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India: Uber tests ride-hailing, food delivery ‘Super App’

 |  September 8, 2019

In a move that allows users in India to choose Eats or Rides with equal visibility, Uber has reportedly begun experimenting with an interface that brings together ride-hailing and food delivery. The drive to make Eats as visible as Rides comes after discussions to sell the company’s India food business to Swiggy fell apart, Economic Times reported.

The move shows that the company intends to actively cross-sell, starting with encouraging its passengers to become diners as well. Uber reportedly intends to roll out the bolstered app, which is said to be in a pilot phase currently, while also upselling a subscription service to users. The approach aims to decrease customer acquisition costs and ensure retention for both operations.

“The intent is to convert riders into eaters, and increase revenue and frequency per customer,” said one unnamed source in the report.

The move is also said to support Uber’s platform approach, which the report described as a “global initiative at the San Francisco-based company.”

Earlier this year, Uber Eats was gearing up to sell its India operations to Swiggy. The transaction had been expected to close in March. Per earlier reports, it would have marked the biggest purchase for Swiggy, and Uber would have received about a 10 percent stake in the company.

In separate news, Uber Eats and Japanese convenience store chain Lawson are teaming on deliveries in Central Tokyo. Lawson, which is the country’s third-biggest convenience store, will sell around 100 products through Uber Eats, including fried chicken, bento boxes and tissue paper. The service was to initially roll out near its stores in Shinagawa and Shinjuku during a pilot phase. Sales data will determine whether the service will grow at a later time.

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