Uber Eats is expanding its offer to become a… virtual mall?

Uber Eats, Uber’s food delivery service is looking to expand. No, not by adding more restaurants to the mix. But by becoming a “virtual mall” that will sell more than non-food items. The best part? The company aims to have these deliveries at your doorstep in 30 minutes or less.

Gobble up the market

“We’re bringing in women’s comfort wear, we’re looking at apparel, but we also want to expand more into verticals like books, stationery, because we’re seeing those perform really well. Herbs, pharmacies, it works very well,” said Cikida Gcali-Mabusela of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.

Uber Eats already sells a few non-food items like Rain 4G SIM cards, medicine, and jewelry. Uber Eats’ mindset is to add “…everything a person could want in 30 minutes or less”. Who doesn’t need an urgent jewelry delivery before?

Uber Eats also wants to position itself in the small business market. The company wants to partner with small businesses “…and then [use] as a distribution point for last mile delivery,” she said.

Read more: Uber’s new audio recording driver puts South African safety first

Uber currently has three of these distribution points set up in South Africa, although they are all in Cape Town. The goal is to have six more operational by the end of September. These will be spread across both Cape Town and Johannesburg, at least for now. By the end of the first quarter of 2023, Uber hopes to have 37 distribution sites, in all major regions of South Africa.

If done correctly, the Uber Eats app could slowly become South Africa’s biggest delivery service. The timing seems a little off, with Amazon rumored to launch its own marketplace in South Africa in February 2023.

Source: Business Intern

Edwin S. Wolfe