I “UBER”ED IN
This is not about the experience that I had with an app or service. This is about the experience of using Uber itself. People do not search these days they “GOOGLE”. Similarly, we don’t catch a cab these days, we “UBER”. This has been the level of impact created by the company. The company as such has overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles over the past few months ranging from a poor performance at the IPO to lawsuits by other cab services. Let us not forget the fact that it is not so easy to get a Uber license in cities like New York and San Francisco. The switching cost is so low that the drivers and riders do not even take a second to change to their rivals. Like many others, I also pick only that service that gives me the lowest price. But there is something about this company that amazes me.
There are 3 factors that I would like to consider why this company has been able to achieve what they have been able to are
- Can the users figure out how to use?
Uber has been the epicenter of innovation in the field of transportation. As my title reads, people do not say I booked a taxi, People say they Uber. This according to me is a sign of success. They have been making awesome progress despite various struggles. Some recent examples include added information on drivers like the languages known to them, their ride history and if there are any challenges they have. Knowing the languages known to the driver would like you strike the right cord with them. Many drivers also are specially-abled, knowing it ahead of time, help us give them instructions to them accordingly if needed. The most recent improvement that I am a big fan of is their addition of Uber Pets. This is a welcome addition to their existing line of services. Given the number of pet owners across the states, this addition could have a significant impact on the users. Besides, all the use cases mentioned above states the inclusive nature of their business.
Uber has revolutionized the transit industry. I remember the first travel to US had multiple challenges in booking myself a cab. I was clueless if I was paying the right price for my commute. Today I have multiple options to choose from and all options are available at the click of a button. Uber invariably is the first option that I look for. I can now commute across different locations at the click of a button, manage payments, book it for someone, manage emergency alerts, ride with my pet(hopefully), and what not. Besides, this they have also expanded their portfolio into Uber eats bringing in an aspect of food delivery. The Uber rewards which has been active for close to 2 years now has also helped users save some small portion of their spend on travels and ordering.
According to me, a product can be considered a success if the users can figure out how to use the product with minimal or no intervention from the developers of the product. It should be intuitive, communicate the right message, and enable and empower the users to make the right decision. Uber’s UI/UX is simple and straight forward. Users can easily figure out most of what they want to do. The product is structured in a simple, stright forward manner. The UI is intuitive and easy for the users to figure out. As they say in Avatar, make the right contact and once chosen the first ride seals the deal. Uber’s simple UX has resulted in a linear Pirate Metrics: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue (AARRR). Acquisition to Activation happens within minutes, retention has has been a matter for concern given the competition on-hand, referral through existing clients and partnerships are working fine as of now.
The success today is not guaranteed tomorrow. You got to be on top of your game every day. With low switchover costs and high competition from others like Ola, Lyft, Waze ride share, and the old timers in Yellow Taxi and city taxi, Uber cannot take success for granted. There are also mounting pressure from high commission rates, drivers switching over to competitors, law suits and protests against Ride sharing apps. There have also been cases of security breaches for the drivers and riders. With great challenges come great opportunities. If Uber cotinues to do what Uber is known to for, these challenges are good headaches that disruptive companies would prefer to have rather than sit idle. Besides, there are also other aspects in which Uber can expand their portfolio.
P.S: This is not a paid review. Uber has not given me any coupons or even promotional offers to write this. May be something else that they should work on 😉