The Perfect Recipe of successful On Demand App Development.
Ah, the lovely world of on-demand services.
The kind where everything under the sun, from food to furniture, gets delivered in minutes.
Having worked in the on-demand sector for about a couple of years, I’ve learned how fascinating and equally difficult it is to create and run a successful on-demand platform. Replicating the success of Uber isn’t as easy as it sounds, there are gazillions of things that need to be perfect for pulling out a successful On Demand app development project. It takes an out-of-the-world plan, inch-perfect execution, and a little bit of luck to avoid any potential roadblocks. Having been a part of many teams for creating on-demand apps, one of the major things I’ve learned is that people want everything in the blink of an eye, which is why these Uber For X apps must never run out of options.
I sat down with almost every developer and product manager at Sodio technologies who has worked or is working on an on-demand app development project, and curated this perfect recipe for creating successful Uber For X platforms. Talking to other people in the on-demand space, such as developers, designers and marketers, it really made me realize that having been a part of this sector for a few years, I’ve still not learned everything there is to learn.
With the contributions of everyone I’ve talked to, and a little bit (No, it was too much) of research, I believe I’ve found the perfect recipe for creating on-demand platforms that could potentially rival, or even dwarf the success and popularity of many On Demand platforms.
The on-demand economy
Before getting into the technicalities, let us discuss a few basics about the on-demand economy. It would be easier for us to develop a successful on-demand platform if we are thorough with the workings and features of the on-demand economy.
What is on-demand, exactly?
On-demand means the delivery of services or products to people within a reasonable time of requesting. Food delivery, transportation (read Lyft and Uber), and other services fall under the on-demand spectrum. The trend is such that people want everything they need within 5-60 minutes of requesting. Attractive price points for the levels of convenience offered is what draws people towards the on-demand platforms.
Sectors where these services can be utilized
- Services such as Airbnb and Couchsurfing have implemented the on-demand concept in order to provide tourists with cheap accommodation facilities, and for people with vacant property to earn a good amount of money on it. Apartment and house sharing platforms have also become hugely popular.
- People need to get to one place from another all the time. Whether it be calling taxis, reserving parking spaces, or carpooling, on-demand transportation services have really taken the world by storm. Uber was perhaps the first successful on-demand platform, and the concept has been replicated to be put to good use by companies like Lyft.
- Food, e-commerce, and other delivery services have benefitted to a large degree from the on-demand concept. Piping hot pizzas can now reach customers within 30 minutes, and gadgets like TVs and consoles can be delivered in 2 days or less. The door-to-door delivery sector has really seen an upturn in fortunes, thanks to the development of innovative on-demand platforms.
- Professional services. Consultation, skilled labour, administration and accountancy services are all that can be required by people at a very short notice. Therefore, on-demand applications can be put to effective use, connecting people to professionals at short notices, and attractive rates.
The concept of on-demand app development
Using a mobile platform for carrying out on-demand services is perhaps the most viable option in today’s world. No one wants to fire up their decade-old PC to open Pizza Hut’s website, just to order a pizza. People prefer working on mobile apps, due to the sheer convenience and timesaving facilities offered by these platforms. Hence, the concept of an on-demand mobile app came up, for companies offering such services.
There are two different types of apps required here, one for the customer end, and one for the merchant end. At the customer side of things, there should be an interface which allows the customer to browse through the different types of services and products that are being offered, and book the one he/she wants. This booking should be received by the merchant through his/her app, which should then show all the relevant details of the order/booking. I’ll get into the working of both the client and the merchant side apps as we proceed further. This was the very basic and general way of how these platforms work, which is important for you to know before getting into On Demand app development.
Before initiating the process
Before getting into the nooks and crannies of what it takes for successful and Blockbuster On Demand app development, let us discuss the bare necessities that, simply put, entrepreneurs must incorporate into their platforms, in order to replicate even an iota of the success of bigger companies. This is by no means written in stone, and can be feasibly edited to meet your needs. Here, we will discuss things like running the minimum viable product for your platform, the essential features, and the partnerships that you should be looking to indulge in.
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
It is always advisable to create an MVP first, before creating the entire platform. The MVP for your platform is what that gives you a clear and succinct idea about how viable and scalable your product is. It will aid you in choosing the most cost-efficient development tools to get things done in the smallest time frames, and with the best quality possible. Once you get all the basics right, you could then expand to add necessary features and make your platform a flagship.
