- Cargo Systems launched a service this week that gives ride-sharing drivers a chance to earn more money by offering customers products like snacks, phone chargers and cosmetics, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer. Drivers can order a free box to install in the car and display available items. The driver hands off products to passengers who use Cargo’s mobile website to place an order.
- Brands like Mars, Kellogg's, Michel et Augustin, Emergency Stain Rescue and Leaders Cosmetics USA have products in the boxes. The company's inventory system tracks all drivers' orders in real time and automatically ships products directly to their homes to replenish. Cargo recently launched in New York and Boston, but is available to drivers who have signed up in 47 states.
- Cargo estimates drivers can earn an extra $1,500 a year in tips and review-based bonuses by selling products or distributing free items. Cargo has access to Uber's Driver API and gives preferred access to drivers who sign up using their Uber profile, but any ride-sharing service can be used.
Product marketing and ride-sharing services have already proven to be a winning combination and Cargo builds from this foundation. For example, a Marc Jacobs' six-hour Uber promotion featuring a free bottle of the brand's Daisy fragrance drove 61M impressions and Hershey has also seen success with product promotions with Uber.
Cargo aims to offer a win-win-win service for drivers who want to supplement their income, ride-sharing customers interested in impulse products during a ride and for marketers that want to reach a captive audience and driving product sampling. Cargo was founded by former employees of Birchbox, the online monthly subscription service that sends customers a box of four to five samples of makeup and beauty products. That means they are familiar with the idea of getting samples of products from major brands that seek to reach new audiences.
The concept behind Cargo is convenience. Riders have access to products immediately with a few taps on a mobile browser, boosting their ride-sharing experience. For drivers, it's free, and they can earn higher ratings and tips as a result. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers to connect with consumers via in-car products.
While Cargo is available to drivers for any ride-share service, the company said it's giving preferred access to Uber drivers. While Uber is the dominant company in ride-sharing, drivers do complain about not making enough money from the service. Only 4% of people who sign up to drive for that company are still driving a year later, according to a report in The Information. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick this month resigned from the company he started amid several scandals. As part of an effort to help drivers earn more money, Uber this month began allowing tipping for drivers, reversing a policy of strongly objecting to the practice. Uber also announced changes to how drivers earn money, including shortening the free cancellation period from five minutes to two, eliminating unpaid wait times and a surcharge on teen fares.