Uber Updates Driver App

Fixes address common courier issues
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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The Shop and Pay feature of the Uber Driver app now enables couriers to use digital payment methods to check out, provides more information in upfront shopping offers and simplifies the process of managing out-of-stocks/replacements.

Uber Technologies Inc. is updating the “Shop and Pay” feature of its Uber Driver app in the United States, which since 2022 has let delivery people, also known as “shoppers,” opt into receiving trips to go to retailers — mainly grocery stores — and to shop and check out for orders before delivering them to their customers’ doorsteps as usual. The update aims to address three of the most commonly raised courier issues: the ability to use digital payment methods to check out, the information received in upfront shopping offers in the app, and the process of managing out-of-stock items/replacements.

“Now, across the U.S., when earners opt into shopping trips, they can quickly and reliably activate a digital card on their phones, using Apple or Google Pay, to start using a Plus Card on shopping trips in a matter of minutes, not days,” said Therese Lim, senior director of product management, grocery + new verticals at San Francisco-based Uber, in a post on the company’s website. “And it’s not just about speed: Since earning with Uber is all about flexibility, digital payment means less planning ahead is required. Don’t have your physical Plus card on you? No problem.” 

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Lim also weighed in on the issue of greater order information: “This month, we’re bringing updates to the offer card that will give shoppers more information upfront so they can know what’s in store (pun intended!) with every order. For starters, shoppers will be able to see the number of unique items in the order, rather than just the total number of items (understandable shoppers want to know whether it’s 1 gallon of milk or 5 — especially for planning what will fit in their vehicle or how heavy a shop might be).”

She added that “soon the offer card will also give shoppers helpful information about the order, such as whether it contains a large, heavy or fragile item. We’ve heard from shoppers that this information is critical to avoid in-store surprises — for example, for some shoppers who might have trouble lifting heavy objects, or who don’t have space in their vehicle for a large item that day.”

On the topic of out-of-stocks, Lim noted: “Today, when shoppers indicate they can’t find the originally requested item in-store, their app will show them a list of suggested substitutions that are based on similar brands and items, so there’s no need for guesswork. They can then send that suggestion to their customer directly in the app for review so they can be confident that they are getting what the customer wants — and move right along.”

According to Lim, nearly 200,000 U.S. couriers regularly carry out shopping trips each month.

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