July 17, 2017 / News
We've all heard the phrase, 'the Uber of ...'. It's become a popular cliche in the tech industry used to describe any exciting new innovation that's looking to revolutionise the way that business is typically conducted. The elegant simplicity of Uber's customer-focused solution to the transportation industry, and its subsequent resounding success has made it the ultimate benchmark. Almost every new business venture is clamouring to be the next 'Uber' of their own industry.
One of the key factors underlying Uber's successful disruption of the status quo is its On Demand nature. 'On Demand' is another one of those tech buzzwords that is rapidly gaining momentum, but what is it exactly?
According to Business Insider, 'On Demand' refers to the technology that enables the fulfilment of consumer demand through the almost instantaneous supply of goods and/or services. This seamless transaction is often accomplished through the use of app, mobile and internet technology. Usually, On Demand businesses don't directly produce or manufacture the good and/or service they offer, instead they often act as the intermediary that helps to directly connect the consumer with the service/good provider. Using Uber as an example, the consumer requests a ride on the app, Uber enables a connection between the passenger with an available driver that is in close proximity, then the driver takes the passenger to their desired destination. Uber essentially cuts out the traditional middleman, with its app facilitating direct linkages between seekers and providers.
The services provided by On Demand technology and solutions are increasingly becoming more and more niche, with the technology and apps enabling customers to make specific, personalised requests whenever and wherever they are. These technologies have also made it economically feasible to have customised goods/services at scale. Previously, developing and producing bespoke products were extremely expensive and time-consuming. Now, with the help of On Demand technologies, it is far more cost-efficient and quickly becoming the way of the future.
The tailored services that On Demand technology are able to provide are often unmatched by legacy providers, which has greatly increased competition in often stagnant markets dominated by a few players and helped to further empower the customer.
The prominence and proliferation of On Demand solutions and technologies are also a direct result of the changing nature of consumer behaviour. Convenience is fast becoming king. People want products and services delivered here and now, with as little effort expended as possible. Speed and cognitive ease are two of the most paramount factors in convincing customers to adopt and integrate On Demand technology and solutions into their lives. Since, On Demand businesses often operate online or via mobile technology, consumers have access to their services right at their fingertips, 24/7, regardless of wherever they are in the world. This unprecedented level of accessibility and convenience have enabled On Demand businesses to fast become a runaway success.
An example of this would be Deliveroo. Deliveroo is a company from the UK whose mission is to 'bring the world's local restaurants into everyone's home or office' as quickly as possible. Deliveroo has become a major player in the food delivery business, as they eliminate the hassles associated with leaving your home to get a meal from a food spot that doesn't deliver. Deliveroo connects customer’s with a broader range of food options and delivers it straight to their door. which effectively capitalises on the convenience that their customers seek.
Future of On Demand
On Demand appears to be going nowhere. If anything, it will continue to be adopted as the preferred business model for many new business ventures looking to make a splash. However, On Demand technology, apps and solutions are quickly saturating various markets, due to the low barriers to entry afforded by the internet. This will make it imperative for On Demand businesses to carve out their own little niche in the market, where they are able to successfully deliver a service that's faster, cheaper, easier, and/or more personalised than any other competitor in their relevant industry.
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