Lately, it is said a lot, not without a certain sarcasm, that automobiles are smartphones with wheels. Well General Motors has taken it in a literal sense and proposes that we use their cars as a credit card or a Wallet type application to order and pay for our purchases. All without getting out of the car, of course.
General Motors unveiled today a new service available on most of its new models in the United States, called Marketplace . The idea is to make reservations or buy and pay for it from the multimedia system of the car. Of course, the driver will always have to go for his coffee or get out of the car to refuel. For GM it is the first trading platform of the automotive industry. From the outset, it seems, is the answer to a question that nobody asked.
A payment app integrated to the car
The idea of GM in the morning, for example, you go up to your Chevrolet Equinox, open the Marketplace app in the center console and buy your half-liter coffee and / or donut (is the US market, remember) among the various possibilities offered by the app (book a table in a chain of restaurants, buy gasoline at the associated gas stations, etc.) and drive to the drive-thru in question where they will give you your order.
The proposal of General Motors, is a priori, strange and incongruous. Most of their current models are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That is to say, Marketplace seems a redundant app, because many people already have this type of applications in their mobiles, including applications of payment. So why add a new service?
As new cars have more and more features that need Wi-Fi and LTE connections (the current standard for wireless high-speed data transmission for mobile phones and data terminals), manufacturers are not going to miss the opportunity to generate new and more businesses with those connections.
General Motors is not the only one to think that its customers can be the clients of others and take a cut in the middle. Jaguar and Shell are developing an app that allows us to pay for petrol from the multimedia screen of the car. Some brands of the VAG group, such as SEAT, already offer the Alexa system (from Amazon) in their new vehicles. BMW and Ford are also working with Alexa to integrate buying and remote control of your home.
The next step? Make your car autonomous driving is a shopping center in which in addition to buying, you can see the latest film production (and incidentally you will not go to the movies). Intel and Warner Bros are thinking about it seriously .
The key is in the big data
But let’s go back to the Chevrolet Marketplace. At the moment, we do not know if the brands present in the Marketplace are free of charge or have to pay any commission to be present or simply if GM takes a commission on each sale made. What we do know is that in 2015, GM sold more than 3 million cars in the United States and almost 10 million worldwide. That is, there are about three million potential customers for the company present in the Marketplace.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, we could talk long and hard about the big data that would generate consumer habits and mobility of customers of all these manufacturers that integrate shopping and payment apps in their cars and how the manufacturer and the Companies present in them, like the Marketplace, could use that information so that we can still buy a little more. Or buy less, but more expensive because the proposal has been adapted with our tastes and habits.