Pop-up shops are becoming of a fixture of the omnichannel retail landscape — and not just during the holiday season. Storefront is a three-year-old startup that connects anyone who wants to sell and promote their wares with landlords who have retail spaces they want to rent — a “marketplace for renting short-term retail space,” as co-founder and CEO Erik Eliason described it. The model is proving successful in syncing both large retailers and local artisan/makers with physical spaces that would otherwise lie dormant.
The worlds of on-demand and deep-linking took another step closer when ride-sharing giant Uber announced a new mechanism for app developers to incorporate a button for users to request an Uber driver. Expect to see more of this kind of app integration among on-demand services, giving the market leaders greater scale and distribution.
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Yahoo Struggles as an Afterthought to Advertisers (New York Times)… Starbucks Launches Delivery Service in Partnership with Postmates (TechCrunch)… On-Demand and Deep Linking Becoming More Deeply Linked (Street Fight)…
In the era of UberRUSH, Postmates, DoorDash, and others, every business with an in-house delivery fleet is feeling the pressure to provide the same kind of on-demand delivery experience. The driving force behind the demand for on-demand is time, or the perceived lack thereof. Consumers have shown they will pay a premium to save it.
A year into the on-demand revolution, the question persists: Where’s it going next? So far, it’s gone into nearly every local vertical, but there are still areas with the right conditions for on-demand models to take root, some of which remain underdeveloped. These include higher-end professional services like lawyers and doctors, project-based work like design and writing, and, of course, SMBs, especially when it comes to local marketing and advertising.
Of all the changes mobile has wrought, on-demand arguably has made the biggest splash. The emergence of companies offering products and services immediately, with only a tap or two of a phone or tablet screen, is pushing incumbents to change their business models to stay on top of their industries. Three of these young-gun threats — Button, Urgent.ly, and Pager — made an appearance at the Street Fight Summit, speaking on a panel about on-demand in local commerce.
“I’ve long been a believer that on-demand is going to revolutionize every service sector in the economy. There will be different flavors of it, based on the characteristics of particular verticals. Five years from now, this is how everybody’s going to get service for everything,” said Urgent.ly CEO Chris Spanos.
On-demand is a convenient rubric for speaking about a certain type of currently faddish platform, but not every underlying service or product is the same. Transportation is not the same as home services or restaurants. By extension, not everything Uber does will work equally well outside of its particular niche. Demand-based pricing is a prime example.
Hyperlocal, mobile, on-demand contextual commerce enabled by buy buttons within mobile apps — that’s the new string of buzzwords making the rounds at industry conferences. The market reality: It’s going to take a while for this string to play out in the connected local economy. A key reason is that even as mobile disrupts search, most marketers and merchants can’t expect to get their own app on a majority of users’ home screens.
Local startups have reached a tipping point — go big, or go home. The fifth annual Street Fight Summit on Oct. 20th in NYC will explore the shifting local landscape. Conversations will look at the future of beacons, retail marketing, the changing programmatic landscape, and the nascent battle in mobile.