Uber Eats’ South African unit on Thursday expanded delivery offerings, launching an app-based over-the-counter medicines service as it seeks to gain market share in the fast-growing online shopping sector.
Uber Eats, a unit of US ride-hailing service Uber Technologies already has a lion’s share in South Africa’s R1-billion food-dispatching market.
The equally lucrative medicines delivery market is controlled by pharmacy chains Clicks and Dis-Chem, which offered delivery services long before Covid-19 spurred a shift to online shopping.
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Analysts say such “first movers”, including Naspers-owned Takealot, have a natural advantage over newcomers, especially with users increasingly seeking to use fewer smartphone applications to do more things.
But Uber Eats is banking on a “marketplace” strategy — combining ride-hailing and grocery deliveries and other services on a single mobile phone app that already has over two million users in the country, it said in a statement.
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