Monday, July 29, 2019

"Uber Pushes The Edge On Subscription Commerce"

Uber has already set many of the high standards for payments that are basically becoming table stakes — that is, the expectation among consumers that transactions can happen seamlessly without payment cards being pulled out (to say nothing of the lack of cash). Now the ride-sharing pioneer is moving into subscription eCommerce.

According to reports, including this one from Engadget, Uber “is testing a subscription option that offers all-inclusive or discounted access to all its services.” The report adds that the company, which recently completed its initial public offering, “is  trialing a few variants of the plan in Chicago and San Francisco. All of them include trips on Jump e-bikes and scooters at no extra cost, free Uber Eats deliveries and a fixed discount on Uber rides for $24.99/month. In other locales, Uber is testing cheaper passes that include free Uber Eats deliveries above a certain order threshold as well as discounted rides.”

Uber End Game
As Karen Webster has pointed out in PYMNTS, for Uber, transportation is a platform feature that is central to its business, but is not its end game.

Today, the Uber app offers choices ranging from black car service, UberX, Black and UberPool to the metered Taxi service, Uber Bus and car rentals. Other modes of transportation like bikes, scooters and rickshaws are also available, depending on where one happens to be in the world. According to its S-1, Uber has 91 million consumer users on its platform and 3.9 million drivers in 700 cities worldwide to service them. And like many of the largest players in the platform economy today — Facebook, Airbnb, Google, Amazon — Uber is leveraging its platform assets, and its critical mass of drivers and consumer users, to find new sources of value for its platform and the stakeholders who are part of it....