By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Nordstrom, T-Mobile, and 1800flowers are among UberRUSH's new partners.
Delivery service provider Uber has announced the launch of the UberRUSH delivery service to its API, which allows retailers to integrate same-day delivery service into their websites and mobile shopping apps. Among the closed set of partners are retailers Nordstrom and Rent the Runway, food delivery service Eat Street, and delivery startup Curbside.
Under the new service, UberRUSH couriers may also transport passengers as UberX drivers, but will receive special training in order to handle merchandise deliveries.
As pressure mounts for faster delivery, many retailers are feeling the pressure to go for speed, prompting them to look for new options to complete fulfillment in a timely fashion. UberRUSH has grown from a bike courier service in Manhattan to operating officially in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Calvin Lee, product manager at Uber, told The Verge, “We are taking a lot of strides forward in terms of working with businesses and understanding what their needs are. Traditionally, we’ve been a consumer focused company….Here we are building a product specifically for businesses.” The service allows customers to have items delivered the same day they were purchased, and also offers real-time tracking of items.
The key, Lee explained, is that “We’re going to be fast, we’re going to be affordable, we’re going to be simple and easy to use.”
According to GeekWire, Uber is moving beyond assistant smaller brick-and-mortar retailers with package delivery to work with larger businesses meet the challenge of moving product from one location to another.
There are now more than 1,000 UberRUSH clients. Since 2011, Nordstrom has actually offered a $15 same-day delivery service in four markets — including Chicago and Seattle — and began testing curbside pickups last year. But this new UberRUSH integration gives the company access to customers in other cities.
“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 an official 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,” it continued.
UberRUSH will even support more sophisticated and complex logistics, through its partnership with enterprise application software company SAP, Bergen Logistics and Trade Global. “They too can use the power of UberRUSH to integrate on-demand delivery directly into every business in their network with a few lines of code,” the statement read.