The company’s CEO said he is witnessing many on-demand companies slowly but surely go out of business, and is more convinced than ever that offering that extra little bit of knowledge to customers is what will inspire them to spend more time with Thirstie, and return to the app on a regular basis.
Uber-style apps for children face an uphill battle, in part because trust isn’t something the on-demand economy is known for and people aren’t as willing to entrust their children with a stranger as they are their laundry or their take-out. But creative solutions abound.
Launched in 2015, the on-demand moving app connects anyone who needs a mover or delivery with a professional mover in minutes. Whether it’s for moving a couch, a whole home or even getting some big purchases home from a day of shopping, the idea is that you can get a van or a truck and some movers when and where the need arises.
While dialing 911 is the correct response when major emergencies occur, it isn’t always appropriate for lesser events, like flat tires or minor medical injuries. For events that are urgent but not life-threatening, a host of specialty on-demand apps are looking to fill the void.
The on-demand economy relies on a steady stream of self-employed workers who are willing to trade steady paychecks for flexibility and autonomy. But as the number of on-demand platforms increases, it’s becoming more of a challenge for companies to hold on to qualified workers.
“Customers drive booking, bookings drive pros, the pros drive availability and availability comes all the way back around and drives customers and booking,” Handy founder Oisin Hanrahan tells Street Fight. His company and others are figuring out over time what works and what doesn’t in local on-demand.
Translating the desire to support business owners with successful on-demand functionality relies heavily on DoorDash’s 200 core employees. In 2015, the company expanded from three markets to 22, and CEO Tony Xu says he expects the company to double in size in 2016.
With 2015 drawing to a close, it’s time again to look ahead to what we can expect in the hyperlocal space in 2016. We asked Street Fight staffers and weekly columnists what they thought would be the biggest story (or stories) in local in 2016. We’ll be running their outlooks in two installments, the first today and the second tomorrow.
Pop-up shops are becoming of a fixture of the omnichannel retail landscape — and not just during the holiday season. Storefront is a three-year-old startup that connects anyone who wants to sell and promote their wares with landlords who have retail spaces they want to rent — a “marketplace for renting short-term retail space,” as co-founder and CEO Erik Eliason described it. The model is proving successful in syncing both large retailers and local artisan/makers with physical spaces that would otherwise lie dormant.
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Yahoo Struggles as an Afterthought to Advertisers (New York Times)… Starbucks Launches Delivery Service in Partnership with Postmates (TechCrunch)… On-Demand and Deep Linking Becoming More Deeply Linked (Street Fight)…
In the era of UberRUSH, Postmates, DoorDash, and others, every business with an in-house delivery fleet is feeling the pressure to provide the same kind of on-demand delivery experience. The driving force behind the demand for on-demand is time, or the perceived lack thereof. Consumers have shown they will pay a premium to save it.
A year into the on-demand revolution, the question persists: Where’s it going next? So far, it’s gone into nearly every local vertical, but there are still areas with the right conditions for on-demand models to take root, some of which remain underdeveloped. These include higher-end professional services like lawyers and doctors, project-based work like design and writing, and, of course, SMBs, especially when it comes to local marketing and advertising.
“I’ve long been a believer that on-demand is going to revolutionize every service sector in the economy. There will be different flavors of it, based on the characteristics of particular verticals. Five years from now, this is how everybody’s going to get service for everything,” said Urgent.ly CEO Chris Spanos.
On-demand is a convenient rubric for speaking about a certain type of currently faddish platform, but not every underlying service or product is the same. Transportation is not the same as home services or restaurants. By extension, not everything Uber does will work equally well outside of its particular niche. Demand-based pricing is a prime example.
Success in this market doesn’t come from betting that millions of consumers will change their purchase behaviors. Success in the on-demand economy employs a simple, time-tested formula: taking an existing service — one that a lot of people use — and making it better.