The customer who just ordered from you...
Where exactly are they going to be in an hour or two?
You’re not sure?
Well, the future is here and it’s a question you may soon have to begin asking as technology and logistics are catching up with the expectations consumers have regarding package delivery.
You probably already know Shopify and Uber recently teamed up to reinvent local shipping by offering UberRUSH, a same day shipping option for Shopify merchants currently in New York, Chicago and San Francisco that makes same day rush delivery a reality for even the smallest of businesses. When an UberRUSH order is placed, an Uber driver will show up at your warehouse or retail location, pick up the item ordered moments ago, and deliver it to the customer promptly.
Offering this type of customer experience can create a competitive advantage for you.
Despite consumer demand to receive the items they purchase faster, just 15% of retailers worldwide offer same day delivery. Not only is UberRUSH a means of satisfying the increasing demand for faster delivery speeds, but it’s also a potential source of new revenue for you.
Not convinced shipping is top of mind for your customers or that you can actually make money from it?
Shipping costs and delivery speeds are actually the top two priorities, according to the 2015 Walker Sands Future of Retail Study, consumers say would prompt them to purchase more items online:
Image via: Walker Sands
When it comes to shipping, don’t underestimate the expectations of your customers.
Not only do they want faster delivery, but some want their items delivered within two hours. UberRUSH may be new to you, but understand your customers are likely thinking even farther into the future.
Regulatory approvals aside, 36% of people surveyed anticipate having a package delivered by a drone within the next 1-2 years:
Image via: Walker Sands
It means consumers are not only ready but expecting you to use your imagination, technology, and logistics to offer same day delivery.
Okay, here’s the handkerchief you need…
Now wipe that bead of sweat from your forehead and stop worrying about what meeting your customer’s shipping demands is going to cost.
Unlike 80% of the consumers surfing the web surveyed here who are unwilling to pay for ad-free content, consumers are willing to pay for delivery within an hour. For instance, close to one-third of the 1,400 U.S. consumers surveyed here are willing to pay $20 for ultra-fast delivery:
Image via: Walker Sands
A separate study found 22% would pay $20 or more to get their goods within two hours. Regardless of whether it’s within an hour or two, consumers say they’re willing to pay you for offering faster and customized delivery options:
Image via: PWC
The data is telling you there is an unmet demand that people are actually willing to pay for.
The immense opportunities UberRUSH presents are limited only by your imagination. You know your customer better than anyone and have probably already kicked around ways you might incorporate UberRUSH into your daily marketing efforts.
But to get your creative juices flowing with even greater velocity, we’ve identified 13 ways you can combine UberRUSH with other marketing tools to create narrowly targeted, highly personalized, and ultra-timely offers that differentiate you and your irresistible offer.
#1 Situational Targeting + UberRUSH
The demise of the cookie as a robust tracking technology has, according to industry estimates, reduced audience reach for advertisers by as much as half in some cases. While cookies exist in-app where mobile users spend the majority of their time, they aren’t shared between apps or with browsers on the same device.
It means cookies aren’t reliable tracking mechanisms across mobile devices.
While a variety of alternatives now exist to track and target users across devices, situational targeting is one you might use extremely effectively with UberRUSH. Situational targeting, which helps advertisers understand in real time the specific situation in which a consumer finds himself, allows you to target someone regardless of device. Prospects are targeted based on situational data like context, location, time, and weather.
Imagine using situational data with UberRUSH to deliver the right message, at the right time to:
- Target vacationers, based on their beach location, with quick delivery of sunscreen, scuba gear, or swimsuit apparel
- Target evening commuters, based on contextual traffic clues, with quick delivery of groceries or meals from restaurants that don’t deliver
- Target homeowners, based on their proximity to a forecasted winter storm, with quick delivery of snow shovels, ice melting pellets, or winter garments
#2 Special Events + UberRUSH
Special events like concerts, sporting events, and community festivals are low hanging fruit in terms of using UberRUSH to measurably improve the customer experience and boost sales.
Imagine what it might be like to be at an upcoming event (where UberRush is offered) and identify ways your products might satisfy a need or desire on demand. Once you’ve come up with a variety of problems you might solve or desires you might satisfy in real time, you can target prospects at special events in a variety of traditional and technological ways:
- Purchase billboard space near the event
- Pay a human billboard to attract attention
- Hand out flyers, posters, or tickets to people attending the event
- Use AdWords to target people in a specific zip code & at a specific time
- Use Facebook ads to target people who have “liked” the special event
- Use Twitter to target people using a hashtag to discuss the special event
Don’t forget situational data like adverse weather that may offer real time opportunities to keep people dry, warm, or otherwise protected from the elements if these are the types of situations for which your offerings are perfect. Otherwise, capitalize on the audience someone else has assembled by:
- Target brides attending a wedding services convention with fast home delivery that prevents them from having to carry their convention purchases around all day
- Prepare in advance for longer lasting events such as multi-day festivals, concerts, or athletic tournaments by prepackaging custom sunglasses, commemorative rain ponchos, or personalized foam fingers that may be rush delivered
- Target pet lovers attending an adoption event with fast delivery of toys, outfits, or beds designed to make an adopted pet’s transition home more comfortable
#3 Personalization + UberRUSH
Your customers expect you to use the data you collect about them to personalize ads, offers, and experiences with your brand. Admittedly, technical hurdles remain in terms of scaling and correctly executing personalization. However, machine learning is quickly catching up in ways that allow you to offer personalized shopping experiences even as you grow.
