During the infancy of the retail industry, product was king. There was less reliance on how and when customers would receive a product and more of a focus on how well it worked. This has all changed for today’s marketers. We live in an on-demand world (of instant gratification) and in order for retailers to succeed, they need to offer immediate delivery for must-have items — because today, convenience is king.

Uber is leading the way as the on-demand, digital disruptor. This app has proven itself vital for everyone providing a ride wherever and whenever people need one. It’s a blueprint for today’s on-demand economy.  With that, here are a few tips in which marketers can learn from Uber’s success:

1. Convenience is king

With more than three quarters of the UK owning a smartphone it is becoming second nature for consumers to run their entire lives from the palm of their hand. The demand for convenience has never been higher, as consumers are now able to make fast decisions while on the move.

From buying shoes to booking a table for dinner, marketers must ensure their efforts to market convenience are optimised across all customer touchpoints and devices to create a memorable experience (no matter how short the experience). Consumers don’t want to feel rushed, but instead, confident that they will have a great experience.

2. Provide immediate service where and when customers need it

The rise of mobile has given us immediate access to anything we need where and when we need it – so Uber’s offering fits the modern day consumer. The demand of on-demand is a vital and valid area for marketers to consider capturing and retaining customers.  Additionally, as the need for on-demand services grows, marketers’ approaches can be further improved by utilising technologies and data that provides insight into their customer’s purchasing behaviour.

3. Surprises create a memorable brand

Marketers can learn a lot by surprising their customers.  For Uber, this happens around every corner. Uber’s recent initiatives include UberKITTEN where kittens were delivered for 15-minute playdates. It is stunts like these that prove that Uber is a brand that is constantly pushing boundaries building a strong reputation as an exciting and convenient service.

4. Keep your eye on the ball – create loyal, returning customers

Customer retention is the Holy Grail for many marketers. While it can never be guaranteed, brands stand a better chance of gaining a returning customer by offering a convenient service. Personalising messaging and streamlining payment services go a long way to increasing customer loyalty. Rewarding initial experiences allow customers to trust brands to put the same processes in place for every single purchase, making all transactions a stress-free experience. Great experiences become recommendations to family and friends.  These offer brands the opportunity of converting a spontaneous purchase into a loyal customer.

These tips can help marketers drive their brands into Uber’s slipstream offering customers the convenience they seek. Gone are the days where consumers wait for a service or product hoping it will work or provide a great experience.  The modern day shopper expects quick and efficient delivery, the product or service they’re purchasing to surpass their expectations — and marketers hope they remember the experience and return. The secret is being tuned into customers’ needs as well as having the insight to provide welcome surprises.

Steven Ledgerwood

Steven Ledgerwood


Steven Ledgerwood UK Managing Director at Emarsys.