Like it or not, you are the average American consumer.
So am I.
We all take our paychecks, however large or small, and buy what we want or need. We buy gifts online, we buy food in stores, we order coffee on the way to work. We can do it in person or via our smartphones. But shopping from our cars?
Your car has been the one place that’s been free of e-shopping. But GM has just changed that with an app that looks to add a dose of convenience, and probably caffeine, to your daily drive.
Last week, General Motors unveiled an app called Marketplace. The app, for GM’s in-car infotainment systems available in Chevys, Buicks, GMCs, and Cadillacs, lets owners order coffee, make restaurant reservations, and arrange a variety of other services. Several high-profile partners have already signed up to be part of the program, and we expect that list will grow as Marketplace catches on.
For example, you can order (and pay) ahead at Starbucks, IHOP, Wingstop, Applebee’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. You can make reservations at TGI Fridays. You can find the nearest Shell station, and in the near future, you’ll be able to pay for your fill-up from inside the car. There are some in-house features, as well, such as the ability to purchase or extend an OnStar subscription or receive offers for discounts on oil changes and accessories.
As an avid road tripper and fan of all things tech, I think Marketplace seems like a great idea. Naysayers will argue that the program promotes distracted driving, but TechCrunch spoke with GM Director of Global Digital Experience & Connected Vehicles John McFarland, and quoted him as saying,
Rather than having somebody have to, if they’re going to engage on their phone, pull over and get in park while they’re doing it, which causes [them] to lose valuable time, or even worse, the temptation for people to try to use their phone while driving which is something that we definitely don’t want… we believe in doing everything we can to make it available while making it safe while in motion.
This is a forward-thinking move from GM that’s a first in the auto industry and will very likely show up in infotainment systems in cars everywhere.
What retail partners would you like to see in GM’s Marketplace app?
Shopping for a new vehicle?
Bring along CarGurus’ mobile app to help check prices, find good deals, and research cars on your smartphone.