At our second annual Digital Salt held in September, we were very excited to have the General Manager of UberEATS, Nic Robertson, present on the Future of Retail and eCommerce.
Robertson started his presentation with an overview of the explosive growth of Uber. Now in over 600 cities worldwide, 77 countries and hitting five billion trips, Uber’s growth has been exponential. With the rise of eCommerce and retailers shifting online, we invited Robertson to offer his insights on how brands are innovating in this exciting space, and I was particularly impressed with how he mapped out the pillars of building, scaling and repeating.
Innovation is an imperative value to instil in a company, but as Robertson pointed out, you also need leaders and teams that support innovation, specifically those that can combine analytics and creativity. “You need people that can look forward but also understand the operational efficiencies that are needed in business,” he noted. With this realisation, Uber began asking, “If you can get a ride in five minutes, what else can we get you in five minutes?” In 2015, Uber began to think about how to leverage their data and currently technology.
This is so important for marketers and brands to apply to their own businesses; innovation doesn’t necessarily mean building from scratch, but a more intelligent way of looking at it is to see what technology and information you already have available and how you can mine data to find elegant ways to build on your current strategy or offering. This is a strategy employed at The SpaceStation; we’re always looking for ways to offer innovative solutions to problems our clients don’t even know they have.
As we’re in the throes of the 4th Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0), it goes without saying that everything needs to be driven by data. Deep analysis of every data point allows a businesses to fine-tune their offering, and this can make all the difference with growth and market share. EATS analyses global trends and suggests to restaurants who offer similar cuisine to alter their menus to include trendy dishes, thereby increasing their ability to convert customers. They also analyse delivery location data against cuisine popularity to identify where restaurant partners should open new venues. However, Robertson did point out that that doesn’t mean that you can lose perspective of the human element. “In the world of EATS, food is very personal, both for the eater and the restaurant or chef. Which means that even though decisions should be driven through data analysis, you have to be cognisant of the human element,” he said.
This can be so easily translated into the world of digital – user experience has to be a huge consideration for any campaign or tech solution. In order to successfully scale a product or service, it’s important to remember the end user, and to ensure that rapid growth doesn’t lead to sub-standard offerings or faulty products. UberEATS has managed to combine all these considerations perfectly and within a year and a half, they’re in 100 cities.
To stay competitive, you have to stay innovative. One big idea isn’t enough – one of our core values is innovation for this very reason, we’re always looking at how we can repeat past successes by introducing more innovation, more firsts. Robertson echoed this philosophy: “We need to challenge everything we do to stay ahead of the game, we consistently test, fail, test, fail and every now and then we move forward.”
In the current environment where consumers are being bombarded with brand and advertising content, messages and information; it is important as ever to continuously develop new and innovative solutions in order to cut through the clutter. Being able to leverage data analysis is vital for brands in order to create lasting, and meaningful innovative solutions.
To find out more the Digital Salt conference, have a look at the hashtag #DigitalSalt2017 on Twitter.
Kathryn Astbury is marketing manager of The SpaceStation. She is an experienced digital marketer with over 14 years experience in marketing and brand management.