On-demand apps almost came as a movement in the digital world and transformed the way we avail services and ready-to-use business deliverables. -E-commerce stores like Amazon and eBay were the first on-demand apps and over time the business model penetrated across other niches. Now, from booking a taxi ride online to booking food delivery to booking accommodation in a distant city, on-demand apps are making spaces for every different customer interaction.
As these on-demand apps are gradually building the foundation for a fully-fledged on-demand economy, the future of e-commerce will depend on how new and cutting-edge features are introduced and how the user experience can be boosted with new UI and UX elements. But before taking a look into the future of on-demand e-commerce, it is essential to understand the evolution of the on-demand apps in recent years.
Let us have a brief look at various facets of this ongoing evolution.
- Mobile-push for change: Already mobile search has surpassed desktop search in both volume and frequency. Moreover, mobile has become a lifestyle factor allowing instant access to services and contents. It is a mobile device’s round the clock connectivity and ease of keeping in constant touch that has made it a key to the thriving on-demand economy.
- Overwhelming Social Media penetration: The penetration of social media across all spheres of life has helped people staying connected while communicating almost on anything and everything, giving businesses a never-before opportunity to cater to the customer demands.
- Addressing value as well as a convenience: With the proliferation of on-demand apps, we can see two gross categories of consumers- the value-oriented and the convenience-oriented consumers. Besides giving priority to more value at a lesser cost, the on-demand apps are now facilitating more convenient and timely delivery of products.
- Frictionless business process: Allowing easy and smooth purchase with least friction in the business process has become the subject of demand for most consumers. Frictionless and smooth customer experience and delivery are the two most important criteria that on-demand apps fulfill.
How to cater to customers with on-demand e-commerce apps?
If as a business you want to cater to your customers with on-demand apps, there are several ways you can do that. When providing customers more value is your priority, you can only ensure this with easier, connected and smooth e-shopping experience.
4 specific ways you can cater to your customers with on-demand e-commerce apps.
- By trying and testing various services, you can easily get a first-hand feel of how these services work. Next, evaluate what the services do best and what they don’t. Now, think about how you can deliver a better service for your customers.
- To transform your existing business into an on-demand business, you can also partner with a service provider who can ensure same-day delivery of your products to the customers. You can partner with services like Google Express, Instacart, Amazon, PostMates, Google Express, Uber Rush, etc.
- You can also utilize the BOPUS (by online, pick up in store) model to cater to many customers who find this helpful. Always make sure to minimize the time and trouble for the customers to pick up products from your store.
- Providing on-site installation of the product can also boost customer experience. You can partner with a service provider to install the product and guide the customers about its usage.
How on-Demand apps are transforming the face of business?
The on-demand economy is experiencing a never-before boom and there are too many examples of how it has transformed businesses. The emergence of Uber and Airbnb is an excellent example of how on-demand apps deliver popular service for several daily needs. Just as Uber transformed the way we think of transport, Airbnb transformed the way we conceive booking accommodations and hotels in places of travel. Similarly, apps like Swiggy, Just Eat and Uber Eats are continuing to change the way we order foods from restaurants and food chains. The same business model is slowly penetrating across other niches and products. From the daily consumable goods to the groceries, now almost everything is being delivered through on-demand apps to our doorstep.
Thanks to customer-centric UI and UX elements in mobile apps and an increasing number of businesses paving the way for unique and innovative shop fronts, personalization has become one of the biggest driving factors for on-demand mobile apps. Consumers also have got the taste of personalized shopping experience, and they are increasingly demanding products, services and shopping experience that suit their specific needs and preferences. This is one area where on-demand apps within the same niche are competitive in a bid to deliver better customer experience and win more business.
The Future of On-demand eCommerce Apps
The future of the on-demand e-commerce apps will mainly revolve around new concepts and breakthrough ideas of providing customers more ease and convenience. From gesture-based checkout and payment processing to product search through images to video chat, a lot of breakthrough features will shape the future of on-demand e-commerce apps.
Unlike the conventional marketing channels that follow the one-way directive, in the new era of on-demand e-commerce apps, conversational marketing will play a bigger role. From intelligent Chatbots to real-time video chat communication, we have a lot of avenues to utilise conversational marketing methods.
Image-Based Product Search
By integrating image search technology with the e-commerce interfaces customers can be provided with an easy and effortless ways of searching for products online. They can take photos of nearby objects and can search for those items across e-commerce stores.
Real-time Shopping Apps
What about getting access to products just when and where you need them? Well, such ease of shopping in real-time may not be a distant thing of the future, thanks to real-time shopping apps. Just when you need a particular product, you can shop it then and there and based upon availability, the order can be accepted and delivered from the nearest store in time.
Biometrics is already part and parcel of smart user experience. Gestures are also used in the latest mobile handsets for login and authentication. So, those days are not far when the gestures will be used for customer login and authentication in the e-commerce store. This will make the entire shopping experience easier, effortless and least time-consuming.
The future of on-demand e-commerce apps is bright. In the years to come, the on-demand apps are going to be more mainstream and commonplace to transform the business process and the way customers are served by retailers across the niches.
Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd. with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well. You can find him on Linkedin, Twitter, and Medium.