Brands hail Uber, Ola to get a seat next to customers
It is not only commuters today who want to catch an Uber or Ola cab to head to office, a friends place or even for a party. Brands in India too today want to pool in these taxi-hailing aggregators to sit a little closer to their customers. Brands such as London Dairy had partnered with Uber for #UberIceCream last year to delivered ice cream to customers, while more recently Shahrukh Khan tied up with Uber to promote his new film Raees.
This was one of the instances, now several brands have partnered with Uber, this includes WedMeGood, Skyscanner, Snapdeal, Petdom, Porsche, BMW, Lamborghini and Ferrari.
Uber's tie-up with WedMeGood was in offering a cashless mobility solution called UberWEDDINGS, which aims to make wedding related travel needs easier. Skyscanner had partnered with them to give their riders an opportunity to fly to select holiday destinations across the world for free. The Jaiput Art Summit promoted themselves through Uber by displaying their artwork across the bonnets. Even Porche, BMW, Lamborghini and Ferrari partnered with them to offer customers in different cities to experience their cars. In Kolkata and Guwahati last year Petdom tied up with Uber to give a chance to customers to play with puppies.
Similarly, brands such as Practo, Mahindra, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Via.com and others have partnered with Indian taxi-hailing platform Ola. For Practo the tie-up involves integrating Ola booking services into the app, allowing those customers visiting a hospital or healthcare facility to book cabs to and fro. Similarly, online travel and assisted e-commerce company Via.com integrated Ola with its app so that customers could book it for local and outstation travel. With IOC the tie-up was in the form of loyalty cards and fleet cards. Even OnePlus recently tied up with Ola for delivering the OnePlus 3T to users doorsteps.
So what is the reason why several brands who want to share a ride with Uber or Ola?
The higher user base that both these companies have makes it attractive for any brand to tap into. While Ola has a customer base of over 25 million as it stated in October 2015, Uber is expected to be a little lower to this. However, this customer base is growing even larger. While Ola Cabs has 10 million to 50 million installs till January 19, 2017 as per Google Play, Uber has 100 million to 500 million install on Google Play store, although this is globally.
So much so that they have had to increase their fleets to a large extent. App-based cab operators accounted for 100,000 cars sold in 2016 from 70,000 in 2015, according to an Economic Times report.
Besides the huge number of users of Uber and Ola, these are regarded as customers with a high discretionary spending power and this is what brands want to tap into. Even if it means giving them a free ride.
“We have had strategic tie-ups with several companies to provide ancillary services to our customers. All part of our mission of providing seamless mobility for a billion Indians by making their every day experiences hassle-free and connected,” says an Ola spokesperson.
Ashwin Dias, General Manager & Marketing, Uber said, “We partner with brands and create interesting ideas that will make our users/consumers experience something that they otherwise might not have had the opportunity to, Eg: uberCHOPPER, YACHT, Meet & Greets etc. Through our partnerships with local events, be it film festivals or other major cultural events, we aim to bring in a solution for the logistical challenges to coordinate and manage the commuting needs.”
But it is not only the brands that benefit from such tie-ups with these taxi-hailing apps, Uber and Ola look for them as they bring in added revenues to their operations. According to a highly placed source from an ad agency who did not want to be identified said that for brands to tie-up with Ola or Uber for a week they can charge upto Rs 8-9 lakh. “If this includes in app changes then this figure can go upto Rs 15-20 lakh for brands which want to tie-up with them,” said the source.
While it changes from Ola to Uber and the deal with a particular brand, but essentially they offer the service for a week in minimum 3 cities and is available for brands during non-peak hours. This is usually at a time of 4pm to 7pm, when users opting for these cabs are less in number.
“Brands could get it for a cheaper price if they assure them that they will get new sign-ups,” the source added.
When asked about the pricing for brands both Ola and Uber did not disclose it.
This means that Ola and Uber apart from getting added revenues from brands they also use these tie-ups to get new users to use their platform. This is definitely a win-win situation for Ola and Uber.