On demand local services (ODLS) a la Uber will not only bring buyer and seller together with leaner unit economics, but could also transform the way local services are marketed and fulfilled. This was the theme of a session we held at last month’s ILM conference (video below).
In part two of the series, we interviewed four companies that represent how ODLS is expanding to nearly every local service vertical. This is emblematic of the attractiveness of its unit economics; shedding the overhead costs of traditional companies or service models.
“It’s empowering what we’ll call the 1099 ‘economy,’ Urgent.ly CEO Chris Spanos said. “UberX is probably the best example, but expect that revolution to occur across every vertical that you can imagine.”
For example, we’re even seeing it enter the legal vertical. Leigh McMillan of Avvo characterized a swath of legal needs that can be fulfilled in a lower barrier fashion than we’ve traditionally seen in the process of procuring legal services. Avvo Advisor is filling that need.
MyNeighbor’s Brendan Benzing meanwhile attributes the rise of ODLS to generational factors. As we heard from Spanos in Part I, millennials don’t want to own things… it’s antithetical to the blatant consumerism of their forbears (ODLS could also employ an entire generation).
“They’re apprehensive about owndership, and they see access as a more experiential way of consumption,” said Benzing. “But there are also similarities to baby boomers who are towards the end of lives and are no longer gathering things. They’re trying to unload and de-clutter.”
Curbside’s Joel Toledano is also applying the principles of ODLS to a new vertical: Retail. The model is to save consumers time (an oft-forgotten reward) by letting them order items via mobile to be picked up outside of a retail location. It’s a new spin on “O2O” commerce.
In addition to the demand aggregation that’s characteristic of ODLS, Curbside combines the ease of e-commerce with the immediacy of offline shopping, but without the parking and typical retail schlep. Moreover, we’re seeing ODLS meta-moments, as they happen on top of each other.
“We’ve launched at two City Targets,” said Toledano to set the stage for an ODLS one-two punch, “where people will drive up in an Uber, step out grab [their purchased item], get right back in the car and keep going.”
The full session video is embedded below, preceded by chapter links for those that want to view it in smaller chunks. Stay tuned for a longer BIA/Kelsey insight paper on this topic, as well as a few upcoming announcements.