All of us are in constant search of great startup ideas, and whenever we hear about the success story of any startup, it motivates us. Mobile apps are the most trending startups today, with 3.14 million apps at the Google Play store and 2.09 million apps on Apple’s App Store.
The increasing popularity of on-demand apps has encouraged individuals to discover new business opportunities in their niche. These apps allow users to request service whenever they need it.
Entrepreneurs opt for on-demand food ordering app development, on-demand taxi booking development, on-demand laundry app development, on-demand package delivery, and on-demand grocery delivery.
Now, a new category is emerging, “On-Demand Dog Walking App.” The app allows users to opt for dog care services like walking, pet grooming, and dog-sitting. If you think that this business vertical can’t be much beneficial, then here’s an interesting fact for you. Recently, On-Demand Dog Walking App “Wag” has raised $300 million from Softbank vision fund.
It all started in 2014 when Joshua Viner contacted Jason Meltzer. Jason was running a popular outfit for dog-walking when Miller discussed the story of pinning for his childhood pet because of the lack of time. The discussion resulted in a popular dog walking service on-demand startup: Wag.
How Does A Dog Walking App Work?
We know that the $300 million figure must have caught your eyes. And the next question coming to your mind would be, how do dog walking apps work? Here’s how!
Every on-demand app works on the same basic ideology- connect the needy to the contributors. The same approach works here; The app connects the dog owners with professional dog walkers.
Need a more detailed explanation? Let’s take a deeper dive into the workings of the best dog walking app. Two apps work simultaneously: Pet Parent App & Dog Walker App.
Pet Parent App Working
Search For Dog Walkers
The dog parent can create their account and search for dog walkers in their locality. There are filters to find the right professional based on the location, reviews, experience, price range, etc.
The parent can contact the dog walker via the app and set up an in-person meeting to know more about the walker before giving their pet over.
The owners can schedule the days of the week and timing when they believe that their dog needs a walk and book a walker for the fixed timings.
View Your Dog
The dog walker will post pictures and videos of your dog periodically to show you the progress through the walk.
Once the walk is over, you receive your dog back and pay for the service through cashless payment options within the app, making the process easy to manage.
Review & Rating
You can rate and give a review to the walker for their service. True ratings will be beneficial to let the other owners know about the efficiency of the dog walker.
Dog Walker App Working
The professional dog walkers will create their profile in the app, and there will be a background check done on them by the company.
Set Time Availability
Dog walkers can upload their availability on the calendar and time slots so those pet parents can request and book the slots.
The pet parent can send requests to the walkers for their job, and the walker will accept or decline the request as per their availability.
Whenever a dog walker is matched with a dog parent, both parties will be notified. The walker will get the location to pick up the dog and will reach there at the assigned time.
Send Dog’s Update
The dog walker can post pictures and videos of the dog periodically to the parent to show them the progress throughout the walk.
Once the walk is over, the walker returns the dog to the parent. He/she gets paid for the service through cashless payment options within the application.
What Are The Must-Have Features To Add To Your Dog Walking App?
Search Filters For Walkers
The pet parents can search for the best dog walkers that fit their requirements by adding various search filters regarding location, budget, review, etc.
A messaging platform will be useful for communication; the users (owner and walkers) don’t have to share their personal details and still talk seamlessly via the app.
Dog owners can track the walker when they are out with the dog in real-time through their app, and rest assured to know where their pet is at any time throughout the walk.
Timely alerts will be beneficial to keep the owner updated with the availability or changes in the dog walker’s schedule.
Regular Updates of the Pet
The app enables the dog walker to send photos and videos of the dog to the pet parents so that they know their pet is safe and enjoying the walk.
In-App Payment Options
The customer can easily pay the dog walker for their service through the app due to multiple payment integration.
How To Launch Your Own Dog Walking Service App?
You need to have a solid business plan and a flow of execution. We’ll go through all the steps that will lead you in launching and running a successful dog walking service app.
Research Pet Care Industry
The first step of starting any business is thorough and tireless research. You need to know about the entire pet care industry, especially the dog walking and pet sitting industry vertical. You need to study the market landscape and the customers’ pain points and emotional investment when it comes to their pet’s care.
Analyze Your Competitors
There are some dog walking services, and the top chunk of this market belongs to two apps, Wag and Rover. So, you need to study them, their price point for services, what features they provide in their app, and especially the issues that pet parents face with the existing services.
