The Holy Grail of any business is to know who the target customers are and when exactly they want a service provided by the business. For a long time, this has been the biggest challenge for most businesses as they completely relied on abstract data for approximate targeting. This maximized the chances for them being there when they were not needed and not being there when they needed the most.
The question of where customers were and when exactly they wanted the service was effectively solved by the introduction of a personal Internet profile and GPS technology. The GPS which was once confined to the military and aviation industries had not been made a part of every smartphone. This potential was realized by the transportation site up from San Francisco called Uber. The introduction of Uber can be considered a point of inflection in the world of the services industry.
The Uber model introduced a new dimension into the services business called on demand. This simply meant that when service was demanded, it could be provided. This presented better opportunities for the service providers, the businesses that enable services, and the people who consume services.
The introduction of apps like Gojek
For a long time, at least in the best, the services were provided through apps that were dedicated to a specific stream of utility. Apps begin to be created for something as specific as walking your dogs. The application stores were filled with apps that provide different utilities like food delivery, grocery delivery, medicine delivery, handyman services, beauty services, babysitting, and even dating.
However, countries like Indonesia, China, and Japan had different ideas. They started to build applications that provided multiple services within a single app, and they were fittingly referred to as super applications or super apps.
Let us take Gojek for instance. Gojek is one of the most prominent names when it comes to super apps, and it has a formidable portfolio of investors like Google, Facebook, and Softbank. It provides more than 20 different services which can be considered a great jump, knowing the fact that Gojek started as a call center for bike taxis.
With the rich data that Gojek has, it is able to provide financial services without any hassle and with low default rates. The processing time is also quicker than traditional financial institutions. Since there’s a good possibility of at least one service being in demand, the possibilities of proceeding of resources and not missing out on at least one stream of revenue remains considerably high.
Gojek has been instrumental in proving that it is not only the on-demand revolution that is here to stay but there is a considerable market for super apps. This has inspired a lot of entrepreneurs to create their own super apps for the best.
Advantages of the on-demand business model
We have already seen that the biggest advantage of the on-demand business model is in identifying customers precisely who need a service. In addition, services delivered faster than ever to the customers. This falls in line with the millennial culture of wanting a service only when they precisely need it. This is one reason why you will not see millennials investing in a great kitchen when they can order food online! The on-demand business model falls perfectly in line with the expectations of the biggest chunk of customers.
A lot of on-demand services include gig workers in the ecosystem. Uber, for example, does not employ drivers but only partners with drivers, giving them an additional earning opportunity. The same can be said about food delivery on-demand applications that use delivery partners to deliver food from restaurants to homes. Therefore, it opens up additional learning opportunities for a lot of people irrespective of the qualification. This would mean that blue-collar employees who have lost their job during the pandemic and even college students can engage in some delivery gig to earn an additional income.
Since the gig workers are not, by definition, counted as employees, they are flexible workers, and they can dictate their own timings. They should, however, be made aware that the earnings are not standard like how it would be for employees. The earnings are dependent on the magnitude of work that they do. This not only helps a lot of people to do part-time work but also helps in achieving a better work-life balance.
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the on-demand business model is it perfectly addressed the challenges of the traditional model.
Let us take two of the biggest dominant domains in this spectrum: taxi booking and food delivery.
If people think about booking a taxi before the taxi booking apps came in, they had to call an operator and the operator had to note down the address – pickup and destination location. There are good chances that human errors could be recorded, ending up in the taxi driver being sent to a completely different location. Even if the taxi driver were to reach the passengers location, it would have a tough time coordinating with the driver and reach the exact location. This would be even more frustrating than the process of booking itself. Even if the taxi driver reaches the passenger’s location for pickup, it is not sure if the taxi driver would know way to reach the destination. This introduces another layer of dissatisfaction. After the trip is completed, the taxi driver might introduce some uncertainty with regards to the cost, and this ends up in the entire experience being far below the customers’ levels of satisfaction in terms of time, efficiency, and money.
With the introduction of the on-demand model, people don’t have to contact a telephone operator and it minimizes human errors. The entire dispatching system is automated and the GPS system takes care to precisely pinpoint the location where the customers’ pickup location is at, giving the driver no chance for rerouting. Even if the destinations are unknown, the GPS and mapping combined with the navigation assistance come into play, ensuring that the driver can reach the destination on time. The payments are made using digital payment methods, and in most cases, even before the trip is initiated, the estimated fare is shown, making the entire ecosystem transparent.
For a long time, with some limited instances of takeout, restaurant food consumption versus confined to their dining premises. There might be some instances of people ordering food from restaurants through a telephone, and the same hassles of finding the location in a taxi system apply for the restaurant as well. In addition, the restaurants faced another problem. They had to maintain a fleet of delivery executives and they had to be at the restaurant premises irrespective of whether they get orders or not. This presented an additional cost for the restaurant which did not bring a lot of returns.
With the introduction of the on-demand business model, it has not only taken the burden off restaurants to maintain the delivery fleet but has also presented them with the opportunity to streamline the entire process of managing orders with a dedicated restaurant app. It has also opened opportunities for people to passively benefit from the gig employment opportunities. The reason why this point is being focused here is that you could be a restaurant owner partnered with a delivery executive even if you have a bike which is easier to own than a car!
The on-demand revolution is bound to be the method of the future. It might get better with the introduction and integration of smart wearables and IoT devices. While the impact and the revolution are global, there are opportunities still wide open for you to capitalize and profit from.
If you are a niche-finding entrepreneur who would like to get into the untapped territory of multi-utility apps, all you need to do is develop an app like Gojek. Instead of developing your app from scratch, you can consider purchasing a white-label clone of Gojek. It can be customized according to your requirements, and it also saves a lot in terms of both time and money in the long run. Above everything, this white label way also ensures that you are the quickest to hit the market with an app!