Do I Need to Provide my Sellers with Hardware?

Setting your sellers up to succeed on your on-demand is critical if you want your on-demand app to gain any significant market share. But what does that mean exactly? It could mean you are doing marketing for them or providing them with appropriate tax software. In some cases, however it can even mean that you are providing them with hardware.

What Kind of On-Demand Apps Should Provide Hardware

Let’s be clear. Providing hardware may be unnecessary for the vast majority of on-demand apps out there. It is hard to think of a reason why a dog walker for example would require a tablet when they meet with a buyer.

The most common place we see hardware in the world of on-demand apps is in restaurants that use services like Skip the Dishes or Uber Eats. These companies provide their seller restaurants with tablets so that staff can quickly and easily receive and prepare the orders before the drivers arrive to pick them up and deliver them to the buyers.

That isn’t to say that other types of on-demand apps couldn’t also benefit from providing their sellers with hardware. An on-demand service for make-up artists for example, might differentiate themselves by giving tablets to sellers so that they can show the buyer which colours will look best on them. Or an on-demand service for personal trainers might give their trainers Fit Bits for buyers to use during their sessions.

Benefits of Providing Your On-Demand App Sellers with Hardware

As mentioned, if you have an on-demand app and are providing hardware to your sellers, it could make you stand out from your competition and even give your app an improved perception of legitimacy. This could be a huge advantage, particularly if you are operating in a market that is already saturated.

But you won’t just stand out among potential buyers. Providing hardware could also help you stand out among potential sellers and it could be a tool to attract the best sellers to your app rather than your competition’s.

Learn more about attracting sellers to your on-demand app.

Another advantage, particularly when dealing with brick and mortar sellers such as restaurants is that using hardware is yet another way to promote your app. When someone is standing in line at their favourite fast food restaurant for example, and they see your app’s tablet ringing in orders to the staff, that customer may make a mental note to use your app next time rather than stand in line during the lunch hour rush.

More on marketing your on-demand app.

Drawback so Providing Your On-Demand App Sellers with Hardware

Of course, providing hardware to your sellers is not without its challenges. Perhaps the biggest drawback to doing so is that it is going to increase your overhead. And unless you have a really big budget, it may slow down the speed at which your app can gain market share.

Additionally, if you are going to provide hardware you are going to need a plan for maintenance and replacement. In a restaurant environment for example, a tablet could easily have food spilled on it. Other issues you could run into with hardware is breakage due to being dropped, theft, or simply becoming obsolete.

Then there is the question of what happens to the hardware if the seller decides to terminate the partnership with your app. Do they send you back the hardware in the mail? And who monitors that? You will need to have answers to these questions if providing hardware is part of your business plan.

Is Providing Hardware to Your Sellers the Right Choice for Your On-Demand App?

There is a reason why most on-demand apps do not provide hardware to their sellers. It simply isn’t necessary. Furthermore, many business owners just starting out with their on-demand apps would prefer not to make the extra capital investment and or deal with the more complex logistics that would be required.

On the other hand, if you have a good business plan in place, then providing hardware to your sellers may give you an edge over the competition.

So, in making your decision, be sure to ask yourself the important questions so that you can choose the best course of action for your on-demand app.

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