- Cargo, a startup that provides in-car commerce services to ride-hail drivers, announced an exclusive partnership with Uber that will put product boxes in more cars. Drivers now can register with Cargo and pick up a box at driver onboarding and support centers known as Uber Greenlight Hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Brands can then partner with Cargo to reach riders through in-car sampling and retail. Cargo's platform lets passengers in ride-hail vehicles instantly buy snacks, beverages and personal care items on their smartphone while in transit.
- Uber will receive some equity in Cargo if it hits certain milestones, Forbes reported. While this is an exclusive business partnership, Cargo will continue to let drivers of other ride-hailing companies like Lyft sell its goods even if they don't drive for Uber, as Cargo's mission is to get its boxes into the hands of drivers and reach its goal of 20,000 by the end of 2018.
Cargo aims to give ride-hail service drivers a way to earn extra income from passengers while giving consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies a chance to reach a captive audience of on-the-go consumers who may be likely to grab a quick snack or drink while heading to work or home. Cargo touts itself as the only scalable, data-driven in-car solution for reaching millennials and Gen Zers who use ride-hailing services, and has gradually expanded in major cities throughout the U.S.
Partnering with Uber solves two problems for Cargo: It helps the startup reach drivers directly and gives it an endorsement by a well-known ride-hailing company. Some drivers may have been wary that Uber or Lyft wouldn't approve of their in-car side sales, but now it'll be easier for the Cargo to reach drivers through the exclusive deal. Currently, customers request and pay for the items through Cargo's mobile site, but it's not a stretch to see how Uber could one day integrate a Cargo purchasing functionality into its core app, which would likely lead to higher adoption by riders and more sales.
Last month, Cargo partnered with Snapchat and SnackNation for its Los Angeles rollout. SnackNation also will provide data and guidance to help Cargo predict and source products that fit into a regional and seasonal merchandising strategy tailored to local rider preferences. Passengers in Cargo-equipped cars can order products and snacks by using Snapchat to scan a Snapcode printed on a Cargo box. Cargo has run several promotions in the past year with CPG giants like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Mars and Kellogg's.