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Uber’s in-car shopping service now sells way more than just snacks


Next time you take an Uber, don’t be surprised if the driver nudges the conversation toward talk of, say, Amazon’s smart speakers or Apple’s AirPods.

OK, it might simply be idle chitchat, but it could also be the beginnings of a gentle sales pitch. Why? Because Uber has just expanded its deal with in-car shopping service Cargo.

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The ridesharing giant first partnered with Cargo in 2018 to offer drivers a way to easily sell snacks and drinks to riders.

The goodies are displayed in a “Cargo Box” installed in the vehicle’s center console, with transactions made through an app using any of the popular payment services.

This week NBC reported about how Cargo is now expanding its range of items far beyond what’s offered in the Cargo Box. Using the latest version of the Cargo Store app (iOS and Android), riders can order everything from tech products and movies to luggage and travel accessories. The movies are offered by Universal Studios and are for streaming in the car during longer rides. Each title costs between $5 and $10.

You can only place an order via the Cargo Store app if there’s a Cargo Box in the Uber vehicle, and you can only shop with the app during a ride. To get started, simply scan the QR code on the box to get started.

Any purchases made during the trip will bag you 10% in Uber Cash, which you can spend on future Uber rides or additional Cargo purchases. Drivers make a buck for every item purchased through the Cargo Store app, as well as 25% commission on each Cargo Box purchase.

And no, Uber drivers won’t be carrying a large inventory of products in the trunk of their car. Instead, Cargo will ship items for free to your home, with delivery targeted for between two and five business days.

With 30,000 Uber drivers already signed up to Cargo’s service, it’s clearly proving popular as a way to offer riders something extra, while also helping to boost the pay packet.

We’ve reached out to Uber and Cargo to find out more about what riders and drivers can expect from the deal and will update this piece if we hear back.

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