Uber and Shopify have launched UberRUSH in October.
It’s a new service that allows online retailers to offer instant delivery.
Yep, customers can now order a product online, and have the courier knock at their door just an hour or two later.
How? With Uber, of course.
Uber have quietly been changing the entire offline-to-online world. But, I hadn’t quite realised how far until I was in Beijing for this year’s TechCrunch event.
More on that later, but first, how will it work?
Shopify is one of the best ways to run an online store. In fact, there are over 100,000 online stores using Shopify, including some big, household names. (Not least, rapper 50 Cent and Lollapalooza festival).
The e commerce giant gives independent sellers a platform to sell their products while Shopify handles all the tricky mechanics behind the scenes. It’s simple, easy, and powerful.
But it just got a whole lot better.
Retailers who use Shopify will now get the option to ship products instantly to buyers. If you’re in the same city as your customer, you can pack it up, and get it on the road.
Using UberRUSH, you’ll simply open the app, and schedule a courier. Pop the product in the car, and have it delivered immediately.
New York, San Francisco & Chicago…
…Are the first to enjoy this service. UberRUSH is expected to roll out immediately in these cities.
It won’t be long before Uber expands into additional cities too. If you’re wondering when your town will show up on the list, you can ask Shopify to notify you when it launches.
Shopify have also done a deal with Amazon…
Perhaps you were thinking, “Well, I buy all my stuff from Amazon anyway”. Then you’ll be intrigued to know that Amazon has done a deal with Shopify. It makes Shopify Amazon’s preferred partner for small vendors.
In other words, when you buy an Amazon ‘marketplace’ item, it could very well come from a Shopify store. And that means you’ll soon be able to make an instant delivery through Amazon too.
Consider that Amazon are also developing drone delivery, their ability to offer ‘same-day’ shipping just got a lot more realistic.
If you’re thinking about setting up an online store, it’s worth bearing in mind that Shopify could now open you up to sales via Amazon too.
Tracking (this is the best bit)
One of the most frustrating things for retailers and customers is the inability to track in real time. You’re often notified when the product is dispatched, and you can sometimes see where it is in the world.
But with UberRUSH and Shopify, you can track it in real time. Just like you track an Uber cab. You can follow its progress around the city, all by following the little red pin.
This will set the standard for all future delivery services, and others will need think about upping their game to match! Again, if Shopify begins to integrate with Amazon, this could become a standard tracking procedure.
Uber’s World Domination
This is just one of latest ways that Uber are starting to take over the world.
The taxi service is simply the start of their entire ‘online-to-offline’ empire. By that, I mean their ability to turn a small online action into a real life experience. Taxis are just one way they can do this.
Online shopping deliveries are another.
They recently delivered puppies and kittens all over New York!
…And Vancouver, and Tapeii, and Delhi, and Philidelphia.
By teaming up with local puppy and kitten rescue centres, Uber delivered furry critters to offices and workplaces around the world.
Every animal was available for adoption, and thousands of abandoned pets found new homes.
It’s almost enough positive PR to hide the hideous lawsuit they’re currently fighting. But that’s a whole other blog post.
The important thing is that Uber have the ability to instantly bring and deliver anything at the click of a smartphone.
They even delivered flu shots, and allowed BMW test drives
Carrying on the positive PR, Uber are also delivering essential flu shots to the elderly this winter. For just $10, Uber will bring healthcare to your doorstep. They’re currently doing this in 35 different countries.
In some countries, they were even allowing Uber users to test drive the new BMW 7 models. Is this a whole new channel for real-world advertising?
This is all very interesting, but what does this mean for ecommerce store owners?
Well, Uber might seem like an unlikely player in the ecommerce game. But their ability to turn offline events into instant real-life experiences is a game-changer.
As a boutique shop owner using Shopify, this allows you to hugely improve your customer experience. If you can deliver your products within hours, you’ll create a league of happy customers.
If you are quick to adopt this new UberRUSH experience, it will make you one of the only shops in the world to offer same day delivery.
Just think of the increase in impulse buying! As a customer, we’re much more likely to buy if it will arrive in the next hour.
Your customers will tell their friends. You’ll quickly boost your sales, and increase your returning customer numbers. Once people know that you can deliver instantly, you can expect a lot of repeat custom.
It Opens Up A Global Market
This announcement ties in nicely with the whispers that Google are hoping to get ‘unblocked’ in China.
Google are looking increasingly likely to break back into China. If that happens, the Chinese market might start stumbling across your shop via Google.
But wait, you don’t have any delivery links in China.
Or do you? With the Shopify & Uber partnership, you can use UberRUSH to deliver to the major cities. (FYI, Chengdu already has more Uber users than New York. And GuangZhou is the number one Uber city on the planet. So they’re well established here!)
With a small distribution centre in China, you could begin to tap into the enormous Chinese market with UberRUSH as your delivery partner.
Now that’s something to think about.
Instant delivery and ‘same-day’ shipping is the future of online shopping. If you run a small ecommerce business or boutique store, this is going to change everything.
Will you be signing up for UberRUSH? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions!