You’ve hailed a ride from your mobile phone and the payment’s already on the way out of your account. The cost for the driver, the gas, and the convenience of e-hailing is built into the price you see on the app.
The question for the ride-hailing firms is: How can we monetize a cab ride even further?
The answer from Grab is that it’s counting on you feeling peckish whenever you hail a ride. It has partnered with US startup Cargo on Grab&Go, a new in-car refreshments and retail service that launches today in Singapore.
While they’re in the car, Grab passengers will be able to buy various snacks and other consumer goods from a Cargo display box. They can use their smartphone to order from Cargo’s online menu, with the additional cost added to their final fare.
The driver hands the customer their purchases once the vehicle is “safely stopped,” according to a Grab statement.
In addition to paid-for items, Grab&Go has partnered with several brands to offer a range of complimentary samples to passengers. These include Kellogg’s Nutty Chocolate cereal bars, as well as skincare products from Biore UV and Novu, and haircare products from Lux Luminique.
The idea is that free samples will encourage passengers to pay for items on future rides. Cargo claims that about 30 percent of its sales come from passengers that have initially claimed a free item.
Grab’s driver-partners will earn money each time a passenger uses Grab&Go – even including free samples. Grab said in its statement that driver-partners will be able earn between US$56 and US$187 per month in additional income.
Cargo’s app and vending boxes are already available to ride-hailing drivers in North America. Uber is its largest fleet there, followed by Lyft and Via.
Several similar startups have emerged in China, including Gogo Cheba and Mobile Go. The latter has secured funding from ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.
More money for drivers, more users for Grab
Grab has been keenly exploring additional revenue streams for its driver-partners. In-car retail, as offered by Grab&Go, is just one such opportunity.
Another potential revenue generator is advertising space, both on the inside and the outside of cars. One example is Grab’s recent partnership with Singaporean startup Display Science. This provides for digital screens to be installed on the rear of seat headrests, broadcasting ads and other content for passengers sat in the seats behind.
While these opportunities to make some extra money can encourage driver-partners to stay on board, they could also lead to more revenue and more users for Grab itself. In a sense, users of Grab&Go can already use the company’s GrabPay wallet for their in-car purchases, since the bill is tagged onto the cost of their ride. But there may be potential for Grab to further integrate GrabPay – one possibility maybe to enable passengers watch in-car ads and buy the advertised products immediately, or to do online shopping through in-car screens.
Converted from Singapore dollars. Rate: US$1 = S$1.34
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