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Chevrolet’s in-car pizza-ordering app is the start of an ecommerce revolution

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Chevrolet teamed up with Domino’s to ensure motorists never get caught off-guard by a pizza craving. The Domino’s app announced in early 2019 is now found in the Chevrolet Marketplace, a virtual store that equips millions of 2017 and newer Chevrolet models in North America. Compatible cars are receiving the app via an over-the-air software update, though neither party has figured out how to wirelessly deliver a pizza yet. This seemingly niche partnership kick-starts one of the most lucrative forms of ecommerce in recent memory.

Motorists can access the Domino’s app by tapping their car’s touchscreen a few times. They first need to set up a Pizza Profile, which involves punching in basic information like their preferred delivery address and the payment method of their choice. Once everything is validated, they can use the screen to order a pizza on-the-go and either pick it up at a predetermined store, or have it delivered where they want, whether it’s a house, a beach, or a park. Chevrolet noted that this feature is car-specific; it’s not tied to the driver’s smartphone.

Hungry drivers can pay for their pie — and even tip the delivery driver — through the screen because the app has the user’s payment information on file. Domino’s full menu is available, so you’re covered whether you’re craving a traditional recipe like pepperoni or something more daring such as Cali chicken bacon ranch.

The feature sounds a little bit frivolous, especially if you’re not a regular Domino’s customer, but it’s the beginning of an in-car marketing revolution that will change the way motorists shop forever. As it stands, Chevrolet and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are the only two automakers whose cars are compatible with the app. It’s only a matter of time before the feature spreads to Chevrolet’s sister companies, like GMC and Cadillac, and before Ford decides it needs to keep up with its rivals.

From there, the Blue Oval has two options: It can pull a me-too move and add the Domino’s app to its infotainment system, or it can strike a partnership with, say, Burger King or Starbucks to do things a little bit differently and look like an innovator rather than a follower. Soon enough, ordering a pizza, a burger, wings, or a coffee through a car’s infotainment system will become a normal part of commuting or road-tripping for motorists who drive a late-model car equipped with a touchscreen.

Why stop there? Mercedes-Benz told Digital Trends that it’s already experimenting with its own ecommerce platform that will let vendors sell anything, from designer shoes to budget-friendly light bulbs. Digital Trends predicts all of the transactions consumers use a smartphone for in 2019 will be available in-car by the middle of the 2020s.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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