The appearance of digital solutions for the pet care industry has eased the life of thousands of pet owners. It took a lot of time for pet owners to find a reliable dog walker and negotiate on price. Online dog walking platforms is a good way for already existing dog walking business to stand out from the competitors and attract new customers. For startups, it’s a lucrative business niche while the Uber-like business model doesn’t require additional costs for hiring dog walkers.
In this article, we will describe methods for launching a successful app for business. The app to be developed will borrow features of Uber apps which enable its businesses to meet the needs of service providers and customers. These features are known to result in current and projected profits for Uber. Their application is intended to result in success for the company at hand.
Steps in Launching a Pet Care App
1. Research the business audience.
Identify the audience for the business. This audience may comprise a pet owner population in a defined geographic area, within which it will be practical to advertise the business.
One feature to consider in defining this potential audience is whether the app is for a startup or for a pre-existing business.
The startup business owner may be limited by two factors:
- If the business is to have a storefront for dog care, accessibility to this service by new customers may be restricted by a geographic perimeter.
- If the business has been designed for dog walking and care services without a storefront, the marketing range may be less restricted. Access will, however, depend upon the geographic range of providers for such services as walking dogs.
An existing business will have a preexisting customer base. Online marketing methodologies and app development should be reasonably expected to expand this base.
2. Define a value proposition for the pet care business.
Before creating a dog walking platform, define what your business can offer to the pet owners:
- Easy geographic access to the store, if a storefront exists;
- Online ordering capabilities;
- Ability to schedule a walk;
Referrals to the business’ third-party providers, including dog walkers, pet groomers and other dog care services.
After that, Identify existing businesses with similar audiences and value propositions, which have developed and enabled apps.
Several popular services provide dog care services:
Wag is an on-demand walking service that utilizes location-based technology to connect walkers and pet owners. Moreover, GPS tracking allows pet owners to monitor where the walker. To fill the trust gap between walkers and pet owners, Wag conducts background checks and interviews before allowing walkers to provide services.
Urban Leash is a Chicago-based company that allows pet owners to find a dog walker or cat sitter as fast as possible. The platform regularly notifies a pet owner about what is going on with their pet via push notifications, GPS tracking, and video call features.
Rover.com is a network of businesses providing dog services, scheduled and on demand, including walks, boarding, house sitting, drop-in visits, and doggy daycare. This can be a profitable network to join. Such a network can provide valuable exposure.
PetEd lists popular pet supply resources, including a mobile app for a pet’s medical history.
Barkbox sells treats, chews, and toys.
Petflow provides foods, supplies and pet training.
Wag.com sells pet foods; its primary presence is on Amazon.
3. Enable Launch Procedures
First, you need to implement must-have features for your dog walking platform.
These features are:
In-app payments. Enabling users to pay for services directly on your platform is safer for both walkers and pet owners. It also lets you easily take service fees from users.
Background checks. After registration, each dog walker should complete all background checks. It ensures pet owners that their lovely pet won’t be stolen or treated bad. Ask walkers to add the information about their address, email and phone number, age, experience. Some platforms like Urban Leash and Rover have a fixed price for their services, but you can enable walkers to set the price for their services by themselves.
Rating and reviews is another feature to ensure pet owners that they can trust providers on your platform.
Updates during the walk. Just like on services we’ve talked earlier, you can enable GPS tracking, video calls, and sending photos. Implement timer, so that pet owners will know exactly when the walker with the dog will return from the walk.
You can also create a web page in addition to the smartphone-based app. A web page may be seen as a business’s essential online presence. It needs to be created by an experienced developer who is knowledgeable about the functions of the business.
4. Develop a social media presence
Creating a ‘handle’ – a promotion within another firm’s online network – is crucial. Handles will lead customers to your app and web page. Pet owners seeking a dog walking business can find it quickly through handles on pet care network sites.
Networks which may display promotional handles include major networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin as well as networks popular with pet owner audiences, including Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Create promotional videos which can reside within your handles. These videos can be placed within the social media handles mentioned above.
Identify reporters and influencers, and their local media publications.
Contacts with reporters and local media outlets are vital to a business whose app will benefit from enhanced publicity.
Verify that developers enable user engagement metrics and business metrics, such as cost/revenue outcomes and user retention statistics. Create a press kit for social media contacts which have been made. The email addresses of these contacts can be used to send personalized emails in support of the business and its app.
Applying Uber Methodology To the App
Uber’s business models include the On-Demand feature, one of the major ideas behind their business success. Provision of services on an immediate basis is important to your pet care business. Access to on-call providers is an Uber capability that your app will emulate.
Immediate versus Scheduled Service.
Industry standards for walking dogs are not set in stone. However, an on-call service whose customer satisfaction reviews are promoted in an app will be recognized by potential customers as a valuable resource. The app which connects dog owners with such services thereby functions as an Uber for dog walking on call. Scheduled services are an option for non-urgent services.
Central Role of the Providing Company vs. Choice of Providers.
The Uber prototype, based upon reliable service over time, establishes customer confidence in the centralized company. The Uber model provides an intrinsic guarantee that services will conform to a set of standards. The concept of enlisting a provider chosen by the centralized business rather than by the buyer is therefore acceptable to the client of an Uber-type business. Your Uber-type app will make full use of that multi-provider concept.
The Uber Success Model
Whether pet care functions are delivered by individuals or by external enterprises, satisfied customers will come to consider the effective app’s service suppliers as reliable.
An app which offers clients excellent providers in a timely framework will generate confidence in the company that it represents. Providers recommended by the business at hand become trusted annexes to the company’s range of services.
When this is the case, a successful Uber-like app has been developed for the Pet Care business at hand.