UberRUSH positions you to engineer personalized shopping experiences in real time; a priority 19% of consumers surveyed here expressed interest in:
Image via: PWC
Personalization will be a theme throughout the remainder of this piece. For now, here are some ideas on how to personalize offers and UberRUSH to:
- Target people who have recently purchased something from you with complementary or recommended items selected just for them that “you must have before wearing or using what you just purchased” and rush delivered just in time for an event, holiday,or occasion
- Target homesick or yearning college alumni during homecoming weekend with “your college home in a box” offering that promises nostalgia & is rush delivered just in time for the big game
- Target busy female executives with collections of hand picked apparel designed to complement their body types and rush delivered just in time for earnings calls, media appearances, or important shareholder events
#4 Segmentation + UberRUSH
Segmented email campaigns achieve 13% higher open rates than those that aren’t sliced and diced. In and of itself, segmenting helps you tailor your offer. With UberRUSH, you can tailor offers even further by leveraging the urgency of special events, holidays, or your own desire to boost revenue during historically slow periods in your business by:
- Target female demographic segment with special offer on running shoes, visor, or athletic apparel to be rush delivered just in time for breast cancer fundraiser walks or other athletic events geared toward women
- Target job title or function segment (business owner, executive, manager, etc) with offer for flowers, office furniture, or candy to remind them of and to commemorate “administrative professionals day” to be rush delivered just in time so they don’t forget about their secretary
- Target your highest CLV segment during a traditionally slow time with product offerings that promise same day delivery to reward them for their loyalty
#5 PPC Ads + UberRUSH
Once you imagine how your offering might be used to get someone else out of a jam- think husband looking for last minute anniversary gift ideas- you can identify the keywords people in those situations use to search for solutions.
Search ads are a giant opportunity for intelligent marketers to use UberRUSH to make their ads stand out and capitalize on search urgency. Think about searches conducted with urgency:
- Last minute gift ideas
- Easy halloween costumes
- Quick dinner ideas
Take for example the search terms “easy halloween costumes”. According to Google’s Keyword Planner, there are more than a half-million searches for these keywords just in the month of October:
Image via: AdWords
People using these terms value ease. It doesn’t appear they want to exert much effort in piecing together a knockout halloween costume. A geotargted search ad triggered by these keywords that leverages UberRUSH might look something like this:
Image via: AdWords
While display ads may work despite the potential lack of urgency search promises, in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to combine UberRUSH with Twitter Buy Now buttons or Facebook Shop Sections. If a person is tempted in the least to hit the Buy Now button or to click on an item in the Shop Section of a Facebook page, UberRUSH may be just what it takes to convince the prospect. Once again, the idea here is to convert users who value immediacy:
- Sure Your Car Will Start After Tonight’s Monster Storm? Order a New Battery Now & Get It Before the Snow Starts to Fall
- In Trouble For Jetting Off to Vegas With the Boys? Order Her Flowers Now & She’ll Have Them Before You Return Home
- Last Year’s Swimsuit a Little Snug? Order a Flattering Suit Now & Have It Delivered to Your Hotel Room For Your Next Trip to The Beach
#6 Retargeting + UberRUSH
But as we’ve mentioned in the Shopify Plus blog before, consumers can become annoyed or even angry if you retarget them too frequently or with irrelevant ads.
Combining retargeting with segmentation and using UberRUSH is a triple-threat you can use to create tailored, relevant, and urgent retargeted ads that are more likely to be perceived as relevant, valuable, and with gratitude. Remember, the theme is to leverage urgency and convenience with UberRUSH. Look for opportunities that do just that by serving retargeted ads that:
- Inform prospects (possibly on a Friday) an evening gown at which they recently looked is either on sale or has been specially selected for same day delivery so they’ll have it just in time for the weekend
- Inform prospects a popular hat at which they recently looked is now limited in quantity (only 7 left) and can be delivered before the prospect gets home and just in time to wear out for dinner
#7 Behavioral Analytics + UberRUSH
Only twenty-percent of marketers are using behavioral triggers to create automated email marketing that increases engagement and sales. That’s unfortunate as email triggered by a user’s behavior is opened up to eight times more frequently than bulk promotional mail campaigns.
