Here is a snapshot of how my every day looks like!

I wake up at 5.30 am, with my groggy eyes I check my phone. My Running app prompts me to get up and go for a run. It understands my fitness goals and schedules my training. It motivates me, plays my favourite music, keeps a track on my activity and pushes me to reach my goal. I return home feeling content and famished. My app suggests my daily meal plan and also takes charge of the cooking instructions. While I hastily try to get ready, with just a few taps on my phone, I book my Careem ride. On my way, I engage on social media and look through my Flipboard to read some content curated just for me. At work, I deal with various automated platforms that simplify my day-to-day tasks. At lunch, I use Zomato to order myself a quick lunch on my desk. One app reminds me of my meetings while another to stay hydrated. In the evening, I use el Grocer to get my groceries delivered to my doorstep at the desired time. Oh no, my cook yet again disappeared on me. UrbanClap to my rescue! I plop on my couch and do some Netflix while I instruct Alexa to turn the lights out. How this day different to my mother’s day?

She uses her phone to call the cab company to book a cab, walks down to the restaurant close to work to grab lunch, picks up grocery from the nearest local grocery store and interacts with the neighbours to take suggestions for the best yoga place or cook in the area and ends her day by watching live TV. Starkly different from my day, isn’t it?

The change in the consumer lifestyle and behaviour has given rise to the ‘on demand consumer’. This consumer dominates the ‘lifestyle commerce industry’ and is always on, always responsive and always delivering. Lifestyle commerce is based on the now and real-time experiences as opposed to e-commerce where consumers engage using a website that is time and process driven. On demand removes the service provider to create direct and quick contact between the company and the consumer. The lifetime buying power of tech native millennial generation is 10.4 billion dollars only using on-demand services at hand (Accenture, 2015). Many new age businesses are driving change to become available on demand to create successful revenue models causing a massive disruption in the e-commerce and traditional industries all across the globe.

The On-demand Consumer’s Expectations

On-demand solutions: In the past, consumers accessed the website/store, researched to decide and waited to receive their delivery. Whereas, the on-demand consumer wants things NOW!

On demand peer reviews: In the e-commerce days, we logged into our social media platforms and asked our friends for reviews while now they are available on the app right there and then. If we login using through our social media profile, we can even read the trusted reviews of our friends. Voila, it can’t get simpler than this!

On-demand offers: Instant coupons when you enter a store using geofence technology or offers when you enter an app based on your previous selections. These easily accessible discounts offered at the right place and at the right time allow customers to make fast decisions.

On demand success: We go on a food delivery app, select the restaurant, read reviews, browse the offers, make a decision and get the food delivered. The process allows us to get what we want at the time we want creating a loop of successfully satisfied customers.

On demand service: With services available on-demand, there arises a need of 24/7 customer service. Technology providers have already addressed this gap and are deploying automated bots using artificial intelligence to ensure round the clock service. Surveys depict, a customer expects to have their query answered in approx. 60 minutes in contrast to traditional scenarios where it is 24-48 hours. The shift from one brand to the other in the on-demand world is just a few taps away therefore; this becomes essential in earning repeat business.

How to be available on demand

  1. Find a gap in the traditional models. Understand how everyday products can be made more convenient, identify people’s pain points and provide a product/service on the go for the new on-demand consumer. E.g. Airbnb, Hey doc etc.
  2. Cross-collaborate to offer all in one solution- one platform with multiple services equals time-saving and quick delivery. E.g. Zomato
  3. Direct app experience without splitting customers into two platforms. Ensure your technology is geared towards the thumb first experience.
  4. Integrate social media in the user interface. For the on-demand consumer, social media is second nature and they consider it like a person and not like an app.
  5. Include as much automation to offer end-to-end digital solutions. The on-demand consumer is hungry for automation and is progressing towards IoT, machine learning, virtual reality and other technologies to get a seamless experience.
  6. Be awake 24/7 for your customer.
  7. Constant development- progress with the customer as they move through their buyer’s journey. Keep your product relevant by adding few features or by collaborating with new vendors.
  8. Easy to use products- Tap, Tap, Tap and in three clicks the goal is fulfilled. Intuitive, personalised and seamless is the way to go!