The Clearing House - Corporate Changes in Payment Practices - September 2023

Membership Has Its Rewards: Uber One Members Generate 40% of Delivery Gross Bookings


Uber’s latest earnings results underscore continued growth in its membership rosters, increased spending by those members enrolled in Uber One, and cross-selling momentum across the platform itself.

“We’ve now got 15 million Uber One members,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on a Tuesday (Nov. 7) conference call with analysts, noting that “members spend four times more than nonmembers.” Retention is 15% higher for members than for nonmembers.

And while the benefits of the Uber One program for members remain monetary (in terms of discounts on food and free delivery), Khosrowshahi said that “what we want to do going forward is to provide benefits that are non-monetary in nature.” Those benefits might include “advanced matching” efforts that might offer upgrades to different cars to drive retention rates even higher.

Cross-Selling Opportunities

He illustrated, too, the cross-selling opportunities tied to Uber’s platform, as consumers who use more than one mobility and delivery product tend to spend more.

“They spend up to three times more,” he remarked.

Delivery members count for more than 40% of mobility bookings, he said. Prepared remarks from the company Tuesday said that members now generate more than 40% of delivery gross bookings.

The company noted in its earnings report Tuesday (Nov. 7) that gross bookings were up 21% to $35.3 billion. Gross bookings for rides gained 31%. In discussing the core mobility business, Khosrowshahi said that “the quarter was strong across the board, in every single geography, pretty much in every single product,” underpinned by strong travel trends during the summer.

“As you know, travel has been absolutely booming,” he said, with particular strength in leisure travel.

Delivery bookings gained 18%.

The core UberX business, he said, grew 20% year on year, and with a nod to the supply of drivers, he said that “we’re now at 6.5 million earners on our platform, up over 30% year on year … this is a supply-led marketplace.” Those earners took in $15.9 billion in the third quarter, 23% higher than last year.

On the consumer side of the equation, he said “for the high-income consumer, we’re introducing products Reserve, where you can pay more for higher reliability… For lower-income consumers, we’re introducing UberX Share.”

Asked by analysts about the potential for advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to help improve operations, the CEO said, “We’re using machine learning technology … to recognize documents more reliably, transcribe them accurately so that your onboarding experience and the time to onboard could be reduced drastically. Errors can be reduced as well.”

Fraud detection and prevention also have been enhanced by these technologies, and conversational support and large language tools are proving useful in helping customer service agents.

Later in the call, management discussed a partnership with PayPal to enhance payments for drivers and customers, which Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said also “can secure lower payment costs than other players.”

New verticals, including grocery delivery, are tracking at a $6 billion gross bookings run rate.

Company materials noted Uber expects its combined mobility and delivery gross bookings to see growth of 20% to 23% on a constant-currency basis in the fourth quarter. Trip growth rates should come in “at least 20%,” measured year on year. Shares were down 1% in intraday trading.