Uber has just launched a new on-demand delivery service called UberRUSH, in an effort to compete against Postmates and FedEx.
Uber Technology, an international transportation network company which is popularly known for its ride-hailing smartphone app, seems to want a share of the delivery business too.
The motivation behind this strategic move is that there is high demand for delivering ordinary items, such as house supplies, groceries or food. As representatives of the global company explain, one fifth of all the trips in the U.S. “are just to move things from A to B”.
Uber therefore aims to serve as an intermediary between customers and local firms, so that packages can be sent in a timely and efficient manner.
The courier system was initially trial-tested in New York City, starting from April 2014. Initially, the focus of the pilot version was on advertising the service as part of a customer-to-customer business model. However, it was soon discovered that this strategy wasn’t the most adequate, since few deliveries are made in this manner.
In fact, most of the thousands orders received every day came from merchants such as retail stores or restaurants, wishing to sell items to their clients.
Therefore, the product was redesigned, in order to process orders quickly, even when multiple deliveries are required. The system can now be included in the merchants’ checkout process, and it has also been perfectly integrated with e-commerce software Shopify and POS station Clover.
Now, the local experiment has turned into a full-fledged operation focusing on private companies, and UberRUSH has also been introduced in San Francisco and Chicago.
The newly implemented service promises consumers same-day delivery, at rates averaging $5, through couriers traveling by car and bike. Its main target audience consists of local businesses, and the company aims to provide them with a viable alternative to other partners, such as Postmates, FedEx, Sidecar, Deliv and Amazon Flex.
The promise is that Uber will provide its would-be shippers with top-notch service, while saving them from experiencing “logistical headaches”.
“In hundreds of cities across the globe, you can press a button and get a ride in minutes. Now, through UberRUSH, business owners can use the same technology to get customers pretty much anything in minutes”, explained Uber officials.
It’s not the first time that the company has shown an interest in the delivery business, as a departure from its highly demanded taxi service, which connects cab drivers with customers.
Uber, which currently has operations in approximately 350 cities from all over the world, has also launched Uber Eats, which will also be expanded next year. This service provides lunch and dinner delivery to customers, although the menu is currently rather limited.
Image Source: UberRUSH