Merchant delivery by Uber

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According to reports Uber is developing a merchant delivery program allowing same-day delivery on orders made online. The goods would be delivered by UberRush couriers and Uber drivers.

Some reports have cited 400 different merchants as currently being in talks with Uber for same-day delivery, including Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss.

An Uber spokesperson issued a statement saying: “Experimenting and finding new, creative ways for the Uber app to provide even greater value to our riders and driver partners is a way of life at Uber. We have been piloting UberRUSH with multiple retailers for the last year.”

Reports indicate that Uber drivers and couriers are already taking merchant orders through a different app to UberRush. The ambition appears to be Uber drivers having capacity to take human passengers and Uber merchant orders in parallel using a bespoke routing system, all wrapped up in a single driver-side app.

This wouldn’t be the first diversification from Uber, given recent investments in UberFresh and UberEats offering the delivery of fresh produce and curated meals for lunch and dinner respectively.

This all follows the now shelved UberEssentials program that delivered household essentials to the user’s home on-demand. Initially it seemed that Uber was targeting large retailers such as Amazon and eBay, hoping to access the vast delivery requirements of both but Uber couldn’t make the model work. Instead, the Uber approach has switched to high-end brands. The customer can expect the order to be delivered on the same day for an additional fee.

Although the logistics sector is both busy and a difficult one to conquer, Uber does have the infrastructure and significant numbers of drivers and couriers to make it work. It also makes sense that the areas they have and continue to explore could easily be assimilated into one overarching business model. A driver could deliver a multitude of things without the need for any specialist equipment other than the ability to get to the location.

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