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26 October, 2021

On-Demand Home Services App Development: Steps to Follow

On-demand services skyrocketed in popularity during the last two years. As a result, more applications appear to address all the needs of businesses and the public. Here’s a substantial guide on creating such an app that will help you meet all the market requirements.

Dasha Rizoy

Head of Business Development

Today, the number of on-demand service apps is incredible. It’s difficult to imagine an industry that isn’t affected by them. Taxi, food delivery, shopping, cleaning, reservations, and more are available with just a few clicks.

2020 boosted the popularity of such apps. People got stuck at home, so the necessity for on-demand services became high as ever. Moreover, new industries try themselves in providing people on-demand services, so the market is flourishing and evolving. 

If this scenario looks attractive and you want to offer an on-demand service app, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to create one. It will ensure that you’re going in the right direction.

What are on-demand services?

The main characteristic of on-demand services is the fact they’re provided only when the client needs them. These services are fast and highly available so the client will complete the necessary task in no time.

Here are the examples of the most popular on-demand service industries:

  • Food delivery

  • Transportation

  • Travel booking

  • Babysitting

  • Plumbing

  • Cleaning

  • E-commerce

  • Logistics

Usually, these services are ordered via dedicated apps and platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, and DoorDash. 

How do on-demand home services apps work? 

An on-demand home services application is a link between a service provider and a client. The necessary services are available for the public with just a few clicks. These apps became a convenient way for people to get what they want and for businesses to find their clientele. 

Even though there are plenty of on-demand services apps that are focused on various industries, their general user flow looks quite similar. Here it is:

  • A client puts a request inside the app.

  • The request is sent to the service provider.

  • The provider accepts the request and authorizes payment.

  • The service is fulfilled.

  • The customer confirms the completed task.

  • Payment is made.

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It’s easy to notice that such an app should have at least three user roles: the end-user (clients), service providers, and platform admins. It should be taken into account during the development and we will talk about it in more detail later.

For now, let’s move on to the on-demand services app market.

Let’s overview the on-demand home services market

It’s easy to guess that with people being at home most of the time, on-demand services got a significant boost. More people need goods and services delivered to their houses and use dedicated apps to order what they want. Here are some numbers that prove the grown popularity of on-demand services.

  • The on-demand home services market is expected to grow 49% at a CAGR by the end of 2021.

  • The same study says that by 2024, the market will reach $1,574.86 billion.

  • In 2020, the most demanding home services were home cleaning, repairs, salon and beauty treatments, electrician, and plumbing.

  • 46% of U.S. consumers prefer emails or mobile and web apps for ordering on-demand services.

  • However, only 38% of small and medium home service companies offer online self-scheduling.

  • Google states that in 2019, the number of searches with “local” and “near me” was 350 times bigger compared to 2010.

  • Scheduling with phone calls can hurt businesses: Invoca found out that around 18% of calls aren’t answered on weekdays and 41% on weekends meaning on-demand services can lose around half of their potential clients.

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These statistics show that creating an on-demand services app is worth trying. But which one to create? Let’s take a look at the types you can choose from.

What are the main types of on-demand services apps?

When building a mobile platform that will gather home service providers, you need to decide where to focus. In general, there are five niches to consider: food delivery, cleaning, repairs, logistics, and healthcare.

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  • Food delivery

Customers can choose from the list of meals in a restaurant or from the list of groceries in a shop and order everything online. This service benefits both clients and businesses: People don’t have to leave their houses and businesses can continue working during the restrictions.

  • Cleaning

These apps will provide clients with all kinds of house cleaning services. They can be booked for the same day, in advance or customers can create an automated schedule so they won’t have to do this routine again and again.

  • Repairs and renovation

If you need to fix the water pipes or paint the walls in your house, these platforms are for you. Here clients can find the necessary services to upgrade and repair their homes such as plumbing, electricians, carpenters, construction workers, and so on.

  • Logistics and load transfer

This service can save the day if a person is moving out or needs to transport something big and heavy. Furniture, household appliances, and fragile objects will be moved safely and quickly.

  • Healthcare

On-demand healthcare is extremely important in 2021. A lot of people are stuck in their homes and don’t have any ability to visit a doctor. Sure, it’s difficult to diagnose or treat serious diseases, but these apps can help you book a simple consultation with a specialist.

