Uber Eats aims to improve driver safety and launches a grocery store

Uber Eats South Africa published the results of its 2022 Earners Survey, which showed that 88% of delivery people use the platform as a primary source of earnings. According to the company, the two main reasons people choose to operate their business on the Uber Eats App include the flexibility and freedom that comes with being an independent contractor and the economic opportunity it brings, according to 86% and 65% of people surveyed.

Charles Mhango, Head of Operations for Uber Eats Sub-Saharan Africa says, “The feedback from delivery people is one of our biggest sources to understanding the realities that they face. It also helps us to be responsive in a way that is meaningful to them. This year’s survey is significant because it came at a time when we implemented various features and initiatives as our way of optimising the platform to best suit the needs of delivery people. Some of these include price increases to help with the rising cost of living, new and improved safety interventions, as well partnering with industry-leading organisations to further improve earnings.”

Since partnering with UberEats in April 2022, top box delivery bike media advertiser MotionAds has seen a 232% uptake rate of delivery people who have opted in, with over R1,9 million of revenue earned by delivery people. Available in six cities across South Africa, these branded top boxes have travelled 6,8 million kilometres to give leading brands additional exposure.

Mhango adds, “We are humbled by the positive feedback from delivery people on our continuous efforts to maximise their earnings. While we are proud of the strides made, we know there is still a lot more work to do. We will be launching an exciting programme for delivery people this December called Uber Eats Pro. The programme is designed to recognise their efforts by rewarding them with points that may eventually be redeemed.

Uber Eats says safety continues to be a priority and one way they use the insights is to intimately understand the areas of improvement. While delivery people have indicated through the survey that they feel safer and know about the safety features, Uber Eats says that it’s determined to continue addressing safety risks.

To counter these risks, the business has over time implemented safety features including an In-App private emergency assistance button, helmet detection, Safety Checklist,  and 24/7 in-app support.

“Additionally, delivery people have Partner Injury Protection provided by AIG Insurance which provides on-trip cover from the time of acceptance of a delivery request. They also have access to the Emergency Contacts feature, which will be used by Uber’s Incident Response Team to contact the delivery person’s next of kin in case of an accident and/or for insurance purposes”, confirms Mhango.

New grocery store launches nationwide

General Manager for Grocery and New Verticals for Uber Eats Sub-Saharan Africa, Cikida Gcali-Mabusela discussed the launch of Uber Eats Market in partnership with Smart Kitchen Co. This is a dark grocery store which is Uber South Africa’s debut at quick commerce. The grocery store opened its virtual doors in August 2022 piloting in some areas of Cape Town. It’s now available in nine locations across Johannesburg and Cape Town offering grocery items that you would normally find in a commercial store like alternative dairy products and meats.

“We decided to work with Smart Kitchen Co. to allow us to offer a wider selection to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. We also wanted to trial an initiative that would truly allow us to experiment and tap into the power of the platform to enable a better grocery shopping experience. Since going live on the app, the store has become the highest-performing non-restaurant store on the app, with 149% growth month on month. User response is a testament that consumers appreciate the convenience of getting anything they need within minutes at the touch of a button.”

Gcali-Mabusela concludes that this quick commerce trend has seen explosive growth worldwide in recent years, and is now taking off in South Africa. She is confident that Uber Eats is positioned to be a key driver of this growth, for the ultimate benefit of all users. Uber Eats is gearing itself to be a leading delivery platform through a virtual mall concept in South Africa bolstered by a continued commitment to attracting more users so that delivery people have healthy earnings while continuing to raise the bar on safety for all.

Read next: Online shopping is now a bit safer thanks to Standard Bank

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