Shopping While Driving with Car Integrated Ecommerce

Ecommerce in cars is now a real opportunity for businesses in and out of the auto industry. With the growth of driverless car technology and supply of ‘smart cars’ in the world, shopping while driving is growing. It is proving to offer revenue streams for auto, technology, and retail businesses.


Almost every new car produced has a touchscreen display offering apps and connection to the internet. Voice control allows drivers to operate apps and features hands free. This means drivers can order products and services while driving safely. Current applications of car integrated ecommerce include finding and paying for gas, restaurant pickup orders, and table and hotel reservations. All while driving.

These companies include auto makers General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen, retailers Starbucks, TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wingstop, gas stations Shell and Exxon, and tech giants such Amazon and Visa. By building revenue sharing partnerships, these companies can mutually benefit by adding value to auto maker products, and more traffic for retailers.

Statistics about Shopping while Driving

Pre covid, there were approximately 135 million daily American commuters. These drivers spend about $212 billion each year on things like gas and food. Although commuting behavior has changed greatly this year, driving by no means will disappear. Commuters and travelers will still need to consume.


66% of these commuters already order ahead for food, although mostly by mobile device. By increasing ease and accessibility of car integrated ecommerce, businesses can increase the amount of, and types of, consumption while driving. Instead of just food and gas, car integrated ecommerce can be expanded to all types of retail and services.

Technologies like voice commands continue to increase the safety of shopping while driving. While technologies like self-driving cars increase the amount of time that can be spent shopping. And, because drivers statistically dislike commuting, retailers have new opportunities to ease the discomfort with in-car retail.

Challenges for Adoption of Car Integrated Ecommerce

About a quarter (25%) of car owners don’t use their connected car features. Most use their mobile phones for directions or ordering take out and curbside pickup. Car integrated ecommerce businesses need to make the technology as appealing as possible.


It must be easy, user friendly, and have enough features to replace the mobile phone while driving. The user interface and controls, including voice controls, must make drivers want to use it.

Things like personalized experiences can increase user use rates.

 Future of Car Integrated Ecommerce

By collecting and using user behavior data, car integrated ecommerce businesses can personalize the entire experience. Shopping behavior and preferences are used to predict what the driver is most likely to purchase. Driving and location data is used to determine matching retail locations that a driver might purchase at. GM is already using this technology to show drivers nearby gas stations when they are low on fuel.

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Not to mention, the data collected by connected car systems will be a $750 billion industry by 2030. This includes direct marketing to consumers and sale of the data and targeted advertising.

Car integrated ecommerce will continue to grow, despite the world’s new remote lifestyle. Businesses simply need to make the shopping while driving experience appealing, easy, and safe.

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Key takeaways:

  • Car integrated ecommerce brings new revenue streams to auto makers, tech companies, and retailers

  • UI and UX have to be user friendly, have comparable features to mobile phones, and most of all, be safe to use while driving

  • Customer data is another huge revenue stream and can be used for personalized shopping

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