Uber has announced an update to its UberRUSH platform that will help businesses across the country make same-day deliveries to customers, essentially taking on FedEx and UPS. As part of the launch, Uber has partnered with some big names for same-day delivery, including Nordstrom, SAP, 1800Flowers, Shopify, T-Mobile, and others.
Uber will facilitate the same-day deliveries through the UberRUSH API, currently only available to a closed set of partnered businesses. The goal, Uber says, is to allow businesses big and small to integrate the API into their existing apps and services to provide a better shipping experience to customers.
Uber has a large set of drivers it will use to make the deliveries, also integrating with restaurants to deliver Uber users food (competing with its own food delivery service). The ride-sharing service has been piloting UberRUSH in New York City and San Francisco since October 2015 with a small subset of local, small businesses and now it's growing larger.
"We're excited about how this product supports local businesses, but we also know that a lot of companies - and their customers - are looking for an easy way to get items delivered more quickly," Uber said in a statement. "Many companies rely on automated operations, have complex logistics networks or are in need of a more flexible solution that can fit their business and customers' needs."
Uber has partnered with enterprise application software company SAP to use UberRUSH to integrate on-demand delivery business into their existing network. Uber says users will see UberRUSH as a delivery option with the Uber app on iOS and Android, and will also see the ability to use UberRUSH on the website or app of various retail partners, when available in their area. Many of the retail partners are running pilots in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City, with plans to expand further across the US.
"We're hoping that one day through the UberRUSH API, getting anything in your city will be more affordable and reliable than getting in your car to pick it up yourself," Uber said.
While there are other same-day delivery services available across the country, Uber's is a very interesting premise, thanks to its vast network of drivers. Businesses now have access to a mass pool that can have flowers, phones, and dresses delivered to your home within hours.