Uber is said to be working on merchant delivery service and is in talks with 400 retailers for the same, as per a report from TechCrunch. The company will deliver goods via its UberRush couriers and Uber drivers.
More than 400 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, and Hugo Boss, have been in discussions with Uber for the new program or testing it, added the report. Uber has also reportedly teamed up with mobile shopping app Spring to test the platform with a limited set of brands, including illesteva, Bing Bang Jewelry, Phyllis + Rosie, Mack Weldon, Jinsoon, Industry Standard, Outdoor Voices and Negative Underwear.
The app will feature an intelligent routing system for orders that will eventually allow drivers to transport both goods and passengers at the same time. The report includes a purported manual from Uber describes a new app for a pilot phase of the program. At present, drivers who were tapped to participate in this program have to carry two official Uber phones: One for passengers, one for packages. Once the Merchant Program comes out as a ready-for-primetime service, the two phones will be combined into one.
Uber’s original plan was reportedly to partner with online retail giants like Amazon and eBay, however sourcing inventory from warehouses proved logistically impractical. UberRush first introduced in 2014, using bike messengers to act as a personal courier for customers for a similar fee to that charged for its standard UberX car service.