This chart highlights how infrequently marketers use customer behavior to drive personalized email marketing engagement:
Image via: Econsultancy
Regardless of whether you’re set up to reap all the rewards transactional email has to offer, you can still identify ways to combine the behavioral analytics to which you have access with UberRUSH to create personalized, ultra-relevant, and urgent customer communications (email or PPC ads) by targeting these behaviors:
- Abandoned Cart: Looks like you love item X as much as we do but didn’t pull the trigger for some reason. That’s okay- let us make your decision easier this time. Purchase now and we’ll see to it your (item x) is delivered before lunch.
- Purchase Frequency: Don’t let Fido run out of the food you got from us last month! Purchase your pet’s favorite food now and have it just in time for dinner tonight!
- Inactives: It’s been a while and we miss seeing you! The last time you visited we noticed item X caught your eye. We want you to have it and have it fast- how does same day delivery sound?
#8 Flash Sale + UberRUSH
Flash sales can create a lot of buzz but can take a big bite out of your profitability. Besides generating revenue, brand awareness, and buzz, the objectives associated with holding flash sales are to:
- Cross sell
- Foster customer loyalty
This is becoming increasingly difficult though as people experience flash sale fatigue. For instance, 52% of respondents in this survey say they feel overwhelmed by the number of “bargain-boasting email” they receive on a daily basis. The noise created by flash sales and daily deal sites can make it even more difficult to make your next flash sale stand out.
UberRUSH is a tool you can not only use to differentiate your flash sale, but to ensure it is more profitable.
WARNING: I’m not advocating you promise same day rush shipping on the item or items around which you’re building a flash sale without some additional work. If you want to do this consider the following:
- Limit the quantity of items to be flash sold
- Limit the size of the items to something a bike courier could easily handle
- Run a test or mini-flash sale to gauge ability to meet demand
Regardless of whether offering rush delivery on flash sale items will work for you, UberRUSH provides other opportunities to increase the odds a flash sale is profitable.
Consider using UberRUSH as a tool to increase the average flash sale ticket. Shopify offers an upsell application retailers like eLuxury Supply use to get customers to add additional items to cart. The developer says the app increases conversions between 20-40%:
Image via: Shopify
If your flash sale item will take a few days to get to the customer, consider cross selling an item customers can have today to tide them over until their flash sale purchase arrives.
Think sequentially so the offer actually makes sense and is relevant:
- Offer homemakers who purchased flash sale bed spreads rush delivery on a set of new sheets so they’re washed and on the bed in time for the arrival of their bed spread
- Offer builders who purchased flash sale flooring materials rush delivering on subflooring they can put down immediately and begin installing the floor the moment it arrives
- Offer home brewing aficionados who purchased flash sale beer making equipment kits rush delivery on How To books so they can begin making beer the moment the kit arrives
#9 Loyalty + UberRUSH
Loyalty programs, according to research, do not always drive stronger revenue growth and also appear to correlate negatively with profitability in some instances.
The average household belongs to 29 rewards programs but is only active in twelve. It means rewards programs, at least for many organizations, are simply ways to deliver discounts and erode margins.
One way successful rewards programs, those that create value for both the company and participants, stand out is to offer something truly valuable in return for loyalty. UberRUSH is a tool you can use to enhance the value of your offering and earn loyalty. It may be used to further increase CLV for active members of your rewards program or reignite passion in inactive members:
- Active Rewards Members: Target diehard sports fans who are repeat customers tailgating in stadium parking lot prior to big game with rush delivery of new apparel or accessories they’ll receive just in time to walk inside and cheer their team with
- Inactive Rewards Members: Target facial cream customers with rush delivery and an offer along the lines of; It’s been a while so we know you’re probably out of the face wash you bought from us. Purchase now and we’ll have it to you just in time for tonight’s shower!
#10 Scarcity + UberRUSH
Marketers have long used scarcity to increase conversions as people generally feel (or fear) the pain of a loss more so than the pleasure of a gain of equal value. The next time you see an ad, email, or landing page with a countdown clock or quantity ticker, you’re witnessing scarcity in action.
If you’re willing to play fast and loose with the definition of scarcity for just for a moment, UberRUSH may provide you opportunities to sell in bulk. Here’s what I mean; rather than using limited time or supply to sell, approach scarcity from the angle of all or none.
Instead of focusing on individuals, focus on a group. Either everyone in the group gets the deal- or no one gets it. Specifically, unless a certain number of people order right now- no one gets the deal.
