There was one thing that was clear when coronavirus first entered the world – it was here to stay. All across the world, efforts have been made to curb the outbreak and flatten the curve and even after succeeding to a great extent with countries like New Zealand having no new reported cases in some days, the new normal era is upon us.
As a precautionary measure, the world has made three feet distance and contactless interaction the new rule of communication. However, these social distancing norms have been having a dire impact on a number of industries.
With people getting refined to some locations in the fear of getting contacted, their spending habits have changed, which in turn has affected the P&L statements of a number of industries. But even amidst these ‘battling for survival’ industries, there is one that is keeping afloat, on-demand as the lockdown ends.
The on demand services industry, at the back of its convenience of making items accessible to people on their doorsteps in real time has been prepared for the social distancing norms since the very beginning.
In our previous article, the impact of coronavirus on the on-demand industry, we identified some reasons why the domain is the one to be least impacted by the virus. Let us refresh them before getting into the parts of how an on demand business can get back on their feet in the post coronavirus world or the entrepreneurs can work on new company openings.
Why is the On-demand Industry on a Slightly Higher Grounds than Other COVID-19 Hit Industries?
1. The user demographics of the on-demand services industry are the people who like social distancing
When we talk about the on demand app services opportunities during the coronavirus outbreak, it is difficult to reason with the fact that the very idea behind the industry’s inception was to help confine people in the comfort of their homes. Meaning, as an entrepreneur there’s very little that you have to do when you prepare on demand business for post-COVID world.
The answer to why a business should adopt an on-demand delivery app for almost every on-demand service, from food delivery to grocery delivery and on-demand beauty services, fuel-delivery makes it easy for people to get the necessary services straight out of their homes.
2. The presence of choices minus the need of stepping out of your homes
An absence of choices is something that on demand app services never face. Irrespective of which service provider you look into, you can find them having partnered with a number of vendors – something that gives you a number of options and choices in real time.
3. The presence of an expansive offering set, which looks into multiple user needs.
The on-demand delivery apps economy sector has risen to a massive extent. Now-a-days, irrespective of where you look at, the businesses are turning towards an on-demand offering set. The presence of an online mode in everything that a person needs in their everyday life is something that validates the opportunity created by the coronavirus outbreak in the on-demand delivery market.
With the reasoning of how the on-demand industry has somewhat placed itself at a safe position as a business after COVID-19 lockdown now attended, let us look into its individual sub-domains and how they are preparing to restart the business in the post coronavirus era.
Ride Sharing Businesses
Ride sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft have witnessed a sharp decline in the on-demand commutation domain. While both the brands took strong cost-cutting measures to remain profitable, they announced that they were changing their ride policies to make it convenient for the riders and drivers to have a safe journey. The measures, in turn, set new examples for the on-demand business in post COVID world.
Following the new policies that Uber has come with can be a great choice for ride-sharing businesses to survive in the current time, specially since slowly but steadily the booking services are coming back to normal.
1. Driver mask verification and ‘Go Online Checklist’
Before the drivers go online, they will have to confirm on the new ‘Go Online Checklist’ that they have taken the necessary measures and are wearing the facemask. They will also be asked to take a photo of themselves wearing the mask.
2. Riders’ Confirmation
Before every trip, the riders must have to confirm they have taken the necessary precautions like wearing facemask or using sanitizers. They would also have to agree to sit in the back and keep windows down for ventilation.
3. Greater Enforcement
Uber has been asking drivers to cancel the trips minus penalty if the rider refuses to wear a face mask. Riders too, likewise, cancel the ride without penalty if they find that the driver is not wearing a mask. In case of repeated incidents, they can even lose access to the application.
4. Safety Education
In partnership with WHO and CDC, Uber has gathered safety tips and advice which are geared especially towards food delivery and ride sharing. They have started sharing the information with the riders, drivers, and delivery people.
Food and Grocery Delivery
When the coronavirus impact on on-demand business was just starting, it was difficult to imagine that at the rate in which people around the globe were stocking up food items and their everyday needs, they would order meals and groceries.
But food and grocery delivery businesses like DoorDash, Grofers, and UberEats have seen a massive surge in demand. In fact, they are one of the most profitable on-demand businesses of the current COVID situation.
There are a number of measures that they are taking in partnership with restaurants to promote contactless delivery such as drive-in and no-bell policy. But what can truly help your business survive and excel this COVID-19 era is looking into the interest of all the stakeholders. Here’s what we are talking about:
- You must start with providing guidance to the merchants on food safety and tamper proof packaging. It can also help to make them understand the importance of no-contact handoff at the time of order pickup.
- You should provide gloves and sanitizers to the delivery persons so that they are safe during the commute and both before and after delivery.
- For till the time COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t subside, you should make it mandatory for customers and delivery personnel to follow a no-contact delivery. To achieve this, you would have to revisit your on demand software development and get the message updated within the application.
While these approaches are more or less short-term business continuity oriented, there are some long-term approaches as well that are bound to guarantee your on-demand food and grocery delivery business.
Some of them are – offering subscription programs to the customers so that they can get the order delivered for free, thus increasing the restaurant’s sales, extending financial support to the workers who are COVID-19 positive, and offering restaurants greater marketing support through the application, etc.
On-demand Job Staffing
One of the many new norms that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it is on-demand jobs. With the flexibility of remote work, people have started taking up extra tasks on the times they are saving on commutation.
This, in turn, has given birth to a new employment model known as on-demand jobs. Since, it is already in a nascent stage, there is nothing much an entrepreneur would have to prepare for besides the creation of a digital platform which connects the job seekers with entrepreneurs looking for outsourcing a job on contractual mode.
So here was some sub-sector wise advice on what on-demand business entrepreneurs can do to make their brand successful in the present day and in the post COVID-19 world. The crux of it all remains that businesses will have to look back at how considerate they are of the situation and the state of their customers and stakeholders. The more they act empathetically, the greater would be the chances of their success in the long run.