Disrupted Advertising – now Uber muscles in on the ad business (!)

Just when you thought you could escape advertising

iDisrupted Commentary

Uber has moved into the parcel delivery business. Using its APIs it has also moved into the restaurant business by booking rides either side of your reservation.

This came as an unexpected shock. Uber knows where you come from and where you go to. It knows where you eat. It knows the time of day you travel. It can have a good guess at your disposable income. Perfect opportunities to sell targeted advertising. . . just when you thought you we’re safe from mobile advertising. . .

From Techcrunch: “Uber wants to be your car, and the billboard. It’s turning its frequently used app into a surface for external commerce promotions in hopes of rewarding users with special deals. If Uber will give you $20 off for shopping with its partners, you might stick with it over competitors.

Disrupted Advertising - Uber Offers
Uber Offers

Eventually, pushing riders to make purchases could potentially earn Uber referral fees that might boost its adjusted profit per ride higher than the reported $0.19 it makes in the U.S. But for now, it’s seeking loyalty by doling out free rides sponsored by local merchants where Uber could deliver users, or online stores where they shop mid-trip.

Buy something with your Uber-linked credit card at select merchants and get money off your next ride. That’s the idea. Uber quietly began testing Offers late last year, working with Visa-owned TrialPay. Visa briefly mentioned in January that Uber was part of its new Commerce Network.

The Uber Offers slide users a rebate of $5 to $20 off their next ride if they make purchases at local Shake Shack, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Whole Foods brick-and-mortar locations. They just accept the offer and then use a Visa card associated with their Uber account at the store in the next few days.

These local Offers were promoted with interstitial screens when users opened the Uber app in a few cities including Boston, New York, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco. Shake Shack “benefitted from new customer acquisition rates in the double digits, and higher customer spend levels” Visa says.

After these apparent successes with those smaller tests, Uber this week rolled out its first nationally available Offer with ProFlowers for Mother’s Day.

While you’re checking Uber before your car arrives or once you’re inside, you’re highly susceptible to marketing, and that’s when you’re hit with this Offer”…more