Choose The Type of Business Model
There are two different business models that you can choose from to launch your on-demand dog walking service app: Your Agency or Aggregator Model. Both the models have different benefits, drawbacks, responsibilities, and revenue streams.
Your Own Dog-walking Agency
In this model, you will own the entire business, and all the employees will work under your company’s banner with a regulated operation, just like Walmart or The Home Depot. While the responsibility of paying salaries to the walkers falls upon your shoulder, the profits will also be solely coming to you.
In the aggregator model, the dog walkers will join your app platform to find jobs, and the pet parents will join to find such professionals. Your app will be the “digital marketplace” where the service transactions occur. Just like drivers of Uber who work on their time and convenience, while you get paid a decent commission on every service provided through your on-demand dog walking application.
Decide A Revenue System
Why do you start a business and work hard to grow it? The honest answer is “for the money.” Let’s discuss the various revenue streams you’ll be making money from with the dog walking app.
Payment For Availed Service
The most common revenue stream for your business (if it follows the private agency model) would be the earnings coming from the walker services offered to the users via your dog walking app.
If you follow the aggregator model, your main revenue source will be the commissions taken from the services. Every walker service availed from your on-demand dog walking app will bring you a fixed commission amount.
Monthly/Yearly Membership Model
Taking a pet for walks is a daily chore, so most of your customers will choose this particular model. A monthly or yearly membership fee will help your business grow immensely as customers pay a hefty amount at once, which will raise your company funds.
Paid Promotions For Agencies
In the aggregator model, several private dog-walking agencies will also register to your app. Such private groups have the money and intention to rank top on your app’s listings. You can provide paid promotion options for them and get paid handsomely to show their name at the top of customer query lists.
Ads Revenue Model
There was a reason why we told you to study the entire pet care industry in the first step. It is to build partnerships with companies that serve pet parents and yet are not your competitors. You can earn a good chunk of revenue by hosting ad spaces for other pet care companies like veterinarian hospitals, pets toy stores, pet food brands, etc.
Following the Uber business model, the surge charges can bring in a sweet little additional revenue layer. You can put up a time zone when the dog walkers are booked the most and apply a surge charge to book them at that particular time. This way, you will earn more in these time zones and also witness more bookings for other timings leading to a more evenly distributed schedule for the dog walkers.
Create An Operation Strategy
Several businesses have seen downfall as they grow bigger, the reason being a non-scalable operational strategy that they kept on following. You need to understand that the same strategy that helped you reach a multi-million-dollar valuation may not work further, and you need to change or scale your business operation strategy as your brand grows. The best way to do so is by discussing with experienced business analysts.
In a service-based business, customers will only come to you if your service providers do a phenomenal job serving them. So, you need to market your brand as much to the professional dog walkers as you would do to potential customers.
Make sure to make both the apps (pet parent app and dog walker app) extremely user-friendly so that more people join in and a proper balance of customers and service providers is maintained. Additionally, you need to run thorough background checks on the employees/freelancers that work through your on-demand dog walking app platform.
Develop The Dog Walking App
What’s the one thing that you need to have to run a dog walking service app? The app itself. It’s the heart of your business, the place where the entire business occurs. It’s just like an office or a business showroom but a thousand times better because this digital showroom can hold millions of customers and dog walkers at the same time and provide a personalized experience to each one of them.
But to build such an amazing app vision into reality, you need a team of pet care app developers that have the right experience, understanding, and commitment towards your business as you do. So, take your time to inquire, discuss, and test out your entire app development team and choose only the best IT service provider that your money can get.
SEE ALSO: how to create an app from scratch
The Cost Of Developing An On-Demand Dog Walking App Like Wag
We know where your mind is rushing after reading everything about starting a dog walking service app. There must be lots of questions in your mind like:
The good news is that calculating the cost to develop such an app is easy. The tricky part is that you need to consider many factors while doing so, and it needs your extensive input. The cost of app development depends on several factors like:
We would advise that the best way forward is to find the right technology partner with decent experience in developing apps and software for the pet care industry.
Rationalize your idea and get started today. All you need is a strong and unique idea along with a proficient team. You need a team that can understand your requirements and converts your dream into reality.
Why don’t you try On-demand app development? You can be the next Rover App or Wag App. You can even build a Veterinary Telemedicine app – it is a popular startup these days.
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