A well-executed and though-through MVP saves you an enormous time of time as well as money, and gives you invaluable experience and insights about your product and services along with feedback on top of it which is more than enough a reason for you to have patience and willingness to go for it. Apart from the product and technical end, this serves as the compulsory test of your business hypotheses and assumptions for the very market it needs to perform in. An insane number of A/B Tests need to be executed here, which has a lot to offer for your product in the long run. One important point I want to make here is that the landing page you use for your MVP can do wonders for your on-demand app development project, for good as well as worse. After all, it is literally the first things that is a part of your funnel. It’s the first place where everyone, which includes future customers, investors and even competitors, are at your disposal to explain what your product is. Your first impression must be excellent right? As I’ve stated in a number of previous blogs written by me, “you don’t get second chances with first impressions”.
User logins and registrations
Since you would be storing the data of potentially millions of users and merchants, it is ardently important to have a login facility. This can be done through mobile numbers, emails, or social media account connections. Creating a user profile on your app makes room for customized service suggestions, and gives you an opportunity to deal with your affiliates and customers on an individual basis.
You need to make sure that the login/signup options on your platform are not annoying, or cumbersome. Using Social Plugins for popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Google can be a good idea. However, there’s still a lot to take care of about this. Single-sign-on and OAuth2 Standard are something that you can look into.
Since the crux of on-demand platforms is delivering goods or services to the location of the request, it is a folly to take on On Demand app development without location detection. This helps in displaying localized search results, and make the process of booking and ordering services quicker and more efficient. GetLastLocation() is one interesting tool that can be used for Location Tagging which can be used to find the geographic location.
Filters and easy-to-use UI
It is almost a given that there is going to be a multitude of services available for customers to choose from on your platform. Thus, it is essential to create simple, fast and clean UI, so that users have no trouble finding what they want. If they do, they should always be able to apply relevant filters, which would help them get what they want faster. This is a very important aspect of On Demand app development and needs to be done perfectly.
This is an important aspect on both the consumer and the merchant side. Communication is key to running any successful business. A good on-demand platform should at least have a direct messaging facility, for quick exchange of information between the customer and the merchant offering the services. User help and support is another area of an on-demand platform that simply must be deployed.
Essential features for On Demand app development.
Applying all the aforementioned points will help you form the basis for your specialized on-demand platform. Once you have your MVP up and running, you can choose from this list of essential features in order to customize your platform to your liking. Choose some, or choose all, it depends on what services you are trying to offer. But do read about all these features-
A good on-demand app, among other things, must be able to estimate accurate ETAs for deliveries and give users the functionality to track their orders in a seamless manner. Tracking codes allow transparency in the process until the hub. But real-time tracking after that isn’t available in many places. So, once the package is out for delivery, businesses, as well as customers, are anxious. The lack of real-time tracking leads to ambiguity regarding the estimated time of delivery (ETD). In urban areas, the maze of narrow lanes and heavy traffic causes significant delays in individual deliveries. Thus, in the absence of proper route planning, the process becomes time-consuming. Also, proper collating of orders is required for deliveries to the far-flung rural areas. By being mindful of these factors, you can easily ensure the industry-leading tracking features within your on-demand delivery app.
If a person wants to make the exact same booking more than once, he/she should be able to do so in one click. Order history of a customer can help make all on-demand platforms efficient, as it is likely that regular customers will want the same thing very frequently. Adding a “save order to Favourites” feature is also a desirable one to have. A lot of product managers tend to overlook how crucial this can be in a successful On Demand app development, don’t be one of those.
On-demand isn’t always ‘immediate servicing’, per se. Although this is the usual case, it may happen that customers need to order/book some service for a future date. Hence, scheduling services are needed to check if the service provider is free on the wanted date. Bookings can thus be made well in advance using schedulers. Some of the most important APIs that can be used for scheduling tasks in android are GooogleFirebase Job Dispatcher and GCM Network Manager.
Feedback and criticism are what makes any project better. Reviews and feedback for the merchants by the customers and vice versa is important in order to keep the platform going efficiently. This helps the affiliates and merchants identify their weaknesses and work on them, to provide the best services they can. Additionally, this gives customers a sense of importance, as they feel they have a voice in how the system works. Works for both parties, doesn’t it?
On the merchant side of things, keeping track of inventories is perhaps a must-have feature. You don’t want your affiliates to take up orders, only to realize that they’re out of burger buns and can’t service any more burgers, do you? Timely notifications and alerts on inventory levels would surely be much appreciated by your merchants and affiliates.
