There’s no doubt that technology has brought about a profound change in almost every industry throughout the world. Now that we live in the digital era, with billions of people having access to smartphones, we can use cloud technology to collaborate, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence to optimize operations, and data analysis to extract crucial insights to radically improve the consumer experience.
Due to this continual stream of ever-more convenient technology, today’s consumers have sky-high expectations regarding things like product quality, delivery timelines, and the level of customer service, wherever and whenever they happen to be. If they don’t get it, there’s little stopping them from heading to the competition. As a result, the on-demand economy has blossomed as businesses seek new ways to meet these demands, improve services, and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
What is the on-demand economy?
The on-demand economy is regarded as economic activity generated by tech firms that satisfy customer demand through the instant provisioning of goods and services. Companies that operate in this sector also called the “access economy,” often prioritize convenience and transparency, making it as easy as possible for individuals to access the goods and services they need.
So, how exactly does it work? In most situations, the companies in the on-demand economy take traditional services like transportation, food delivery, or even home improvements and leverage technology to connect suppliers and consumers. This connection is typically made through a website or mobile application, with both participants creating accounts in order to use the service. Thus, when consumers require service, they access the app, enter their criteria, and submit a request to connect with a provider. Let’s now look at some companies driving the on-demand economy in their respective industries.
For many people, Uber is one of the true founders of the on-demand economy. While other companies entered the space before Uber began offering its on-demand taxi service, it’s safe to say Uber acted as the catalyst for many others to jump on board and follow suit.
One of their most successful subdivisions has been UberEats, an on-demand meal delivery service where couriers deliver food and other items such as groceries, entrées, drinks, and desserts to customers. Currently, UberEats is the largest food delivery service outside of China, with a revenue of $4.48 billion.
BetterHelp is a global leader in on-demand counseling services offered remotely. The program aims to assist persons suffering from mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, anger issues, eating disorders, and many others in gaining access to high-quality treatment online.
The service utilizes technology to allow open communication between the patient and the therapist. To communicate with their counselor, the patient can send text messages throughout the day or plan a time for a live chat, phone call, or video session.
GC Plus is one of the companies leading the on-demand revolution in the home improvement industry. The company offers an innovative platform where customers can instantly connect with plumbers and other repair specialists. Customers receive quotes using the GC Plus service, before the handymen arrive at their homes. The pricing is also fully transparent. All fees are negotiated up front, and there are no hidden charges or overtime feeds, since the handyman has already viewed and accepted the job before arrival.
In addition, there is even a video calling feature for areas where there are no available handymen, that allows clients and repairmen to connect remotely, which can help customers to fix smaller issues themselves and save money in the process.
Have you ever grown tired of going to the gas station to refuel your vehicle? EzFill, could be able to help you with that. With over 3 million gallons sold to date, this Florida-based company is an industry leader in on-demand fuel delivery. Its app-based interface lets users choose the time and location of their fuelling needs, upon which a driver will arrive and fill the car up for you. As you might expect, this service is becoming increasingly popular in recent times, particularly during the pandemic.
Furthermore, EzFill is currently the only firm that provides gasoline delivery in three vertical areas – consumer, commercial, and specialized – which is one of the reasons why it looks set to dominate the space in the next years.
Airbnb is one of the most prominent digital markets for lodging, homestays for vacation rentals, and tourism activities. Airbnb, founded in 2008 (one year before Uber), has long been regarded as one of the industry’s pioneers, making traveling and short-term vacation rental simple and convenient for millions of people worldwide.
The website allows property owners to market their property as holiday accommodation, enabling travelers to search and select a place to stay while away from home. All rates are transparent, and all negotiations, including any disputes, occur on the Airbnb platform.
With consumers continuing to demand more from businesses, we will likely see an increase in on-demand services emerge in the coming years. At the moment, the movement appears to be led by disruptive tech firms, with many of the major players in their respective industries overlooking the value of on-demand services. However, this is expected to change as smaller, more agile companies win market share away from larger competitors.