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Learning from Uber’s online/offline hybrid

Simon-RossiKeeping pace with technology and ensuring customers are engaged so they ‘don’t have another choice’ is driving Uber’s success across the globe, said general manager, Australia, Simon Rossi.

Uber uses a smartphone app for commuters looking to get from A to B using the nearest driver.

“Our whole principle is ‘be where our customers are’, and so we’re on the phone,” Rossi told Inside Retail Weekly. “One of the ideas behind making the app so easy and accessible to use is that people don’t have another choice, is how we think about it.”

“We’re so convenient that people are just drawn to using it. We talk about taking something that’s traditionally offline and that’s getting around your city moving from A to B – and we’ve wrapped it in technology to make it really simple for people.”

Engaging customers by providing different experiences that don’t necessarily align with a company’s core product, can be achieved by all businesses, including retailers, according to Rossi. Uber conducted a campaign in which customers were given the option of being driven to a helipad, where they would board a helicopter and fly into the Melbourne Spring carnival races.

“We’re enhancing that experience and so part of the day is becoming the getting to and from the races, as opposed to being the challenging part of the day,” said Rossi. “These are some of the things that we do from an engagement perspective, that any business, including retailers, can do.”

Uber implements a continual feedback loop so that every rider and driver can provide feedback after each trip. This information is used to help drivers and riders make changes and improvements through the platform.

“People are continually able to provide feedback and then we will action that feedback and I think that’s one thing that keeps the service at such a high quality,” said Rossi.

Simon Rossi will be speaking at Inside Retail Academy’s forthcoming one-day intensive workshop, which is themed Managing Marketing in a Multi-Channel Retail Environment. Rossi will be addressing how Uber has merged the online and offline spaces and what affect this has had on related industries. Disruption and innovation will be presented as key themes with the event exploring how retailers can learn from Uber, in creating retail experiences of the future through optimising technology.

The event will be taking place at The Sheraton in Melbourne on Tuesday February 23 and at The Sheraton in Sydney on Wednesday February 24, 2016.

For more information, including how to access early bird tickets, click here or email

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