Consider the possibilities if you were to combine UberRUSH with special events or geotargeting to:
- Offer rush delivery of unique fraternity t-shirts to college students during pledge week to be delivered before the bonfire is out but only if 5-people order in the next X-minutes
- Offer rush delivery of hot coffee and orange slices to soccer mom’s attending their children’s games on a cold Saturday morning delivered by half time but only if at least 20-people order before the end of the 1st quarter
The scarcity at work here, besides the time limit imposed, is designed to motivate word of mouth and and stimulate groups to act in solidarity or risk losing the unique value of rush delivery at key events or moments in time.
#11 Combine Physical Retail Sales With UberRush
There are few things as frustrating as going to a store when you're in the city and limiting your shopping trip simply because you don’t have the arm or backpack space to carry your items home. This is particularly a challenge in select urban markets.
Instead of making your customers limit their choices, let them know you offer UberRUSH at different touchpoints throughout the store. All they have to do have the cashier place an order on the web ( UberRUSH is not currently available on Shopify POS) and their purchase will be delivered to their home within a couple of hours.
#12 Surprise & Delight Loyal Customers
David Williams of RjMetrics shared some interesting data on customer lifetime value earlier this year that stated the top 1% of customers spend more than the the “average” customer, so why not find a way to use UberRush to surprise & delight your most loyal and frequent customers?
Some ideas you could use are:
- Email loyal customers about a free mystery gift and offer a promo code for free UberRUSH
- Depending on availability & market, hand deliver the product yourself
- Making special arrangements to enhance the delivery (add balloons, champagne, or a celebrity to deliver the product.)
Because UberRUSH is a little more personal, you can use the service to deliver a level of gratitude towards your top customers that currently doesn’t exist.
#13 Virtual Reality + UberRUSH
The shift to mobile is changing how brands reach consumers who are increasingly walling themselves off from the mobile web and inside applications. Apps are winning the mobile war for attention as time spent in-app dwarfs that of the mobile web:
Image via: Nielsen
The shift to mobile where apps are king dramatically reduces an advertiser’s reach via traditional PPC unless they change course and creatively get inside the apps prospects use and touch them in ways that are generous, personal, and not disruptive.
What does this have to do with virtual reality ?
It’s simply a lesson illustrating how quickly consumer behavior can change and how marketers must be agile and creative enough to adapt.
For example, the mobile game Football Heroes contains natural breaks like timeouts and halftimes where gamers eager for a rest are served pop-up ads that appear in the stadium in which their teams are playing, according to the game’s maker.
Likewise, the future of ecommerce will likely undergo similar changes as virtual reality is widely adopted. It’s not too soon to think about virtual reality shopping and, according to research, it’s not just for gamers either:
- 35% of consumers say they would shop more online if they could try products virtually
- 66% say they’d be interested in virtual shopping
Image via: Walker Sands
If the data proves accurate and consumers really are ready to shop in virtual reality, the technology has the potential to bolster ecommerce sales and impact the future of retail.
Here’s where combining the possibilities of virtual reality shopping with UberRUSH gets really exciting:
- Target big & tall shoppers with rush delivery of items that flatter them in a virtual dressing room
- Target device owners with rush delivery of protective cases that are displayed in virtual reality in different shapes, colors, or engraved with the prospect’s name or company
- Target jewelry lovers with rush delivery of earrings, necklaces, or bracelets they can try on in virtual reality and appropriately match with the gown they plan to wear to an event
There’s only so much you can load on the back of a bicycle courier or load into a driver’s car…
And depending on the proximity of your warehouse or retail location to the customer, the window you have in terms of confidently promising same day delivery may not be as wide as you’d hope.
UberRUSH probably isn’t for you if you sell large deep freezers from a warehouse 150 miles from where your customer wants it delivered.
It’s why we’ve focused on special events, situational targeting, and geolocation as appropriate fits for UberRUSH.
As always, split test the products you offer with UberRUSH against products sold with traditional shipping to determine which produces better ROI.
And don’t think you have to offer UberRUSH blindly or in ways your gut tells you are likely to crimp margins and depress ROI. Consider the following three ideas when incorporating UberRUSH into the customer experience:
- Price Increases- Items selected for UberRUSH delivery may be shown to prospects with modest price increases to compensate for the added expense though keep in mind research indicates consumers say they’re willing to pay for rush delivery (have you asked your customers?)
- Product Restrictions- Once you determine who’ll pay for UberRUSH & calculate the impact rush delivery will have on margins, consider restricting the items eligible for UberRUSH
- Order Thresholds- Offer UberRUSH only to customers spending a certain amount of money to increase average ticket size and margins
Test these combinations regularly so you can adjust price increases, restrictions, and thresholds in ways that allow you to simultaneously improve the customer experience, increase conversions, and improve your margins.
About The Author
Nick Winkler is a contributor to the Shopify Plus blog. He helps individuals & organizations generate new leads, make more money, and ignite growth with story. Get more from Nick here.