Multiple payment options
With the increasing influence of plastic and digital money on our lives, cash is now being used less and less as a mode of payment. It only makes sense to incorporate all possible payment methods in your platform, ranging from credit and debit cards to mobile wallets, in addition to cash on delivery. Having a range of payment options to choose from will increase the acceptance of your platform.
Again, there’s a lot of chaos when it comes to payment modes. The first step is to make sure that the payment gateway you integrate is PCI Compliant. The next step is to look for the best APIs from payment gateway providers like that of Stripe and BrainTree.
Customers should be notified on their mobile devices about upcoming promotions, sales, and offers. It works for both parties, as customers do not miss out on the latest promotions and sales, and because of that, your orders and usage increases. Profits increase, and customer satisfaction skyrockets! If not push notifications, customers should at least be informed via emails or SMSes.
Wishlists or shopping carts
Suppose you are browsing products on Amazon. After hours and hours of searching and scrolling, you stumble upon two products that you really like. But you can only have one. How do you ensure that you do not have to spend those hours searching for these products again? By adding these products to your cart. Having a wishlist or a shopping cart option is extremely convenient for customers, who can revisit their chosen products at a later time without having to look for them.
Partnerships; Synergistic and Strategic
Developing an MVP and integrating special features isn’t the end of the road; developing an efficient on-demand platform takes something more. Perhaps, the most crucial element of having an efficient and effective on-demand platform is the partnerships between the creators and service providers, delivery personnel, vendors etc.
On-demand platform creators need to strategize and carefully select their partnerships. The requirement of tying up with vendors, merchants, delivery personnel and affiliates at different levels is what usually poses problems for budding entrepreneurs looking to develop successful on-demand platforms. Hence, it is crucial to pay more heed to this area than originally intended, since it can be cumbersome and complicated for new players.
Both synergistic and strategic partnership types should be put to good use. Coming together of two totally separate elements can sometimes form a world-beating partnership. Thinking of back in the day, when mobile phones were a rarity, it is very much likely that someone enthusiastic talked to a restaurant owner about home delivery of his dishes, at minimal costs. This is very likely how food delivery services were born; a result of synergistic partnerships between two businessmen (read entrepreneurs).
Uber, for example, ties up with drivers owning cars who are willing to affiliate with them. This enables Uber to put more taxis on the road for people to use, while the drivers earn good money by doing a respectable job. Two-way strategic partnerships, hence, always benefit both parties.
Once all the conceptualities of deciding features, tying up with affiliates, and the general planning is done…
Have a look at our guide on How to create an On Demand gas station app.
The amalgamation of design elements
Because of the cut-throat competition that’s there in this space, there’s only so much you can benefit from lower costs, better delivery and all the gazillion other things that we just talked about earlier. We’re not saying that perfecting all those gazillion other things is futile, but it’s not enough. You need to make the users feel the ‘warmth’ of your platform right from when they open your app for the first time. We say that, because you don’t get second chances with your first impression.
You can have a look at our UI Design Guide for deeper insights into Design.
What would you like your customers to see, when they first open up your on-demand platform app?
A cluttered screen, static elements, difficult-to-understand interface?
Or smooth transitions, clear-cut flows of action, and user-friendly interfaces?
This is where design elements come into place. Animations, design consistency, typographies… the amalgamation of all these elements truly leads to your on-demand platform mobile app becoming a spectacle for the human eye.
Your design inventories should be up-to-date with the latest trends and designs in the UI/UX sector, which helps improve consistency and scalability across the whole working team. Once the inventories are all sorted out, it is time to think about the animation designs/transitions that you want to incorporate in your app. It is not necessary to include over-the-top animations, but simple ones such as those for swiping and sliding actions should be designed carefully. Consistency in design is also of prime importance since customers do not want to remember three different actions for achieving the same objective. Incorporating these effective tips and tricks will not only help you pull in more users, but will also aid user retention.
Also Read: On Demand water delivery app development.
Get in touch for On Demand app development
This was our in-depth guide on how to create successful On Demand platforms in this modern day On Demand economy. We put some light on almost every aspect of it, from creating the perfect login page to making awesome payment options. Our designers and developers are continuously striving to help entrepreneurs and enterprises devise world-class On Demand app development practices. Not only this, a number of On Demand platforms made by us have been thriving in this modern world of amazing products making the lives of people and the world better, which makes us even more capable for creating the perfect On Demand app for you.