Many new cars are coming with infotainment displays, some of which have capabilities to enable drivers and passengers to place, pay, and pick up food and beverage items. As the following Ward’s Auto article reports, this market is expected to show significant growth in the next few years.
With a market that is expected to exceed $37 billion in the U.S. by 2023, the future of connected-car services is bright with possibilities. Imagine a car knowing the way to work, suggesting stops along the way for coffee, dinner, gas, etc., and then providing a money-saving coupon.
Go a step further and imagine using the in-car infotainment system to place and pay for a dinner order and having your food ready when you arrive. The one hiccup, of course, is who exactly is paying for the in-car connectivity of the future? As OEMs add connected services, costs increase. So far, consumers are unwilling to pay, quickly cancelling their satellite radio or safety service as soon as the complimentary trial period expires.
With consumers armed with smartphones that can offer many of the same services as an in-car infotainment system, how can OEMs offer an enhanced experience that engages drivers without breaking the bank? To keep costs low for both consumers and OEMs, automakers should open their infotainment systems to brands looking to provide contextual, personalized engagement with consumers.
The connected car market for merchant commerce is currently in its early stages and fragmented as competing car makers and partner developers are offering different systems. This topic is further discussed in a December, 2018, Mercator report The Connected Car: Still in First Gear for Merchant Commerce. The car is basically another mobile device and consumers are already accustomed to shopping, ordering and paying via mobile apps. But while the potential for connected car commerce is high, there are challenges to overcome such as driver distraction and a smoother user interface. Mercator will be following this market in 2019.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group