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Why CEOs of all industries need to embrace uberization

Regardless of industry or buyer type, today’s consumers expect a convenient, easy-to-use experience.

Why CEOs of all industries need to embrace uberization
[Fokussiert / Adobe Stock]

Flagging down a taxi in a busy city used to be a pain. Until Uber. And getting food delivered on time used to be a hassle. Until Grubhub.

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Regardless of industry or buyer type, today’s consumers expect a convenient, easy-to-use experience. The more difficult it is to use a product or access a service, the more likely they are to find a competitor that does it better.

Enter uberization. Uberization is the fast-emerging business model in which suppliers and customers streamline the delivery of a product or service through intuitive, direct mobile communication. It’s a digital-first paradigm shift, transforming complex industries into convenient offerings.

While uberization is now common for low-touch B2C transactions (think Instacart grocery delivery or Carvana car reselling), B2B and high-touch B2C companies can and should uberize. By embracing the shift to mobile and creating one-stop customer experiences, B2B and high-touch B2C companies can foster customer loyalty and improve operational efficiencies.

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Mobile is no longer just ‘nice to have.’ 

The hesitancy businesses have experienced in adopting mobile apps is understandable. After all, desktop has been around longer than mobile and doesn’t have as much of a learning curve when it comes to app development. But mobile is an instrumental part of our lives, and B2B and high-touch B2C companies can’t afford to continue ignoring it.

Consumers now spend nearly four hours on mobile devices daily, generating nearly half of all web traffic. In addition, a study in 2017 found that for more than 60% of B2B buyers, their mobile devices played a significant role in a recent purchase. On the heels of the uptick in mobile usage caused by the pandemic, it’s safe to assume that mobile now plays an even larger role in B2B buying than it did five years ago.

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If businesses continue to neglect their mobile offerings, they risk missing buyers where they are. Not to mention businesses leave themselves vulnerable to an uberized competitor that may disrupt the industry and sweep away their customers. Considering that according to our research, 85% of clients would consider seeking an alternative if a service provider’s digital capabilities were lacking, it’s a very real and immediate risk for businesses.

It’s important to note that while the term uberization may imply a solely mobile connotation, uberizing your company doesn’t mean lessening your focus on desktop. Instead, it’s about getting business leaders to realize that desktop has been their only focus—and it shouldn’t be. By rethinking one’s processes for mobile and putting the clients’ user experience first and foremost, B2B and high-touch B2C businesses can capture more customer attention and revenue, while also reducing the amount of manual intervention required from staff.

THREE WAYS TO UBERIZE FOR HIGH-VALUE, HIGH-TOUCH INDUSTRIES

Uberization varies for B2C, B2B, and high-touch B2C companies. For a B2C company like Uber, a customer goes to the app, requests a ride and minutes later, a ride appears. Human interaction is minimal. However, for a high-touch B2C business like a real estate company, buyers need to have many interactions with brokers or real estate agencies before closing on a property.

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Most B2B and high-touch B2C businesses are aware of the chaotic nature of their processes, but the road to simplifying them seems so confusing that many don’t know where to start. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

In fact, uberization is (arguably) more important for B2B and high-touch B2C companies because the value of each transaction is higher. The cost of a rideshare is far less than the cost of a house, medical supplies, or legal services. The more complicated your onboarding and client management processes are, the higher the risk of not streamlining those processes.

To uberize your business and meet the needs of modern-day buyers, consider the following three steps:

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1. Audit your processes: The first step toward uberization is evaluating your company’s current workflows for bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Where can you eliminate unnecessary steps or convoluted processes? After evaluating your company’s internal workflow, do the same for your external interactions with clients. Working through a disjointed system causes unnecessary frustration for both buyers and employees.

2. Digitally convert your workflows: Once you’ve completed your audit and simplified processes, think through how these interactions can be translated to a mobile and digital experience. For most companies, a one-stop hub that centralizes all client management workflows—including client onboarding, ongoing communication, financial transactions, and client offboarding—will be the simplest and most user-friendly option.

3. Solicit feedback: Finally, be sure to ask for feedback regularly from clients and employees. The last thing you want is to invest time and resources in an application that doesn’t work well for users. When you finally roll out your digital offerings, be sure to include an easy-to-use (and obvious) feedback submission portal.

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The road to uberization for B2B companies is a winding one with plenty of potholes. Yet the reward for making it to the end is worth it. With buyers spending more time on mobile devices and apps than ever before, finding a way to digitally transform your offerings can set you apart from your competitors and improve your operations. The question is no longer if your industry will uberize, it’s a matter of when.


Leena Iyar is the Chief Brand Officer at Moxo, where she leads marketing strategy, brand awareness, growth, and client communications.

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