We are in the midst of a smart, on-demand era, whereas we all know, technology has completely changed the world for us by making instant delivery of goods and services possible. The convergence of the mobile internet, GPS-enabled devices, and tech-inspired business models have created an explosion of sorts in the on-demand space, and services such as Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, and many others have inherently become a part of our daily routines. The on-demand economy has been witnessing miraculous growth since the beginning, something which is expected to continue well into the future. According to a report from Harvard Business Review, the on-demand economy is attracting more than 22.4 million consumers annually and $57.6 billion in spending. And these numbers perhaps would soon become history, with no looking back at all.
The question that arises is that will 2018 be the year of another boom in the on-demand world, or is the hype going to simply settle? PWC estimates that the on-demand economy will reach a whopping US$335 billion by 2025. Therefore, 2018 is likely to be bright and would bring the industry closer to the estimated number. There are many factors contributing to the growth this innovative industry, but to start with, the constantly evolving consumer behavior is likely to give a strong push to the on-demand scenario. Customer needs would continue to grow and those who are able to adapt themselves to the frequency of change are likely to emerge as winners.
Secondly, the massive growth in the number of smartphone users is considered as a great opportunity for on-demand players to expand their reach. With the number of these users expected to reach 2.87 billion by 2020, the scope of consumption of on-demand services would become enormous, and the industry would gain another growth trigger. Thirdly, the unprecedented rise of social media would also stimulate the demand for on-demand services during the year and take it to a new high.
Moreover, data plays a crucial role in today’s scenario, and with so much of consumer data being aggregated each day – from consumer preferences, feedback on any product or service, geo-coordinates, etc – the on-demand start-ups would be able to take more informed decisions that could enhance their products. This is another great opportunity for the on-demand players. Besides this, with an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship, we would see a large number of players entering the on-demand market with unique set of offerings. Also since aggregation of all kinds of data.
However, the biggest opportunity, as well as the biggest challenge to the growth on-demand framework, is posed by technology. With technological advances taking place at a sky-rocketing pace, there is often a fear that something bigger and better would emerge, that would offer greater convenience to the consumer. This could sideline and shake the concept of the on-demand, bringing something else to the fore. In such a scenario, innovation and evolution are key things that these startups need to stick to in order to emerge successfully.
Another key challenge in the context is that on-demand companies that would fail to attract enough venture capital might not be able to hold on to the customer base and stay afloat. To attract investors, startups must deliver value and have a specific draw to differentiate themselves in the already flooded markets.
With all this happening and a lot underway, it would be right to say that on-demand economy isn’t going anywhere. The world is already swarming with on-demand start-ups, and more would soon join the wagon in 2018. However, it is extremely important to analyze the climate around you before taking the big leap. Well, if anyone is looking to enter the on-demand space, the time is now.