Tech

Uber Launches Shopping App That Allows Riders To Shop While Traveling And Offers In-Ride Premium Paid Entertainment

Uber appears to be expanding its scope beyond food and ride-sharing. After Uber riding app and Uber Eats, the company has now come up with an interesting shopping app that works only during the commute. The app attempts to benefit the rider and the taxi operator as well. Uber has partnered with Cargo, a company that has already established itself in the world of eCommerce. The on-the-go convenience store would require additional authentication about the ride and also some pre-installed hardware within the vehicle. Interestingly, besides being able to buy while riding in an Uber taxi, the passengers stand to gain some “credits” as well.

Cargo, a company that specializes in in-car or on the move mobility commerce is working with ride-sharing and radio-taxi service company Uber. The collaboration between the two is being positioned as a lucrative proposition to all the parties, including the Uber partners or the owner/driver of the ride-hailing service. While Uber claims to have launched the app that extends the ability to shop during the commute, it is the Cargo Store mobile app that Uber passengers need to download. To boost adoption and engagement with the new platform, Cargo and Uber will jointly offer several benefits of shopping on the app.

Cargo And Uber’s Year-Long Association Results In On The Go Digital Convenience Store Shopping Experience:

Cargo had inked a deal with Uber last year. The company gained the privilege of becoming the ride-sharing service’s exclusive, in-car commerce provider. Interestingly the agreement grants Cargo a worldwide exclusive partnership. In other words, the Cargo Store mobile app will remain the only digital commerce shopping app that will sync and authenticate itself with the Uber taxi. Incidentally, nothing is holding customers back from shopping on other popular eCommerce platforms like Amazon. However, the Uber and Cargo’s partnership includes several incentives for passengers as well as drivers of the Uber taxi.

Well before the Cargo Store mobile app, the start-up that aims to be a leader in the on-the-go convenience store segment had been working hard to install hardware or physical kiosks inside Uber cabs. Cargo has been working with multiple brands across electronics, confectionery, and more to let ride-hailing passengers buy readily stocked items such as chocolate bars and earphones during their trip. Drivers display the goods in a little transparent case inside the vehicle, and the Cargo store mobile web app enables riders to order and pay using the usual mobile payment services, such as PayPal or Android Pay.

At present Cargo has successfully installed, and is operating consoles in about 30,000 vehicles that rely on Uber. Needless to add, the count keeps rising. Essentially, the consoles offer the ability to instantly purchase popular snacks while traveling inside a vehicle. In other words, Cargo’s consoles are already offering the convenience of making quick purchases of several small-sized products without the customers having to step outside or buy them beforehand. Cargo started its journey as a third-party or unofficial suppliers of consoles to drivers who work with the ride-hailing industry. However, Uber quickly realized the vast potential and made Cargo an exclusive partner.

Now Cargo and Uber are pushing their association into even more lucrative avenues. The Cargo Store mobile app that Uber users must download is essentially a curate digital store. In other words, the app does not contain several items at present. The app currently features items curated by Uber, including products like Nintendo Switch, Apple hardware, Away luggage, Glossier cosmetics, Oculus Go devices, and more. More brands will be added over time. The availability and product list should grow soon because more drivers are adding the Cargo boxes to their cars.

What Will The Cargo Store mobile App Offer To Uber Riders?

The Cargo Store mobile app will be available to all Android and iOS users. However, the app will only work while the passengers are riding inside an Uber taxi. The app is valid only in vehicles that have Cargo consoles installed onboard. The app users will have to insert the vehicle-specific code to activate the same. The app contains products and digital entertainment content that Uber has curated.

Cargo has an Uber-specific marketplace that sells up to five curated products each week through a “daily deals” offering. While the small or edible items are readily available and are handed over the buyer immediately, larger items bought as a “daily deal” through the app are not available on the spot. Cargo promises to deliver these items in a few days from the warehouse nearest to the buyer. At present, there is no delivery charge for items purchased through the Cargo app while riding in an Uber cab.

Besides the electronics items, the Cargo app will also provide in-ride entertainment. Uber riders using the app can stream movies from Universal Studios for between $5 and $10 each. The app also offers bundle discounts for multiple movies for $15 and $20. Incidentally, for digital entertainment, riders will have to visit the Movies Anywhere app.

Everything except the edible products is available to the passengers on other prominent and popular eCommerce stores like Amazon. However, Uber and Cargo have figured out several incentives that will ensure riders will prefer the curated marketplace to make their purchases while commuting in an Uber cab. Uber riders stand to receive about 10 percent of their purchase value back in Uber Cash. This is akin to actual cash-back simply because riders can then use the credited Uber Cash either on future trips or on other purchases made through the Cargo app while riding. Interestingly, urging passengers to use the new app is lucrative for Uber drivers as well. Drivers usually earn 25 percent of the value of items purchased from the installed Cargo Box. Moreover, they stand to earn an additional $1 for each first purchase by a passenger through the new app.

Uber Rides Are Getting Longer And Hence The App Makes Financial Sense?

Taxis offering rides through the Uber platform are ferrying millions of riders across the world. The company recently confirmed that the average trip duration has been rising steadily. The steadily increasing commute between airports and other transit hubs provides an opportunity to push products and services to riders who would otherwise spend their time and money on other platforms.

Offering products to passengers sitting inside a moving commuter vehicle is certainly not a new idea. Airlines have long attempted to capture consumer interest while their planes are in the skies. Airlines offer onboard duty-free products and conduct other sales. Many airlines include their large collection of curated movie titles in their sales tactics as well. With the new venture, Uber and Cargo are merely attempting to better utilize the ride-hailing platform and the idle hours of the commuter to their benefit.

Uber is certainly trying to make the riding experience more appealing and lucrative by offering an engaging platform that offers incentives. The success would depend on the number and quantum of incentives, and the size of the shopping cart of the customers. Moreover, the new venture could be a tactic to appease and placate its drivers, many of whom had expressed their dissatisfaction over the changing policies and reduced earnings. Uber has faced strong criticism over the actual amount the drivers earn after expenses, commission, and taxes are deducted. A few reports also claim Uber and other ride-sharing companies don’t pass on surge pricing fees to drivers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Close