Car Commerce: the Next Version of Mobile Commerce?

First came the commercial web, where consumers researched and bought via their desktop, then transcending to tablets. Then came mobile, which moved the research part of e-commerce to real-time and made online shopping a totally portable activity, from a product purchase point of view.

Now the car market could be making a step into the sphere. Three years ago at the annual CES convention in Las Vegas General Motors announced, with AT&T, of their vision of a connected car of the future, one where commerce would fit in.

Now that vision is very close to being a reality, with General Motors announcing its connected Chevrolet cars now come with an unlimited data plan for $20 a month, opening the door to car commerce, which could mean a version of mobile commerce. This will enable connected cars to reach consumers directly through the vehicle and that’s exactly what the new connected Chevy’s will do – it will convert its cars into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

car commerce chevrolet connect car general motors

The key for mobile commerce is that commerce characteristically follows advertising on a new platform, and that could potentially be the new wave of commerce cars.

One fundamental indicator that car commerce is coming is the added capabilities that vehicles today come with, including global in-car entertainment hardware, which is expected to grow by 77 percent in 5 years time, according to a report from Futuresource Consulting. Taxis in many countries around the world now come standard with entertainment systems and touch screens for consumer consumption.

Another indicator of car commerce is the increasing popularity in ridesharing as well as the growing use of transport apps like Uber, which frees up drive time, leaving people with more time consuming entertainment and media in cars; commerce could come next.

Companies like Honda and Ford, amongst others, have already begun announcing their connected cars. I wonder if car commerce will really be the next version of mobile commerce? If it does, at least it will still be referred to as mobile commerce.


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