Uber has expanded its on-demand delivery service, UberRush in the US. Stores can now have local couriers pick up and drop off their products to customers’ doorsteps in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago.
Uber began trialing the service in New York last April with bicycle couriers and drivers. In Chicago, all deliveries will be handled by drivers, while small businesses in San Francisco will get both bike and car deliveries.
Unlike Postmates, which offers a similar service in partnership with select retailers, UberRush can be integrated into merchants’ existing business models and included as a delivery option during checkout.
Small businesses can also opt to use ecommerce software from Uber partners Shopify, Bigcommerce, Clover, and ChowNow to power their online sales and start using UberRush right away. These platforms have make it easier to request deliveries as they automatically check if an order qualifies for UberRush based on its weight, size and destination.
Of course, Postmates doesn’t want to be left behind. It’s expanded its API today to enable merchants to order deliveries for as little as $2.50 per pickup.
And so begins the war for supremacy in the local on-demand delivery space. While Uber and Postmates seem to have made a good start, both companies will need to figure out ways to lower costs and streamline multiple pickups if they want to succeed and make this sustainable and affordable for small businesses.
➤ UberRUSH – Now Open for Business in Chicago, NYC, and SF [Uber Newsroom via TechCrunch]