As Uber continues its skyrocketing trajectory, effective partnerships will soon become a crucial pillar of its continued success. With customer acquisition eventually approaching a (staggeringly high) ceiling, the company will need to leverage a network of partners in order to tap into additional markets. This is the aim of the company’s newest collaboration with Shop Your Way, a loyalty program that covers several top brands, including Sears, Kmart, and Lands’ End.
 
Through the partnership, Uber riders will have the option to link their account with Shop Your Way, rewarding them with up to $2 per Uber ride, based on frequency and distance of trips. The program was initially limited to Chicago and New York City but has been expanded to include 25 cities in total.
 
"Expanding the program during the holiday season is especially timely because we know members are using Uber to shop," said Leena Munjal, senior vice president, customer experience and Integrated Retail, Sears Holdings. "In fact, Black Friday was the biggest points- issuing day in November. We've had some riders already earn more than $300 in points. We've also had driver-partners who have earned $1,000 in points in addition to their Uber earnings."
 
As is a common practice in launching an initiative like the Uber-Shop Your Way partnership, the companies are starting with a promotion intended to kickstart enrollment. From now until the end of the year, linked accounts will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a share of $10,000 worth of prizes. Riders are entered into the contest once per ride.
 
"After a successful launch this fall in New York City and Chicago, we're excited to expand the rider rewards program with Shop Your Way to additional cities," said Jill Schweitzer, Product Manager at Uber.
 
As Uber continues its growth, one of its top priorities has been building a sense of loyalty to set it apart from similar services like Lyft or, in the case of the Chinese market, fellow ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing. In addition to the Shop Your Way partnership, Uber has been pursuing customer loyalty both through a flat rate pilot program and a deal offering ride discounts for shopping at local businesses. While the business has undoubtedly experienced nearly unprecedented growth, these loyalty efforts may prove to be the deciding factor in just how high Uber’s ceiling might be. 

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