Are Local Services Just Watching The Wave?

by Steve Milner, March 26, 2018

Firstly, I am not a surfer. I am privileged, however, to live and work in the 10th World Surfing Reserve in Noosa, Australia. I am a watcher. The guy in his work attire with his feet in the sand watching others ride the waves . The exciting culmination of wind, water and energy building in to a majestic crest, accessible only to the brave and ready. This got me thinking about the message we try and convey at nabooki – Is Your Local Service Business or Platform a Watcher or a Rider Of Waves?

Let me explain – By far the fastest growing and biggest wave out there, for most product and service-based businesses, is the unrelenting shift of consumer habit over to mobile. M-Commerce, the buying and selling of goods and bookable services through mobile devices, it’s a massive movement of energy, so momentous and vast that there is no shortage of businesses competing for the same wave. M-Commerce retail sales in the US have grown from $20 billion in 2014, to $147 billion today and with projections of $346 billion by 2021 there is no sign of the wave breaking. So from a business perspective, if you have an online offering which is optimised for booking on mobile devices – Surf’s Up!

Powered by generations of perpetually connected consumers who are absorbing content, interacting with brands and digitising their lives through mobile devices, this is the ‘On Demand’ economy and there is no getting away from it. This wave has swelled to its largest point and continues to grow, creating the perfect conditions for astute businesses, retail and service alike, to get out there and take advantage.

Most retailers are already out there and the travel and hotel industry are the more mature ‘surfers’ within the service sector catching the waves, they had to be, in order to keep up with the competition – a recent eMarketer report projects that, in 2018, online bookings in this space are expected to exceed $190 billion, of which 40% is slated to be purchased on mobile. These guys are already mastering their ‘Bottom Turn’ (it’s a surfing term – I looked it up!) -“The moment you decide to turn which defines the rest of the wave – it’s the surfing slingshot”.

So whilst these brave few slingshot and start carving up the wave, the shore remains lined with thousands of service providers – the beauticians, personal trainers, therapists, tutors, healthcare professionals. These businesses are like me in the real world – hesitant! The wave looks massive after all and they feel ill-equipped, but isn’t that the point – think of the return. There is this divine wall of energy, opportunity, and reward and still you remain on the shore when you should be out there harnessing it.


Maybe its because the rest of your sector are watching too? Most don’t see it. Happy with having their feet in the sand….or in many cases their head. Happy to still be playing phone-tennis with clients or requesting laborious email enquiries. Instead of empowering consumers to get informed in real-time, check availability, book and even pay in an instant!

Even marketplaces and online directories, remain on the hypothetical beach-side cabana, flicking sand, thinking of ways to increase consumer experience, visitors and revenue. Missing out on the massive swell of a solution that rolls on before them, powered by millions of hyper-connected consumers.

Even without the ability to surf, I am lucky enough to be able to empower these businesses, through nabooki, to get riding these new waves of E-commerce and M-Commerce. Helping to provide solutions to ensure they are not static, not just another listings business. The `Marketplace For Services` sector is set for exponential growth over the next few years, but only those with the foresight to ensure their online platform is live, bookable, transactional and of course mobile-optimised will be part of this movement.

It is the same as every new technology or direction in the world of commerce, the early adopters, the brave, the first ones on the wave get the most out of it. So if you are a platform for service listings or just part of a business that provides services of any kind, on any scale, tell me – are you currently Riding The Wave, Just Paddling Out or Stuck Firmly In The Sand

Be honest with yourself, you may not even be at the Beach!

Don’t wait for that wave to come to you…..go and get it, it’s easier than you think!