for parking? If you live in a city with a lot of traffic and few parking spaces you probably have. Taking away the hassle of trying to find somewhere to park has been eliminated by on-demand startups like Luxe Valet that offers valet parking service wherever you need.
Beauty & Health
Long waits for a seat at your manicurist or hair stylist chair are common for people who regularly indulge in these luxury beauty services. Now, there are some startups poised to dominate this space by making it so customers receive services like hair, nails, and massages in their own home on-demand. This is great for both the customers and the providers since many professionals in this arena are always looking for new clients, and customers don’t have to sit around forever inhaling hair or nail product chemicals.
As this trend continues to grow, it will expand beyond startups and big businesses as small businesses catch on. Smaller retailers from various industries can offer their customers a better customer experience too by providing on-demand services via the crowd or through local experts.