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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Uber may be taking on Google and Amazon

 
September 2nd, 2014 by Susan Smith
Five-year-old Uber, a company whose expertise is in getting you from one location to another, wants to add the service of how to deliver goods to people’s homes also.

Corner Store items can be delivered within the shaded areas.

Recently Uber announced Uber Corner Store, a pilot program which is a service that would enable Uber users in the Washington D.C. region to order grocery or pharmacy items such as toothpaste delivered from local stores, much like some mom-and-pop stores used to make home deliveries. The pilot is expected to only last for a few weeks, but signals what the long term vision of the company is. This would put Uber at more than a location company to a bonafide logistics company.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s idea of the Corner Store could position the company in direct competition with the two superpowers Google and Amazon, who have been going after that same-day delivery market for a number of years.  The on-demand economy is growing and both companies have their version of instant gratification for that economy. The other part of that is to keep shoppers engaged in their one service so they don’t shop elsewhere. Google has added new retailers to its Shopping Express offering. Amazon expanded it’s Get It Today service to six new locations.

Uber  has not figured out a way to make this service earn money, and currently the service is free for customers. Uber has an advantage in that it has been in the forefront of educating users to treat their smartphones like “remote controls” so that they can get anything by using an app or just touching a button on their mobile device.

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Categories: Big Data, citizen science, cloud, crowd source, data, geospatial, GIS, mapping, mobile

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