Top of Mind Thursday – October 5, 2023: Many Happy Returns

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Back in the old days of 2019, one conjured up the Uber app when you needed a ride to get from Point A to Point B.

Then, in 2020, the pandemic hit and most people weren’t going anywhere. So Uber pivoted and introduced Uber Eats—a way to get your takeout food delivered to you. This week, the company announced a new service to help you ship return items. For less than $5, Uber will stop by your house, pick up your package, and deliver it to the US post office, or to a UPS or Fedex store.

Many of us may not see this as a necessary service. But with the explosion in online shopping, more than $212 billion worth of items were returned last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Not everyone who needs to return a package can get to a drop-off location during regular hours. This service may be a big help for people who don’t have cars, have other daytime commitments, or aren’t well enough to get out to do this themselves.

Uber realized during the pandemic that it was not in the business of offering ride sharing. It’s core competency was a large fleet of drivers in most metropolitan areas who can easily be deployed to local locations—whether it’s to deliver a pizza or pickup a package. Who knows what’s next? If it’s something that can make use of a large fleet of connected drivers, it’s likely Uber will jump in and add that to its list too.

What additional offerings can you add to help serve your customers?

Taking a good look at how you can put extra capacity to good use may result in great returns for your business.

Check out our marketing leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

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