The “Amazon Factor” — Why Your Startup Needs an On-Demand Model
What do Amazon, Uber and Airbnb have in common?
An on-demand business model that exceeds consumer expectations.
These businesses and others like them revolve around exceptional ease of use, point-and-click delivery, and fair pricing. They filled a void before anyone even knew that the void existed.
Consumers have become accustomed to convenience, and with today’s “need-it-now” mentality, it’s important that startups understand how to create scalable consumer experiences that make life easy for the customer.
As in other marketplaces, healthcare faces the same challenges: demand for more convenient, consumer-centered care without compromising outcomes. Healthcare companies need to adapt and deconstruct their approaches and keep pace with demand through systematic controls such as digital-enhanced logistics, mobility, and new care models.
DispatchHealth, a company that brings high acuity care to patients at home, has adopted this on-demand model by building an innovative delivery model. This modern-day house call allows sick or injured people who don’t want to spend their time sitting in a waiting room to get quick, affordable and convenient care wherever is most comfortable. In turn, this helps reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations, improve clinical outcomes and decrease burdensome costs for the overall healthcare system.
Likewise, Glamsquad was created to provide beauty services to clients in several major metro areas. They provide hair, makeup, nails, even full wedding packages for the bride and her family and friends. And again, they do all this on the client’s schedule and at their preferred location. The beauty industry was a perfect target for this type of startup because it’s all about pampering the client. Allowing them to pick the time and place creates added value for women who are too busy to spend hours at the salon, or otherwise just want a more personal experience.
Another industry disruptor, Slate, has created a home-cleaning service that’s unlike any other. They send the same cleaner to clients’ homes every weekday. Clients create a to-do list and the housekeeper checks off items as they go. This industry was ripe for the picking as many cleaning startups send random cleaners once a week. Slate’s model allows housekeepers to actually get to know their clients’ preferences and create a sense of trust. Additionally, daily visits mean that if the client forgot to mention something that needs doing, they don’t have to either do it themselves or wait a week or more for the next visit. And for those who don’t want or need a daily visit, personalized schedules are available too.
Why it Works
What do all of these on-demand businesses have in common? They’re all designed to create a personalized experience, and do exactly what the client wants, on the client’s preferred schedule. Catering to the whims of clients allows for the convenience, speed, and ease-of-use that today’s market demands. For each of these businesses, they’re filling a need that normally requires a good amount of planning ahead to make an appointment, or a good deal of time, sitting in a waiting room for example.
For each of these startups, quality matters at least as much as convenience. These are not “Uber for X” apps that match contractors with little or no training to clients through a tech-only business model. Rather, these companies create trust and value for the clients by only using trained professionals who can answer questions, provide excellent service, and create an experience that makes people want to use the app again and again – and tell their friends too.
If you’re planning on launching a service-related startup, consider the on-demand model and the convenience and simplicity it can offer to your target market. But also make sure you really understand your industry from the ground up, so you don’t wind up being just another failed project that relied too heavily on tech and failed to provide a quality service.