Uber or Uber competitors – Find dominant player in the industry. First-mover advantage is prominent, initially, but it is not always sustainable.
Have you ever used Uber? What do you think about its business model and Uber competition? Does it seem a profitable venture to you, both as a driver of the car or as a third-party observer? If all of these questions end up in confusion or vague answers, then let us help you out by discussing this business venture and finding the answers to these questions.
Businesses like Uber are known for the creative and unique ideas that they brought in the market. The concept of ride-sharing was brought by this company, and now it is being used by different local and international companies all across the world. According to Reid Hoffman, “Sometimes freedom from normal rules is what gives you competitive advantage.” So, this unique model could be considered as a competitive advantage for the business. But definitely not after every one copied it.
Uber’s business model has been different and actually gained a lot of success in very little time. But now it is not the only ride-sharing business that is operating. In this article, we’ll be sharing the business model of Uber and discussing how Uber competitors are losing from the company.
Let’s start with a brief introduction about the company and Uber competitors first so that we can analyze why Uber is winning over its competitors.
Brief Introduction of Uber:
An American company that initiated the idea of peer-to-peer ridesharing was started in 2009. It came as a cab in the early years of its operations and then changed to the peer-to-peer ride-sharing service that can be booked through the use of a mobile application. It is a venture proposed and founded by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. Up till now, Uber has entered 63 different countries, serving more than 780 cities.
With its wide success in different parts of the world, especially the US, Uber has launched the food delivery service as well, and in the local US market, the company is generating profit out of it as well. The worldwide users of the Uber ride service have reached 110 million. It highlights the high acceptability of the customers. In the US, the market share of 69% in the ride-sharing business industry is possessed by Uber, whereas the rest of 31% is possessed by Uber competitors.
The company that started as a private company has become a public company in 2019. The first initial public offering of the company raised money for it, but since then, Uber is in loss, resulting in problems for the shareholders that became the part of the business in the initial public offering.
Business Model of Uber and Uber competitors:
Up till now, we are sure that nearly every one of you would have an idea about how Uber works. The passengers use the mobile application to order a ride. The driver who is nearest to the passenger picks them up and drops them to their location in return for the money. The price of using Uber is less than the cab. This is why; it is gaining more importance in the transportation industry.
From the supply end, Uber hires drivers on contract. People who are willing to earn money through driving get to the offices of the company, fulfill the requirements that Uber has set, and got access to the mobile application through which they can get their riders and earn money.
Not everyone is allowed to become the driver of the company; you need to follow certain requirements, especially regarding the safety of the car and license availability before you’ll be allowed to become the contractor for Uber.
A soon as this business model got acceptance from the riders and the drivers, new companies started to enter the industry with the same business model. Some of the major source of Uber competition all around the world comes from Lyft, Ola, Careem, Didi, Taxify, and Yandex Taxi. All of these businesses operate on the ride-sharing and peer to business formula.
Apart from these ride-sharing vehicles, personal mobility options and driverless vehicles also pose a competition to Uber and other competitors working in the industry. In addition to all of these competitions, one of the biggest factors that none of these ride-sharing companies can ignore is the traditional cab services. The traditional cab services still account for a significant part of the share of this industry.
What are some of the factors making Uber prominent from its competitors?
Uber is still the name that most of us use even we are talking about some other ride-sharing company. How many times have you done that, unintentionally? If you’ll really start to count it, you’ll be astonished that you weren’t even aware of this unintentional mistake. So, what has Uber made it so prominent over Uber competitors in our minds? We are going to discuss these factors here in this section.
1. First Mover Advantage:
For the people who have a marketing background, they would know about the first-mover advantage. In the case of Uber and Uber competitors, that first-mover advantage has come into play. For the people who aren’t sure what it means, it is a simple term that explains the benefit that the first entrant in the market gets over the other players.
“The Internet moves very fast. In the old world, we could afford to sit and analyze forever. But in the new world, the first mover has the advantage.” — Raymond Kwok
When it comes to technology usage, the importance of first mover advantage gets to an even higher degree. Some of the advantages of being a first-mover include grabbing the most part of the share of the market without having to fight the competition, higher chances of getting acceptability from the users, and the probability that our brand name would stay in the minds of the consumers forever. Moreover, building brand loyalty becomes easier as most of the customers can relate to your brand because of you being the first one.
So, Uber entering the market as the first player got all these benefits, and this is the reason that Uber competitors have not managed to disrupt its reputation even when the company has been bearing losses from the past few months. However, as Reid Hoffman says, “First mover Advantage doesn’t go to the company that starts up, it goes to the company that scales up”, Uber has not been able to maintain that advantage.
2. The perspective of competition:
Another noteworthy thing here is that the perspective of competition is different when discussing Uber and Uber competitors. The other ride-sharing businesses are definitely a competition for Uber, but so is the cab service.
Uber has outperformed the cab services considerably since the very start, and this is why it is dominating the market. However, when it comes to the competitors in the ride-sharing business, some of the countries where Uber started its operations have actually made the company move out. China is one of the best examples where one of the Uber competitors took it out of the market.
3. Excessive Marketing:
Uber being one of the giants in the transportation industry, can afford to market its services in an efficient manner. This improves the share of mind of the company in the customers, thus improving the chances of using it. Some of the local Uber competitors who cannot use massive advertisements usually lose the market. It is applicable in the short run when Uber is actively engaging in marketing activities.
But over time, Uber competitors have grown up as well, so marketing budgets are not important issues for the company. Additionally, it gets difficult, even for Uber, to tackle the competitive efforts done in accumulation by all the small brands present in the local market.
4. Provision of convenient service:
In comparison to the traditional cab industry, the services of Uber and Uber competitors are easy to use. Your car could reach you in minutes, just within a few clicks. Additionally, the quality of car, service, and safety aspects is also fully maintained because of the strong check and balance of the company in these areas.
However, this is an important factor for all the ride-sharing services that we have in the market. So, it can be considered as a completion only to the traditional cab services that were once present in the market with high share.
5. Keeping prices low:
Up till some time, Uber was known to be subsidizing the rides. This was to make sure that the customers get used to the service and become loyal, leaving the taxi services behind. Such a move by the company was to reduce the attractiveness of taxi businesses in the industry. And once the businesses or individuals facing loss would leave the industry, the ground would be clear for Uber to be established as a monopoly.
Although half of the impact of this move was seen, the public switched from the taxi services to the ride-sharing services, but it still not attained the position of monopoly because of the entry of the other players. So, this strategy of keeping prices low can be considered as one of the ways to outclass the competition from cabs, but this has not worked in the exact same manner as it was initially expected to work.
Has Uber managed to outperform its competition?
In our opinion, the answer is a clear no. The local competition in the ridesharing market is the main reason for this answer. You can see that the players other than Uber are getting great acceptance. Actually, the customers of the industry are not brand loyal. They can switch between different services without any extra cost. This low cost of switching actually deteriorates the legacy of Uber as the first player in the industry.
The customers prefer the company – whether it is Uber or Uber competitors – that is available at a low cost. As this was the point of grabbing the initial customers from the cab industry, the customers are stuck to this point and they are using it on Uber as well.
Uber actually came in the market with a new and creative idea. It provided customers with greater ease and lower costs. The result was the acceptance of this model and the services of the company. However, the entry of Uber competitors on the same business model has made Uber lose its share, and as a result, it has not managed to maintain a monopoly that could have earned its exclusive profits.
What do you think are some of the prominent Uber competitors? Which is of these competitors is your choice, and why? Share your personal experiences, as we would be able to learn how the competition works in the industry and how do customers perceive the different services that the competitors have to offer.