In our technology-driven world, convenience and efficiency drive almost everything we do. Companies big and small are seeking new ways to provide products and services to us faster than ever without sacrificing quality. One of the ways they are doing this is with on-demand apps and on-demand app development.

Ever since Uber launched in 2009, businesses have seen the immense value of on-demand applications and have attempted to create similar successes in other industries. Now, companies like Postmates, Lyft, and Favor are cashing in on this lucrative approach to customer success.

Nevertheless, although not every entrepreneur or business owner has investors behind them like these companies, they may still want to build their own on-demand solutions. Today, we are hoping to answer some common questions about the process and help you better understand how you can boost your offering with on-demand app development. Let’s get started.

on-demand app development

Defining On-Demand Mobile Applications

First, let’s take a look at the definition of on-demand mobile applications. Considering this is still a fairly recent phenomenon, there are a lot of different descriptions floating around online, but we think this definition from Appinventiv hits closest to the mark:

“An on-demand app is a mobile application that empowers you to request a product/service through the app and get it delivered to your doorstep or bring the service to you.”

Put more succinctly, on-demand apps are basically the “Uber for” whatever service you are trying to promote. Now that other companies have popped up offering their own version of on-demand services, there’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door before all of the “Uber for” businesses have already been done.

Rise in Popularity

Not only has on-demand app development changed the way we approach mobile apps, it has become the new face of the market. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, convenience is at the top of customers minds today. With companies like Amazon offering 2-day shipping and Postmates delivering straight to your home, the easier to use and faster you can get your product into the hands of your customers the better.

On top of that, with more companies offering their APIs to integrate with third-party applications, smaller companies and startups can scale their abilities without breaking the bank. For instance, if you were running an on-demand delivery app, you could work with Google to build out the maps on your application, making it easier for your drivers to plan their routes.

Market Potential

Thankfully, as we mentioned, most ideas for on-demand app development have yet to be taken advantage of. This leads to a large amount of opportunities and potential in the market for your business to succeed, if done correctly. Imagine the competitive edge you could have if your service is mobile and on-demand while other companies in your market struggle to keep up.

Additionally, considering how fast companies like Uber and Airbnb blew up, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that adding an on-demand element to your application would make your business more enticing to potential investors. While this type of mobile app is more likely to turn a profit already, imagine the impact attracting the right investors could have on your future.

Common Questions

Now that we have laid out the popularity and potential of on-demand app development, it’s time we take a look at some common questions about the process. While you may have heard about on-demand apps, most business owners are still confused about how they work, where to get started, and who can use these applications.

Our hope is to belay any anxieties you might have about getting started so that you can take advantage of on-demand app development yourself. With that said, let’s take a look at these common questions.

1. “Where do I get started?”

Like any successful mobile app, on-demand app development begins with an idea. As we already mentioned, there are plenty of opportunities out there in a variety of industries that are ripe for disruption. Once you decide on the market you hope to serve, your next step should be to find someone who can help you turn your idea into a reality.

For example, a company came to us a few years ago with the idea for an on-demand mobile app that would provide hair stylists with a place to list their services online for customers to find them. Then, after making an appointment, the stylist would come to the customer and provide them with a haircut or styling.

Not only were we able to create both a customer-facing app and a client app for them, but they have seen great success from this initiative. By getting in before the competition and spending time crafting an excellent user experience, they have been able to stay ahead of the curve. If you want to read more about the Birdie app, you can read more here.

2. “How does it work?”

The next common question entrepreneurs have when researching on-demand app development is simply “How does it all work?” After all, it’s one thing to come up with an app idea, another to actually create the software you desire.

In order to explain how this works, it will help to divide the discussion into two segments: the customer app and the client app. If it helps you to picture this, imagine the Uber app and the Uber Drivers app, two separate but interdependent applications that need to send each other information and communicatee constantly. Let’s look at the customer app first.

Customer App

For the customer app, the most important thing will be establishing a firm connection between the server and this application, for a couple of reasons. First, you want to ensure an excellent user experience, and efficient integrations will go a long way to do that. But secondly, the better the app can communicate with the server (and thus the client app), the more convenient your software will be for your clients.

We recommend working within ReactNative when developing an on-demand app, as rapid data communication will be the most vital aspect of the project. Additionally, you will want to solidify your API integrations early on to avoid service interruption after product launch. Ultimately, the best way to make sure your customer app works well will be through rigorous quality assurance testing.

Client App

Moving on to the client app, this will be a much different approach than how you might tackle the customer app. On the client side, you want to put efficiency and processing speed ahead of everything else. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was when I worked as Lyft driver to wait for the app to load a ride, only to realize seconds later I had missed my chance. Poor speed not only effects your drivers, it will affect your bottom line.

That being said, the user experience should still be taken seriously, just in a different way. Rather than flooding the client app with features, you just want to make sure that the client, whether that is delivery drivers or hair stylists, is able to serve users as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means shortening processes, creating shortcuts, and asking for feedback to constantly improve.

If you are able to hit each of these marks for both the client and customer app, the hard part of on-demand app development will be behind you. From there, your main focus will be finding your place in the market.

3. “How much will this cost?”

The next common concern we hear from clients looking to develop an on-demand solution is “How much will this cost?” After all, building an on-demand network is no easy task and the cost of development often expands with complexity. Thankfully, while yes it will be more expensive to build two dependent apps, most of the work you put in will be applicable to both applications, cutting things down a bit.

When considering the app development cost, you should think about the type of return you are hoping to see from your application. This is why figuring out factors like pricing, industry, and necessary features early in the process will be extremely beneficial, especially when deciding what kind of investment, you want to make in the development.

Ultimately, the cost will vary based on these features and more, but if you are confident in your idea, no cost will be too much. Although a lot of the spending will be frontloaded to the beginning of the project, taking a long-term approach will keep things in perspective.

4. “Which industry should I operate within?”

Finally, the last frequently asked question that we receive about on-demand app development goes back to the beginning of our discussion, “Which industry should I operate within?” Entrepreneurs and business owners understand that on-demand apps are the future, they just don’t know where to get started. Thankfully, as we mentioned earlier, most industries are still untapped.

While we could easily list a series of different ideas for mobile app development, they wouldn’t be as effective or inspired as what you will discover simply by looking in the right places. If you want to create your own on-demand app, start viewing your world through that lens. Likely you will end up noticing things you never have and begin to start filling out your idea with real-world experiences.

This, in the end, will be the best way to create an app with the legs needed to go the distance: find a real-world problem and create a solution to solve it.

Final Thoughts

As you begin to reassess the world around you, we hope that these questions will no longer hold you back from pursuing your on-demand solution. The next Uber is already out there waiting for someone to discover it. Which makes the question, will it be you?

We certainly hope so.