The Uber Effect: Fashion Retail’s New Benchmark

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Uber
Image source: Uber Rush

With a proposed $50bn valuation around the corner and rides in London alone growing at 5x to 6x per year, Uber’s position as the benchmark for creating real-life convenience from mobile technology has been firmly cemented. As the taxi service continues to expand at mind-boggling speed, other industries are looking for ways to Uber their own offerings. How can fashion retailers capitalise on the growing opportunities of the new convenience economy? This is one of the questions that panellists will work towards answering for audience members at our New York Summit this October.

Among those panellists will be Orkun Atik, the founder of a new start-up that promises to make personal shopping as smart as getting around the city. Currently in beta and invitation-only, Mona is an app that helps users find personalised real-time deals. A standout feature is ‘Mission’, which aims to emulate how individuals tend to shop in real life. Are you the kind of person who sets out onto the high street with a specific shopping goal? The app keeps you up to date on exactly what you’re looking for, so you can avoid rifling through the racks.

Mona is just one of a growing list of shopping apps that hope to meet consumers’ growing expectations for ultimate convenience through personalisation. Grabble emphasises the “hand-picked” nature of its shopping recommendations, as though you were shopping with a real stylist. Meanwhile, Net-A-Porter’s new social network The Net Set has a Shazam-like feature that recognises images – for instance, a photo of a dress you spotted someone wearing in a café and uploaded – and then matches the look to an item sold on its website. You can also upload your inspiration pictures – flowers, a beach scene – and the app will channel that into recommendations for clothes and accessories that fit the mood.

Let’s not forget Uber itself, which is making a play for the home delivery market with super-speedy service Uber Rush. Currently available in NYC, the service lets you request, track and confirm deliveries from A to B as easily as if you were requesting a car. While it’s not a direct target for the fashion retail market, it reflects the industry’s current battle for the quickest at-home delivery. Could next-day delivery soon be one-hour delivery? Matches and Net-A-Porter are currently leading the way, offering same-day delivery for their offerings. But with Amazon proposing its own slice of airspace for its high-speed aerial drone deliveries this week, the future of high-speed deliveries could play out in the skies rather than on the roads.

Registrations are now open for Decoded Fashion’s NYC Summit. Check out the full agenda here and reserve your place.

Reported by Claire Healy