As Amazon (AMZN) continues to expand its fast delivery service Prime Now, Uber is expanding its own alternative called UberRush.
Uber launched its delivery service in October with a few companies, offering to deliver their products quickly to consumers in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. On Thursday, Uber announced that it is expanding the service to more companies by creating an API, or application program interface, that companies like 1800Flowers (FLWS) can use to easily add UberRush to their existing infrastructure and apps.
UberRush will charge merchants $5 to $7 to deliver orders, and it can work quietly in the background with customers not even being aware of the fact that Uber is handling the delivery. Customers would just order from a merchant's app like normal and then happen to receive the order from an UberRush delivery person.
With Amazon upping the stakes for retailers in terms of delivery time, traditional retailers are struggling to keep up on their own, and Uber may offer them a way out.
Right now, 1800Flowers, Nordstrom (JWN) , T-Mobile (TMUS) , Rent the Runway, and a few other retailers are using the API. Back-end companies like Curbside, which will shop for consumers at local stores, and Alphabet's (GOOG) Google Express are also using the API. And Uber plans to offer the API to more companies in the future.
"We're hoping that one day through the UberRUSH API, getting anything in your city will be more affordable and reliable than getting in your car to pick it up yourself," Jason Droege, the head of UberEverything, wrote in a blog post.