The on-demand economy is growing exponentially, and this growth does not seem to be going anywhere quickly. Today, countless companies are coining themselves as the “Uber of X” and disrupting the way traditional industries operate to make our lives easier, more efficient, and more convenient. The rapid growth of the on-demand sector proves that consumers crave the “instant gratification” lifestyle and the interest in on-demand services shows no signs of slowing down.
The on-demand space is known for making life easier for us all, so what does the future hold for this exciting space? Here are three predictions for the future of the on-demand economy in the new year.
1. The Consolidation of On-Demand Marketplaces – There are so many new on-demand services appearing seemingly every day. Often, several of these are for the exact same service — whether in the same or different cities. However, this trend of competition is set to fade out relatively soon. We will start to see industry leaders appear and begin to acquire many of the smaller competing companies that offer the same or similar services.
A prime example of this is our recent acquisition of Yardsale and FOBO. Both Yardsale and FOBO were service-based companies designed to help consumers sell their unwanted items (mainly electronics), and our acquisition was one of the many steps we’ve taken to consolidate the second-hand consumer electronics marketplace and maintain Gone’s foothold as a leader in this space. This trend is set to continue across many other industries as well until a monopoly exists (think Uber) for each primary on-demand service offered — whether it’s on-demand laundry service, dog-walking, etc.
2. On-Demand Services Will Partner Up – Creative on-demand partnerships are on the rise as on-demand services have figured out how to package their services together to provide consumers with the best product possible. Think of it as the next step in the trend of traditional retailers partnering with Postmates, or hotels partnering with Uber.
For example, an on-demand dinner reservation app could partner with an on-demand child care app to provide parents with an effortless night out. These types of partnerships would save consumers loads of time. You will no longer need to find each of these on-demand services separately or waste time organizing the logistics of both services. It will also be an extremely beneficial way for on-demand services to increase sales separately.
3. Increased Speed – On-demand services are going to need to operate even faster as the standards for timeliness are constantly pushing the limits of what is physically possible.
Giants such as Amazon and Google have already begun offering various on-demand delivery services — from same-day to as little as an hour.
“Same-day and same-hour delivery have the potential to open an entirely new retail segment to Amazon—the instant gratification market,” Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst tells the WSJ. “Traditional retailers have historically enjoyed in-store pickup as a competitive advantage over Amazon—that advantage is slowly going away.”
The high standards set by companies like Amazon will have major effects on smaller on-demand services and the ways they will need to compete in this new ultra-competitive environment. Competing on-demand services will be at war until the faster, more efficient service emerges and we see the consolidation of these marketplaces take place (as mentioned above).
These trends will take some time to emerge, but the latter two predictions should be very exciting to end-consumers as we will see faster, more efficient on-demand services come forth.
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