Kapgel, an on-demand goods delivery startup where we’re investors, recently released an updated version of its Android app.
Most app updates are incremental in nature. There’s a new product feature, a few messaging tweaks, or some color changes.
If you’re a Kapgel Android user, you’ll quickly notice that this isn’t an incremental update. The user experience has been redesigned from the ground up. Here are some of the key changes:
- The app features larger and more visible fonts and more vivid images.
- The old hamburger menu which, when clicked on, would display menu items on the left hand side of the screen has been replaced with a permanent horizontal menu at the bottom of the screen.
- The checkout process is much smoother than before.
I don’t have a screenshot of the old app but here’s a screenshot of the new one.
A better user experience sometimes requires a completely new design rather than incremental improvements. This was one of those cases.
The updated Kapgel Android app certainly delivers.
In an earlier post entitled “On-demand markets that aren’t”, I used the example of Rinse, a laundry and dry cleaning managed marketplace where we’re investors, to highlight how many markets that at the outset appear to be suitable for on-demand service, and as a result of the hype around on-demand services are often named that way, are in fact not on-demand.
In a recent post entitled “On-demand isn’t always in-demand”, Rinse’s co-founder Ajay Prakash explains why this is the case in much more depth than I did. As Ajay points out, businesses succeed by solving the primary pain points of their customers. And “none of the pain points in dry cleaning, laundry, or any other form of clothing care require an on-demand solution.”
In fact, Ajay argues that other verticals which are also often given as examples of on-demand services, like house cleaning, storage, and car washes, also do not require an on-demand solution.
You can read Ajay’s full post here.
Rinse, a managed marketplace for laundry and dry cleaning services where we’re investors, announced earlier this week that it has acquired the customer assets of its competitor Washio.
Before shutting down its operations in August, Washio served 7 geographies including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, New York, and Washington D.C. This was 5 more than the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets served by Rinse.
In addition, Washio picked up and delivered its customers’ laundry whenever customers wanted. This was in contrast to Rinse’s approach of scheduling pickups and deliveries only between 8PM and 10PM in the evenings.
Finally, Washio delivered its customers’ laundry a day after picking it up, while Rinse offers a 3 day turnaround time.
While these three decisions gave Washio the opportunity to serve a larger number of customers whenever these customers demanded service, they also made Washio’s operations more costly. And the resulting benefit for customers isn’t large enough for customers to pay more for. Most people are home at some point between 8PM and 10PM, and they have enough extra clothes in their wardrobe that they don’t need a next day turnaround from their laundry and dry cleaning service provider.
As Rinse’s co-founder Ajay Prakash points out, “the on-demand model isn’t the most efficient or economical way to handle the dirty business of cleaning clothes”.
Gagan Biyani, the founder of on-demand healthy meal company Sprig, recently shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of on-demand companies in a podcast hosted by Greylock, one of Sprig’s investors.
In the podcast, Gagan talks about the key differentiators between Sprig and its recently failed competitor SpoonRocket, why beginning to serve new cities isn’t necessarily a measure of success for an on-demand company, and the worker classification issues which on-demand companies face.
You can listen to the full talk below.