How The "Uber Effect" Might Change The Way You Shop

uberPhoto: Courtesy of Uber.
If you live in an urban environment, chances are you've ordered an Uber car service before. An app that allows users to hail a ride wherever they might be, Uber has disrupted the monopoly that traditional transportation sources like cab or limousine companies have established. Anyone who's ever had to shuttle a coffee table home, find one automobile to fit five people, needed a car in a thunderstorm, or wanted to 100% ensure their driver won't purposefully take the long way home knows the benefit of Uber. With its rating systems, GPS tracking, and select-a-car options, Uber is basically what we've always wanted cab services to be (albeit, more expensive than we'd like).
It's not surprising, then, that other for-profit services are looking to Uber's success for guidance. In an article published today on WWD about digital trends in the e-commerce space, Uber was called out as the inspiration for many fashion, beauty, and wellness-based service apps that seek to deliver "on-demand" products and content. Including Hannah Bronfman's Beautified — which allows users to book a plethora of spa treatments — StleBee, Hotel Tonight, and Zeel, many other applications are looking to aggregate services to allow needy users to quickly find the most convenient product for them. In the future, expect to see more and more applications that let you shop in person more conveniently. Imagine spotting on your phone the skirt you'd been searching for, seeing the nearest boutiques that carry it in your size, and automatically placing that item on hold…all while you're finishing up brunch before your shopping day. Cool, right?
Additionally, on-demand companies who are following the Uber model are finding that the data they're gathering from users have been incredibly useful. For example, while Uber tracks traffic patterns through its GPS data gathering, Beautified is learning about which services its users like according to weather patterns. To read up on the nine other digital trends changing the space, click through to WWD. (WWD)

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