While Uber has been busy offloading loss-making business like ATG and Elevate, it is actually doubling down on its core platform to make profitable rapidly. For that, it has launched a service called Uber Connect which is launching in 2,400 cities in the US with an additional brown package icon inside the app interface. It builds upon Uber Direct which is more of Dunzo like service piggybacking on the Uber Eats backend. That said, it seems far more limiting but also designed in a way that takes account for the pandemic. In a way, it is closer to a courier service like FedEx or BlueDart than Dunzo as it postulates same-day delivery, not instant delivery but allows one to send across packages, gifts etc in a contactless way.
UberSanta ???????????? has arrived! Send your loved one a care package this holiday season with Uber Connect- now available in 2,400 new US locations https://t.co/r8Bv6iblAF— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) December 9, 2020
While Uber Direct is a way to get packages from select retailers just the way one can do so with Dunzo in India, Uber Connect is more like an inter-city courier service.
"UberSanta Santa Claus incoming automobile has arrived! Send your loved one a care package this holiday season with Uber Connect - now available in 2,400 new US locations," tweeted Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at the announcement of the launch.
Services like, Uber Connect and Uber Direct are ways Uber is mobilising its enormous user-base which wasn't being engaged as people had stopped travelling thanks to lockdowns all over the planet due to the pandemic. As the world still grapples with COVID19, despite impending vaccines, user behaviour for many has changed. A focus has shifted back towards personal mobility than shared mobility which is triggering moves from Uber to ensure people keep using its service.