These types are the most popular for today, but you can go more specific. For example, dog walking, tech support, or flowers delivery will be also welcomed by the public. Another way to handle it is to create a cross-service platform that will combine two or more types of services.

Most popular on-demand home services apps

Now, when we know the types of on-demand services apps, we can consider the top-notch players to see what they already offer. It will help you understand how to enter the market and stay afloat among the competitors.

DoorDash

With DoorDash, everything is in one place. This food delivery service can bring breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from local restaurants that have delivery services. Its menu has more than 300,000 meals and functions in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The best part is DoorDash can deliver alcoholic beverages from stores and breweries.

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HouseJoy

HouseJoy is one of the best on-demand service apps for the completion of general tasks. Whether it’s a total home renovation or simply the updating of a room, HouseJoy is ready to offer certified and verified specialists to get it done. Available on iOS and Android, it offers a quick-and-simple booking procedure.

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TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is the best solution when it comes to choosing a specialist on the basis of your budget. This marketplace offers you affordable talents to complete your tasks. It has a gift card program and functions in 36 U.S. states and seven other countries, including Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Thumbtack

Each app on the list has impressive functionality, but Thumbtack is the richest in that regard. Here you'll find the specialists needed for a wide array of projects. It covers areas such as photography, web design, education, wedding planning, pet services, event management, and more. The client just needs to choose the necessary service, browse the list of specialists, compare prices and book the most appropriate candidate.

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Doctor on Demand

With the pandemic so severely influencing our way of living, telehealthcare seems such as a good solution. Doctor on Demand lets the user make a video call to a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist and get a consultation. The patient will see the cost upfront, ensuring transparency. All specialists on the app are licensed and U.S.-based.

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On-demand home services app development, step by step

A structured development process is essential for the success of an app. By following the structure step by step, you can avoid many or all of the risks and deliver your app in a timely manner. Here’s the general strategy for developing an on-demand home services app.

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1. Research competitors and potential clients

These two factors will influence your application the most. First of all, define your target audience and their needs. You will have at least two of them: The service providers and their clientele. You should know what both of them are looking for in an on-demand service app, and you give it to them. Moreover, take into account what your competitors have done in order to avoid them.

2. Choose the features

When you know what you want to give your users, choose the features you'll implement. We’ll talk about them in more detail later on, but for now, please bear in mind that you’ll have at least three user roles: a customer, a service provider, and an administrator. Each of them will require a distinct menu of functions. Don’t forget about the monetization strategy, either. After all, money doesn't fall from the sky. If you want to make it, you'll need a plan.

3. Hire an expert development team

If you already have the necessary talents or your company is forming an in-house team, you can move on to the next stage. But if you don’t or you want to boost the development with more experienced specialists, then you need to focus on choosing the right partner. When you’re looking for one, pay attention to their fields of expertise, portfolio, and client reviews. Take into account their location and hourly rate so you won’t have issues with time zones and budget.

4. Design and develop

Your team is set, your feature set is defined, so now you can start the development. We recommend starting with an MVP and the core functions because it will help you validate your idea. It doesn’t mean the product should have insufficient quality or design elements, but instead that the release version should offer reasonable functionality without overwhelming the user.

5. Release and maintain

If you think that once your app is out on the market, the work is done, it’s really not. During the post-release time, you should analyze the feedback from real-world users in order to understand their preferences and concerns. Think about new features and marketing strategies, and be sure to update and repair the app as needed.

Essential features of a home services app

We already mentioned that features would differ according to a certain user role. Now, we will define what to include in each part of your application to make it usable and attractive for everyone.

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Customers

  • Search and browsing: When a customer is looking for a necessary specialist, they should be able to go through the list and apply filters such as rate, rating, and location.

  • Booking, scheduling and canceling: Once the specialist is picked up, users should be able to see their schedule and book the time they need. Moreover, they should be able to notify specialists about whether they will or won’t be in the house.

  • Payment options: Payments should be secure so users could trust your app. It’s better to implement several ways of payment to facilitate app usage.

  • Rating: To add transparency to your app, the rating and review system should be present. Users can post honest reviews and others will see if they want to hire the specialist. 

