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A Comprehensive Guide to Developing an On-Demand App

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A Comprehensive Guide to Developing an On-Demand App

On-demand apps provide services like rides and food delivery. These tips will help make your on-demand mobile solution successful.

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On-demand applications solve problems of average people with real-world solutions. Uber's on-demand taxi service, accompanied by a couple of apps, lets you evade the queue outside taxi ranks. There is a reason on-demand apps are sometimes called Uber for X, where X can be any service or product that is to be delivered at the customer's end.

On-demand services find relevance in industries previously unthought of. For example, Chime connects nearby babysitters and parents on a Saturday night. Glamsquad delivers professional hair and makeup artists to your door, with appointments booked with the app. Soothe sends a massage therapist your home within an hour's notice.

Not to mention, there are countless on-demand food delivery apps, home, same day e-commerce, parking, and beauty/health services in the market, and many more on the verge of Uber-ization.

Catching Up With the Market Trends

The On-Demand economy grew at a rate nobody fathomed, considering Uber introduced UberX only 5 years ago.

U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows some impressive numbers:

Although millennials still are the most demanding users of on demand services, the elderly are catching up fast, particularly with the advancement of on-demand healthcare apps.

The on-demand economy is reaching an assorted geographic spread in the U.S., with 39% of its consumers from rural areas, 30% from outer suburbs, and 31% major cities. This is indeed a good sign for businesses looking to investing in it.

On-demand apps = greater investors' interest

If your business works as a bridge between a set of buyers and sellers or service providers and receivers, you must invest in on-demand app development without giving a second thought. Even if you're a startup trying to come up with some unique ideas to impress investors, you can develop an idea across the on-demand model, leverage on the booming on-demand and app economy, and ultimately get funded.

In fact, most businesses investing in on-demand apps are startups. Food and grocery delivery app is an exciting space to start with despite immensely competitive market. 39 US-based private food startups with $5 million or more in funding are into the food and grocery delivery business, although Uber and Airbnb still rule. Apparently, they all are startups.

Getting Started With On-Demand App Development

Figure Out What You Want to Be

On an on-demand platform, you could be anything from a mere aggregator to an end-to-end on-demand service provider. UberEATS works with aggregators to provide delivery services to restaurants that don't have delivery people of their own. The McDonald's McDelivery app is an example of an end-to-end, or full-service on-demand app. McDonald's takes care of everything the very moment it receives an order from a customer to the moment he receives it.

Food Panda is a classic example of an aggregator app. It aggregates local restaurants on its platform, which is available to its customers by means of web development for mobile apps. As soon as it receives an order, it passes the information to the respective restaurant. From that moment, the obligation to deliver the order lies with the restaurant.

With more control comes greater risks. Startups love to mitigate risks as much as possible in their initial stages. No wonder aggregator platforms are so many.

Work Around What You Have

If you are some sort of retail business and use a POS system for day-to-day transactions, you can contact your POS vendor if it provides third-party APIs to developers. Most POS vendors provide API access to their partners and customers for a fee or free depending on the subscription plan.

API access to your POS system will let an independent mobile app development develop a customized app that can call functions to the POS system. The same system that you use every day to handle and fulfill orders will now let your customers make orders directly from the app to the POS system, minimizing hassles.

Without API access, the coding that goes into your app's backend increases substantially, hence the cost.

Business benefits of an on-demand method of delivery over traditional methods:

  • Mobile-first user experience
  • Fast delivery of products or services
  • Cheaper prices than traditional service providers or sellers
  • Independent contractors working part-time
  • Frictionless payment
  • Actionable rating systems

Features typical to on-demand mobile apps:

  • Client Apps(s)
  • Delivery App(s)
  • Booking Delivery
  • Accepting Order (and Rejecting)
  • Price Calculation (or Fare Calculation)
  • List of Order/ Requests
  • Real-time Tracking
  • Maps and Navigation
  • Payment Gateway Integration
  • Delivery Confirmation
  • Review and Rating

Cost of Development

The amount of money that goes into developing an app goes depends upon the number of hours that go into developing it. While we can't give you an exact number unless you have discussed your app requirements in detail with us, we tried our best to give you a fair estimate based on the typical features mentioned in above section.

Like I discuss, the backend part is needed to make the frontend part (user part of an application) of a software solution work-web and mobile apps in this case. A UI design screen makes designer or the front of the app.

The owner of the application (often the app publisher) needs a panel to control every module of the software solution.

In addition, an app requires integration with many 3rd party services, for example, Google Maps, Payment Gateways depending upon the features agreed upon.

Moreover, separate apps must be developed for providers and end users. So, all in all, 4 apps must be developed-2 each for iOS and Android.

If we multiply the number of hours by the average per hours rate in various countries, you'll have an idea of how much it costs to develop an app.

No doubt, India is the cheapest place on the planet to develop a quality on-demand app. An app, that costs a quarter million in the USA, costs less $50K in India.

White Label Solutions Cut Development Costs

If you find those costs on a higher note, you can procure a white label app solution. A white label app solution is basically a ready-to-go pre-developed, pre-tested app solution that in a little time can be customized to your requirements.

Most white-label vendors offer end to end solution. They go through your requirements and customize every module of the solution accordingly. Once you're satisfied with the prototype, they brand the solution so that it looks like yours, runs in a test environment and, once satisfied, publishes it on app stores and provide support in the form of regular updates or individual support.

Analysts agree that a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices are necessary to optimize your mobile app testing - learn more in this white paper, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
mobile ,mobile app development ,on demand

Published at DZone with permission of Shahid Mansuri, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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