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Seattle NOW Video: Localizing Global Logistics

by | Mar 7, 2016 | BIA, Blog, Conferences

Here’s another fascinating session from Seattle NOW important to understanding the on-demand landscape, featuring Uber, HomeAdvisor and MasterCard. The rise of global logistics networks have begun to reshape local marketplaces, providing connections between on-demand customers and workers, as well as driving branded marketing of services.

Much of the visible selling of on-demand services is done by companies with massive warchests. Uber, Lyft, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, Porch and Handy are emerging brands that aggregate and deploy labor when customers buy. In some cases, they are starting to reshape Main Street.

At Uber, each region acts as an independent unit that shares ideas across the globe while seeking to develop unique local experiences that will be attractive to local users. As Brooke Steger, General Manager of the Pacific Northwest for Uber, explains in this video, her company is experimenting with having riders gather at a fixed point, where they ride together to a common destination. This ridepooling business could be an anchor for a physical location, or a great place to locate a Starbucks.

At HomeAdvisor, the Denver-based home services company, its True Cost Guide is a content-heavy interactive experience that shares many features of an online magazine combined with backoffice business manament services “We did some focus groups with some contractors, their eyes lit up and they say this as the future,” said Adam Burrows, Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at HomeAdvisor. “As a result, we retain them longer and that absolutely is our strategy.”

Because home improvements are carefully planned and often considered for a long time before the homeowner takes action, the site becomes a repeat destination where potential buyers can explore ideas. Only when they are ready, that is confident about the step into investing in the home, do homeowners need to get face-to-face with a contractor through HomeAdvisor. In this case, a media-like brand provides local context.

We also invited David Galvan, Vice President of Development and Strategic Alliances for U.S. Markets at MasterCard to the discussion, because the financial giant represents a potential bridge between the silos of vertical on-demand marketplaces. MasterCard tracks billions of transactions each year. It is positioned, for example, to connect the rider in an Uber car with other services and nearby products they may tend to buy, whether through an alliance with Uber or cloud services that let other apps share the rider’s location.

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