GM Marketplace Taps Brands For In-Car Dashboard Purchases


GM Marketplace dashboard

There are many ways for auto brands to create consumer loyalty as the driving and riding experiences undergoes vast changes. General Motors is taking a further plunge into this new era of mobility by creating what it calls “the industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases of goods and services.”

Dubbed “GM Marketplace,” customers can buy coffee order take-out food or make dinner reservations by tapping an icon on the vehicle’s dashboard touchscreen. Brands that have already signed up for Marketplace include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Applebee’s and Shell.

In a nod to consumers’ demand for personalization, GM’s on-board analytics will use information from consumers’ established digital relationships with those brands as well as location-based data from the vehicle to shape and customize experiences.

If your favorite Starbucks order is a grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte, for example, a driver with Marketplace can make that preferred order—and pay for it—just by pushing the Starbucks icon on his or her car’s screen.

“The beauty of this platform is that it is designed from the get-go to be used while driving,” said Santiago Chamorro, GM’s VP for global connected customer experience, in a press release. And because the simple (and distraction-free) user interface integrates a clear UI with driver preferences and machine learning, “it’s an even faster and simpler interaction the more you use it.”

More than two million GM vehicles on the road—the late-model ones that are embedded with 4G LTE connectivity—are now equipped with this service, which makes car ownership (in a time of sharing) even more relevant and useful.

In addition to branded dashboard buttons, Marketplace also features a “Shop” section dedicated to offers specific to GM vehicles, such as purchasing Wi-Fi data, discounts for an oil change or deals on GM accessories.

Given that the average U.S. driver spends 46 minutes a day behind the wheel, GM figures Marketplace could “make this time more productive, more enjoyable and safer.”

At the same time, brands get a big opportunity to cater to consumers when previously the only time to reach them safely on the road was with a radio ad.

Shell, for instance, is tapping into Marketplace for easy notification of drivers of its more than 14,000 stations, representing the largest refueling network in the U.S.

Shell’s Marketplace presence also offers discounts through its loyalty program as well as seamless digital payments.

GM’s Marketplace move is a win-win as a brand partner, says Dan Little, head of North America marketing for Shell, and “a testament to both brands’ leadership in their respective fields and our shared commitment to quality and mobility innovation.