Service providers

  • Creating a profile: Service providers can indicate what service they deliver, what their schedule is, and what payment methods they prefer. Moreover, they can see the reviews users left and answer them.

  • Getting requests: The app should notify the service providers when a customer wants to schedule a delivery.

  • Accept/deny options: Service providers should have a right to deny the requests within a certain period of time if they cannot perform the task.

  • Online/offline status: When a service provider is in the system and is able to accept requests, they should be able to indicate it to customers.

Platform admins

  • Dashboard: The app should provide admins with an intuitive dashboard where they can see all the necessary information about both customers and service providers.

  • User management: Admins should have access to information such as users’ payments, canceled orders, discounts, and so on. It will help them resolve issues quickly and with a minimal amount of resources.

  • Analytics: Everything necessary for tracking the activity in the app should be available for admins: the total number of bookings, canceled reservations, repeated orders, ratings, reviews. 

Moreover, the app should include several features that are common for all user roles: registration, notifications, and support system. It will facilitate the overall work and keep everyone updated about requests, users, and issues.

Costing the development of your app

Implementing everything we mentioned above will require a lot of time and money to finish. How much exactly? It’s difficult to say right away. The final costs of developing an on-demand service app will depend on a lot of external and internal factors:

  • The team’s location

  • Hourly rate

  • Required tech stack

  • Desired list of features

  • Launch platforms

An on-demand service app has several user roles with different functionality, so the approximate cost will range from $20,000 to $50,000 and more. We'll be happy to provide more specific numbers, though. Contact us soon for an itemized project estimate.

Strategies for monetization

When you know how much money you can spend on the development process, it’s time to think about how you’ll meet the expenses. On-demand services apps can be monetized in several ways:

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  • Commission

Because the app acts as a mediator between a client and a service provider, you can charge service providers for including them in the list. Moreover, you can implement the priority system and charge more for each successive level.

  • Mobile ads

You can place advertisements inside your app. They can be banners, interstitials, or video ads, but don’t be heavy-handed with them. Users can easily get annoyed with overwhelming advertising.

  • Affiliate marketing and lead generation

Another way of making money from such an app is to get a reward from each client a service provider obtains through your app. You can also implement a sponsorship program in which service providers can pay you for promotion.

Pitfalls you may face

Development is a complex process with many stages and tasks, and consequently, it has some drawbacks that can affect your decision to embark upon the process. You should be familiar with those drawbacks before the start so you can make an informed decision. Moreover, the knowledge will help you avoid these pitfalls if you’re already certain you want to develop an on-demand app.

  • Relying on pre-made templates: Templates seem very tempting for a quick start, but it isn’t the best way to deliver your ideas to the market. Every app has its own design and competitive advantages, so there’s no single solution for such a task. 

  • The "chicken or the egg" problem: The most essential question of any new on-demand services platform is who to attract first. Clients won’t come to your app because there are no services. Service providers won’t come to your app because there’s no audience. Nevertheless, we recommend starting with those who offer services.

  • Plan B: In addition to working on main channels for attracting the audience, you should have a detailed additional plan if the first strategy doesn’t bring you enough success.

Be careful to avoid all these risks so that your on-demand service app can be welcomed and enjoyed by service providers and the general public. 

Final thoughts 

Given the current circumstances and the likelihood they'll continue for some time, on-demand services will only rise in popularity. More industries will embark on providing such services, so more platforms will appear to gather them together. If you want to implement a successful platform that will connect clients with the services they need, follow our guide. It will help you gather the resources needed to design, develop, launch and maintain your new app.

🛎️ What are on-demand services?

On-demand services are services that are provided only when the client needs them. Examples are food delivery, house cleaning, and load transfer.

🛎️ Can it be profitable to build an on-demand home services app?

It certainly can. The demand for such services is higher than ever, so it’s the best timing for developing such an app.

🛎️ What roles does a services app rely on?

There are three main user roles: the service provider, customer, and administrator.

🛎️ How much does it cost to develop an on-demand services app?

The average cost of developing an on-demand home services app will range from $20,000 to $50,000. Feel free to contact our team of specialists for a detailed estimate.

Tags
How-to
On-demand services
Mobile development
Web development

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