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Mumbrella360: Uber’s APAC CMO says Australians still favour Uber Eats during cost of living crisis

Despite the current cost-of-living pressures, Uber and Uber Eats’ APAC chief marketer, Andy Morley, says the business continues “rocketing on”.

Featuring on a panel at Mumbrella360 last week, Morley said the brand has been watching the crisis closely, and while of course has its worries, remains optimistic.

Morley was joined on stage by eBay Australia’s head of campaigns and communications, Zannie Abbott, Mable’s head of marketing and communications, Guillaume Papillon, and Sophie Price, chief strategist at EssenceMediacom.

“We were most worried about delivery,” he explained. “Uber Eats feels like a bit more of a luxury, a bit more of a tradeable option for people. And we thought that as people look to cut back on spending, that’s where we would feel the hit.

“But, we haven’t seen that and since looking into it, we’ve learnt that people are more likely to give up expensive dinner experiences than reward themselves with a mid-week Uber Eats break.”

90% of the team’s time is spent focused on building things that will help Uber grow in three to five years, Morley explained, and the growth the brand is seeing now is attributable to this: “It’s paying dividends now, and we’re seeing that people are choosing it as an affordable luxury at this time.”

Morley speaking at last week’s conference

But now, Uber “focus[es] very much around the future” because otherwise, he worried, the brand will be in trouble in the next three to five years.

“We want to be a fast growth business,” he said. “So what that means for us in the delivery world, is we’re focused on creating the next on-demand categories.

“Currently we’re really famous for getting food delivered within an hour, but we want to be famous and salient for getting groceries, getting drinks, getting pharmaceuticals, and pretty much anything that you would absolutely want to, within an hour.”

He recognised the bold nature of that statement, describing it as an “audacious job”, but said with consumer behaviour change, it is possible.

“We established the Uber Eats brand so firmly to be about takeaway, but actually shifting the meaning of our brand positioning to include groceries about two years ago has given us some huge momentum recently – it is a hundred billion dollar category, and we’re at the early stages, but it’s already such a meaningful part of our business.”

Despite the overall pressures, the cost-of-living crisis has got somewhat of a silver lining for Uber, Morley explained, as there is now a welcomed surplus of rideshare and delivery drivers.

“That’s the beauty of a marketplace, is that you have these normalising factors,” he said. “Two years ago, we had huge amounts of demand but couldn’t get enough people to drive and deliver to support that. That means you’re actually less reliable, you let your customers down more often, and you become more expensive.

“But now when people are looking to supplement their income because the cost of living is going up, we have more drivers, more delivery people, and post-Covid, the influx of immigration is helping with that too – which means we’re more reliable, and the costs normalise.”

To watch this session recording and more from Mumbrella360, head to Mumbrella Pro.

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