5 Tips for Success in the On-Demand Economy

5 Tips for Success in the On-Demand Economy

How many times this year did you hear a business described as, “It’s like Uber, but for…”?

From groceries, to lodging, to — yes — transportation, a new crop of businesses has sprung up in recent years, providing their customers convenience at the push of a button.

And as the on-demand economy has risen, so have customer expectations that you should be able to get what you want, when you want it, with a minimum of fuss (and maybe even a bit of fun). Learn how data-driven marketing can help drive growth and sustainability in the long run.

The rise of the on-demand economy is intertwined with the sharing economy. Most on-demand service businesses aim to disrupt an existing industry by capitalizing on a ready-made workforce with a ready-made infrastructure. Uber and Lyft connect independent drivers with their own cars to passengers waiting for pickup. Postmates bridges the gap between hungry customers and the restaurants that surround them. Etsy helps artisans reach a nationwide marketplace.

The on-demand industry represents one of the best opportunities for business growth.

But some observers, such as Quartz, warn of an impending bubble collapse due to:

      Fickle customers.

      Expensive, sporadic services.

      A reliance on venture capital subsidies.

Despite these challenges, on-demand services can and have succeeded and gone on to become household names. How can you drive growth at your business?


Whether you’re starting out or trying to build momentum, here are a few tips to help your on-demand service business grow:

  1. Focus on passionate users first. One of the keys to getting an on-demand business off the ground is building up a critical mass of highly-engaged early adopters. The early adopters can be your first evangelists. If you can delight them with a seamless experience and a high-quality service, they’ll spread the word to new groups of users.
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2. Personalize customer experience. People are busy. Customers of on-demand services choose convenience over price. They expect you to know them, inform them and send them relevant information wherever they are in the lifecycle. Knowing and engaging your customers in real-time is essential to driving loyalty.

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3. Engage service providers/sellers. As an on-demand business in the sharing economy, you have to keep two very different groups of stakeholders engaged: users and service providers. Don’t neglect the service provider side of the equation. Ultimately, they’re the ones who will represent you to your customers. And whether or not they’re empowered to deliver a pleasing service can make or break your company

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4. Build a community. Etsy is the perfect example of turning a service into a community— by nurturing a two-sided marketplace. Forbes writes: “With tools to curate sellers and products, and opportunities to connect with other buyers and sellers, Etsy has turned into one of the strongest communities out there and is creating passionate users every day.”

5. Practice location-based marketing. Most on-demand services are local. Location-based marketing strategies such as geo-fencing, running hyper-localized campaigns are key to on-demand success.


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