Once upon a time, landing an Uber with both phone chargers and water bottles was considered a fluke. But things are about to change. Convenience app Cargo just announced that Uber riders will now be able to buy drinks, snacks, and more en route to their destination—offering not only more options for consumers, but also more granular data for brands on who’s buying their products.
Cargo commenced the move by parking boxes of RXBAR, Sour Patch Kids and other snacks inside Ubers in a few US cities. Passengers use their phones to choose products from the menu on Cargo’s mobile site, then type in the driver’s code and pay for the items using a credit card or mobile payment.
While drivers will earn a cut of the sales, the real value resides in the data which Cargo will soon be able to access. Even if riders don’t opt in to marketing and promotions, the company will still be able to glean valuable information about their buying habits, information that brands would be interested in when creating new retail opportunities.
Collecting the data necessary for building customer profiles and supporting downstream marketing efforts is often a struggle for brands. The average brand collects four basic data points during account signup, according to L2’s data and targeting report. But this offers far less information than observing what customers actually buy. Though Uber has grappled with privacy issues in the past, its collaboration with Cargo could provide a wealth of new data for the tech company and its partner brands. And for those wondering, water bottles will still be free.