“There’s no doubt the pandemic has accelerated trends in consumer behaviour, specifically our desire to get what we want, delivered quickly, at the push of a button,” Uber’s global head of membership Julie Kim said in a statement.
Tamara Reid, founding director of online community Beaute Industrie, said it’s an exciting time for the sector.
“As a service-based industry, the partnership allows for what was a great experience to be seen as an exceptional service. No longer will consumers have to wait for the doors of their favourite beauty counter to open to be granted access to products, the partnership now means that the accessibility is now in the hands of the consumer,” Reid told Inside Retail.
“Consumers have become accustomed to the benefit of click-and-collect products through food and beverage services over the past five years and have eagerly been awaiting the day where the beauty industry can too match this level of convenience.”
With consumers globally spending more time in their homes and shopping online, brands are all too aware of the need to engage with customers in unique ways to drive interest in new products.
“Lovers of beauty and personal care are becoming more savvy and experimental when it comes to the use of products and services from the comfort of their home. This calls for greater creativity and imagination from a brand perspective to further enhance the do-it-yourself experience with the hope to further drive engagement and continued replenishment of product,” Reid said.
If you can’t beat them, join them
It’s not surprising that more and more businesses, including many fashion and beauty retailers, are looking to Uber’s business model to meet the demand for same-day delivery. Uber’s delivery business is up 150 per cent year-over-year, the company said.
H&M, The Body Shop and Walmart are all working with Uber in select US cities through its Uber for Business platform, while US food and alcohol delivery business Gopuff is launching a convenience offer with the company in June, giving consumers access to more than 2500 Gopuff items through the Uber Eats app.
Meanwhile in the UK, wellness and beauty retailers including Holland & Barrett and pharmacy chain Lloyds turned to local delivery platform Deliveroo to supply consumers with medical supplies and beauty products during lockdown.
Catherine Cervasio, founder and managing director of Australian natural skincare brand Aromababy, often leans on Uber to deliver products from its warehouse to its customers and sees the value of this partnership to businesses.
“In the same way we send skincare from our warehouse using Uber, to both business and consumers, this latest partnership provides a seamless, around-the-clock service for consumers wanting their beauty products delivered to their door,” she said.
“I believe this type of service ensures optimum convenience to shoppers who are seeking more options on ways to shop from retailers. As suppliers like Aromababy work towards offering a more ‘personalised’ service, I can see these types of partnerships becoming more widely adopted (and expected).”
Salad and self care
The ever increasing popularity of Uber Eats globally could see brands seeking to collaborate with the business on more than just product delivery.
“I can see an angle where healthy food options are delivered with a side of self-care via the Origins skincare line. They do say, ‘we are what we eat’,” Angela Ivana, beauty expert and founder of beauty education platform Cosmosafe, told Inside Retail.
“Attracting new customers in beauty retail has always been about blending marketing (great images or celebrity) with customer experience (samples or live events). Perhaps we’ll see Estée Lauder attempt to win hearts through Uber by sending sample sized beauty products with our salads and smoothies,” she said.
While Uber launched the partnership ahead of Mother’s Day on May 9 to capitalise on demand for gifts, the company hasn’t put an end date on the partnership.