In-Car Commerce – this is how Mercedes Benz combines modern shopping and new mobility – eCommerce Magazin


Anyone who bought a car 20 years ago not only acquired a means of transport, but in most cases also acquired a great feeling of mobility and freedom. This feeling when buying a car has not changed to this day. What is new, however, is that the focus is no longer on the car itself, but on connectivity. Or more specifically: how well the car harmonizes with the smartphone. Customer expectations have changed fundamentally in recent years.

Simple, fast, individual – customers expect experiences

The GAFAs have had a lasting impact on customer experiences and have made a significant contribution to the development of a “customer generation Customer Experience (CX)”. Since then, digital offers have had to meet key criteria in order to be convincing. As intuitive as Apple, as personalized as Facebook, as quickly available as Amazon Prime, as smartly networked as Google. Easily accessible technologies open up new possibilities at ever shorter intervals and shape the new normal. The result: Customers not only want fast, convenient handling that is tailored to their personal needs, but simply a prerequisite for new products – also in the automotive sector.

With its Car Thing, Spotify has only recently made an attempt to position itself with a suitable offer in the billion-dollar “Connected Car” market. The iPod-like, smart assistant provides the perfect audio background for premium users of the streaming service on the way to work or on the next road trip. Podcasts, news and music – all tailored to the needs and current mood of the account holder. Without penetrating commercial breaks. An experience that classic radio stations cannot afford.

Connectivity between car and smartphone – future recipe for success?

Show already now Studiesthat more than a third of the respondents think the connectivity between their car and their smartphone is more important than the brand of the vehicle itself. Mobile has grown exponentially over the past decade when compared to other sales channels. In addition, providers such as PayPal, Uber and AirBnB have impressively and successfully demonstrated that marketplaces can be seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives – linked by our smartphones. The next logical step is therefore to link the two worlds even more closely. It is important to create synergies and in this way to create the next big marketplace for on the go.

Some manufacturers have already recognized the potential of in-car commerce and want to use it for themselves over the next few years. According to forecasts by the management consultancy Ptolemus, the connected car payment market alone is expected to have a volume of up to 537 billion dollars by 2030. Ascending trend. The vehicle is thus increasingly developing into an “iPhone on wheels”.

In-Car Commerce – the Mercedes me Store app

Mercedes-Benz shows how this works successfully. With the Mercedes me Store app the manufacturer has created a marketplace for everything to do with cars, which can be accessed at any time and from anywhere via a mobile app. This gives vehicle users the opportunity to find digital products and services for their Mercedes, purchase them directly via the app – and thus customize their vehicle even more flexibly. An electronic logbook or a remote parking assistant can easily be booked via the app. The future-oriented, open marketplace structure does not only make it possible to provide one’s own car with upgrades. It also offers products outside of connected car services, such as the range of new vehicles.

The integration of future-oriented partner offers in the marketplace is also being considered. An interface to the smart home services from Bosch is already being planned, for example to create a relaxed after-work atmosphere on the way home. But the vision aims even further.

In-car commerce
In-car commerce
Images: Mercedes-Benz AG

Follow the customer – out of the car and into daily life

For example, what if there was an interface for the vehicle to order drive-in from McDonalds? Simply via the interface in the car. A situation that is otherwise often associated with stress due to whining children, poor sound quality from the loudspeakers or annoyed drivers in the queue behind you could turn into a relaxed experience. Such opportunities make in-car marketplaces a central point of contact. Everything starts here and everything flows together seamlessly, including individual recommendations.