A wonderful trend breaking into Singapore's mainstream is the "Uberification" of services. Named after the car-booking and transport service, Uber, it basically means when the process of booking and utilizing a service has been simplified, often to a few button presses on your smartphone. These on-demand services are proliferating, leading to shake-ups in existing industries and introducing these services to people who may not have considered them before.
An example of how these apps simplify process would be the booking of a taxi. It used to be an exercise in frustration. You'd call a phone number (different number depending on the taxi company), wait to get an operator, convey where you wanted to be picked up, and then be placed on hold until a taxi could be found, frequently getting a recorded message telling you no taxis were available and please call back again. With GrabTaxi and Uber, you launch the app, key in where you want to be picked up (or have GPS automatically select it), press a button, and then a driver is matched up with you. It displays how many minutes the car is from you and essentially all you do is press a button to book a cab, get in when it arrives, and get out at your destination. If you've entered in your credit card you don't even have to exchange any cash.
On-demand service applications are breaking into new categories. A few examples of the different areas and companies operating are:
- Transport - the earliest category with GrabTaxi, Uber, EasyTaxi, and Hailo
- Logistics (pickups and deliveries) - EasyVan, GoGoVan
- Cleaning Services - Helpling (backed by Rocket Internet)
- Food & Drink - FoodPanda, Grain, Alcohol Delivery SG, various fast food delivery options
- Grocery Shopping - redmart, Cold Storage, Giant
- Car on Demand (that you can drive) - Smove
- Nursing / Caregiving - Caregiver Asia
- Personal Concierge - GoButler
High population density, low traffic, small geographical size, and a tech-savvy populace willing to spend contribute to Singapore being a great testbed for on-demand services. Living in Singapore has never been so convenient.