by Samar Singla, founder of Click Labs
Beauty is a much commented on subject – thousands of attempts have been made to define it. This elusive ideal, something that resides in the eyes of the beholder, the ghost of aesthetic perception – the physical and mental feeling that grips and does not let go, Beauty goes by many names.
However, the business of beautification is much simpler, and much more straightforward. Unfortunately or otherwise, the tangible, external changes that we make to propagate certain ideas define beauty services the world over. Sure, there are many looks that you can go for – the trendy, the emo, the jazzy, the sullen and philosophical – and they all have their appeal – but ultimately, it is the art of applying the perfect façade.
When you take the contemporary drive to cater to every whim that the customer demands in an instantly satisfying, convenient manner – you meet the idea of beauty on demand.
Here, we discuss the immense potential that exists untapped in markets the world over – the beauty on demand app, to cater to all your grooming and stylistic needs. With men and women increasingly investing in beauty services to get their groove on in today’s globalized world of style and luxury, a beauty on demand app would terminate the one thing people cannot afford despite needing the next-gen trendy haircut – TIME.
From mothers who wish to get the next weekly appointment, to the businessman that needs to achieve the balance between style and professionalism, or the many-staged makeover that a self-conscious teenager is likely to want – the business of beauty is anything but stagnant.
Within the beauty services, you have the presence of many specialists – hairdressers, stylists, nail technicians, massage specialists, therapists, dieticians and more exist in a scattered form all over the world. Many have individual clinics, while yet others are chains – and while someone you know for a long time may just drop by to give you these services, such a luxury is not available for everybody. We propose a service that connects the immense human expertise in the beauty services with their intended customers – in effect, an online marketplace for beauty, the Uber for Beauty model.
The diversification is immense – you can incorporate services ranging from haircuts, make-up, facials, spray-tanning, workout, yoga, boxing and even straight razor shaving for men. You can also have other specialized VIP services and fun offers, like a Halloween make up service, to up your costume game this year, with skin consultation & luxurious beauty products.
Getting your app in shape.
Seeking to build an On-Demand platform for beauty needs of the masses? Own a platform that will connect customers looking for beauty services with skilled freelancers around the platform.
The end customers will be able to select the service and will be matched with the stylist who will arrive at the doorstep at the scheduled time. Tracking and payments will happen via the respective mobile apps.
Since the idea is all about saving time, a well-crafted scheduling system is a must. It can be a 3 level fall back process for getting the location of the customer, as illustrated:
GPS → Network location → Last known location of the user
The economics of scheduling can be much more viable viz. a viz., the instant counterpart. The user either selects a flexible time band of 3-4 hours or selects a particular time depending on our finalized model.
Linking a calendar ensures that if the stylist is taking appointments outside our platform there are no apparent conflicts due to double booking. Flexible slide and select scheduler can be available for the stylist to set his/her daily service times.
Based on the inputs thus far from the user, a stylist is then allocated. Location, Service required, and Availability of the Stylist act as the Hard Filters.
List of Stylists remaining after applying the hard filters is sorted by ETA and rating/quality of supply. Depending on the model, the requests could go to one stylist at a time in the list or in batches or to everyone in the list. The user will also be able to view each stylist’s profile, including ratings and comments from previous customers. These ratings are based on scalable matrices, like promptness, quality of service, quality of products used, manner and style and overall satisfaction.
The Customer and the Stylist have the ability to give a rating and provide feedback for each other. Customer Review serves as an external archive that helps in guiding allocation, sourcing trust, and signals the quality of supply. The stylist review serves as an internal archive that signals the quality of demand.
Once the user selects a stylist, he/she receives an order confirmation along with details about how to get ready for the service.
The promo code system, in addition to a technological platform for customer loyalty can also be smoothly integrated into an app of this sort, making it more viable for the competitive market where customer retention is an issue.
Communication and tracking.
The User can have the option of communicating with the stylist via SMS/phone calls, or an inbuilt service in case the model demands that.
Tracking is an essential element of the on-demand services – this ensures transparency and reliability in the service provided. One can add the function of tracking the stylist after getting an ‘On the Way’ notification – in addition to getting real time ETA.
This is another key element as concerns the offline servicing of the request. We suggest either using Google maps or MapBox integration for this particular functionality. It gives the stylist the ability to check the path to the customer’s location and lets them call at any point, ensuring that the stylist is backed up well, helping the service provider to easily arrive at the customer’s location.
The user will have the ability to add as many Credit/ Debit Cards as they wish. Whenever the Customer adds a new card, he/she has the option to scan the credit card, whereby the card details are automatically captured. One card is then set as the default card for all services – this is particularly important as cashless transactions provide the competitive edge in the business of virtual on-demand networks, with one-click payments saving time and frustration.
There you have it – the cultivation of an idea that is immense in its potential. Other services like GlamSquad and DryBar already exist on the market, but their scope has not been fully realised yet in other countries – the opportunity is quite lucrative to simply pass up. Lucintel forecasts that the beauty industry globally will grow at a rate of 3.4 percent steadily over the next five years because of the rising incomes and changes in consumer lifestyle, reaching a grand total of $265 billion by 2017.
The market, then, is potentially ripe for the picking in tandem with the on-demand growth wave – it is up to the enterprising reader to take up the mantle.
Serial entrepreneur Samar Singla is the founder of Click Labs, a technology solution provider with 5+ years of industry experience in developing enterprise grade solutions with focus on mobility. Click Labs excels in product development outsourcing in general and building On Demand platforms in particular. Samar is furthermore the founder of Jugnoo, India’s leading auto rickshaw aggregator with a user base of around 4 million, and is currently rendering its services in 40 cities of India. You can find Samar on Twitter and LinkedIn.