The Digital World – Part II

The Digital World Part II

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By:Aaron Newport

We have all seen them, popping up here and there. It seems like every other week I read about a new Dry Cleaning app that has just hit the surface; Washio, Starchup, Rinse, Dhobie, DRYV, and that is just to name a few. The question is, which one will pull ahead and emerge as an everyday household name, or will any?

Most of them seem to have the same premise, essentially amounting to the Uber of dry cleaning. The first hurdle for these app developers is to convince dry cleaning operators to agree on a contract for a percentage of sales gained through the app. Once the app has built a core group of dry cleaners to work with, they must start bringing business their way, in order to build a reputation among the dry cleaning industry. It is difficult to get anyone to buy into something that is untested. Fortunately, in most of these cases, the initial cost for the dry cleaner is nothing.

Now in this day and age, consumers are eager to download the newest, trendy app. So a large part is building enough buzz around your brand to create a consumer need. This may not be a need for the app, but a need to know what the app is and what it can accomplish. So the success of these apps is largely dependent on their ability to promote and brand themselves.

These apps can serve a purpose and can have great success. Dry cleaning is all about consumer convenience right? We do not need anymore proof that consumers find apps convenient. The success apps have had in the last few years, all throughout the service industry is astronomical. So much so that to develop an app built customized for a business can cost $20k-$50k, or even upwards of millions of dollars, depending on how interactive and inclusive the app may be.

That is why these dry cleaning apps give local dry cleaners a great advantage. They get the benefit of having an app for their customer, without the huge investment. It is not going to be branded to their store, and they could be sharing an app with their competition. However, they are much more likely to lose customers to one of these apps if they are not on it.



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