Key factors behind Uber success story
Do you remember 2010? Yeah, it was quite long ago, but it was a real revolution for the whole ride-hailing industry. Everything started with two friends meeting at the tech conference in Paris in 2008. The idea of the radical and innovative taxi app came to their minds when they were unable to get a cab. And so the Uber was created. But how did it manage to become the startup that didn’t end up failing?
Ride-hailing services became so hyped up when the taxi apps appeared and people could order a ride in one button click or one call. In fact, it’s hardly possible to imagine our lives without taxis in huge cities or in areas with no or limited public transportation infrastructure. Today, there is a variety of cab giants – Lyft, Grab and, of course, Uber.
Uber has drastically transformed the whole mobility domain. Now it is one of the most valuable companies in the on-demand market. It’s valued as much as $120 billion, and it operates in 785 metropolitan areas worldwide. Impressive for a company that has emerged from a local startup!
Let’s be honest, every taxi startup dreams to repeat Uber triumph. Every ride-hailing company wants people to associate words like “taxi” or “ride” with their product. But how to make your on-demand app an inevitable part of people's daily routine? All business owners want to be a part of their customers' life. Here are some insights on how San Francisco’s taxi company made a real splash.
For the sake of riders
The success of Uber happened not only because of the revolutionary technology and idea itself. The time was just right for such an app. Almost everyone already had a smartphone, and the possibility to order a taxi in one click was the next logical step.
The main Uber idea was to provide people with service which cares about them. Passengers get high-quality service: they always know the price in advance, they can choose a car, track the driver status, location and the route. The prices are even clearer and fairer than with taximeters. What’s more, everyone has a credit card and doesn’t want to carry cash in the pocket to pay for a taxi. Uber supports various payment methods to satisfy every passenger.
One of the reasons why Uber – as well as any other ride-hailing giant – has become so popular is that it saves people time on routine tasks. Now ordering a car with a taxi app will take less than a minute. No need to hang on the phone waiting for a dispatcher to find you a cab.
Passengers always know they will get a high-quality service. Uber guarantees that a driver arriving is a professional and meets all the requirements needed. The rating system does not allow drivers with bad reviews to work at Uber. It increases customer loyalty and makes the service more trustworthy.
Benefits for drivers
Uber saves not only its passengers. Living in the “gig” economy gives a lot of new autonomous job types. Many drivers consider this taxi app a great opportunity to earn more money.
The ride-hailing taxi app gives flexibility to drivers – they can choose both time and place to work. So, they have more autonomy and independence. Drivers often choose Uber as a source of supplemental income, and 55% of drivers work less than 15 hours a week.
The app creates jobs not only for professional drivers. It also gives a chance for people who just have a car, spare time and want to have additional income. The traditional taxi services can’t offer the same.
Word of mouth strategy
The first area Uber went live was San Francisco. Even if it was done unintentionally, it was one of the smartest decisions ever. The city is a perfect location for a startup to appear. The tech Silicon Valley community was happy to spread the word about a brand new, revolutionary ride-hailing app. Moreover, Uber became a solution to a local transportation problem.
It shows us how the place could play a decisive role in product success. San Francisco tech community was eager to test a new service improving their quality of life. Uber did a great job in defining its primary target audience – tech geeks. The taxi app hosted various IT events to get a name and attract the attention of those who would use their services regularly.
So, here comes priceless advice: find a community potentially interested in your product and make them your early adopters. Other people will quickly catch up your fan club! As people start spreading the news, you’ll see your business grow.
Price strategy depending on demand
The Uber advantage: it satisfies the needs of society. People can choose either an ordinary ride or a luxury one – everything depends on their needs and opportunities. Such a strategy helps to attract more customers and cover all segments.
The company also stands for smart pricing policy. We all see how the ride price goes up if the demand is high. Of course, passengers are not happy with price surging strategy, but it’s one of the main factors made tremendous Uber growth possible. The price multiplier helps drivers to earn more and passengers are still able to get a cab during rush hours just paying a little bit more. As a result, everybody wins.
Uber started as a local company solving a San Francisco taxicab problem. It was only the first step to conquer the on-demand market. The main growth factor for every company was moving forward, developing and continually improving the services.
So Uber decided not to focus on a single product and followed the global trend for diversification and widening for other business domains.
Uber is now more than a taxi service. It is diversifying the services and trying to occupy new niches. The company is tackling air pollution and moving to electric cars. Ridesharing, electric bikes and scooters are another potential growth zones. What’s more, the management team wants to get a share in the public transportation sector allowing people to pay for public rides directly via the app.
Uber is not only about rides, but it also strives to become a leader in the whole on-demand sector. UberEats is a perfect example of a diversification strategy. Now it’s one of the fastest growing U.S. meal delivery service. So, even if a taxi business is under risk, the company still has a safety cushion.
In 2010, the principal stress was made on word-of-mouth marketing. Let’s face the truth: banner ads and social media promotions can be rather expensive. But people sharing their user experience are totally free. Uber quickly understood the marketing best performing insight – users are the best marketing channel (please, remember it forever).
Worth-of-mouth marketing doesn’t contradict social media ads. The taxi app uses digital marketing to attract new people and grow its business. People can monitor all ongoing discounts and offers in social media accounts. What made Uber so popular in the very beginning is the referral program. People were spreading information to get bonuses – the company was blooming more and more with every person joining the ride-hailing community. Referral programs are great as one person can bring ten more people.
One of a kind
Actually, Uber was a real disrupture for the whole domain back to 2010. It was the first of a kind, and that’s why it attracted so much attention. San Francisco startup had a lot of elements to succeed: top-notch technology, local transportation problem solution, smart marketing strategy and the right time and place to appear.
Uber story is not only about the service itself. It offers great user experience and comfort for people. It is more than an ordinary app on your smartphone. It changes people's habits. Uber now is a new way of life. When we want to get a cab, the first idea coming to our minds is open an Uber app and just press the button. And it means business success!