Industry News

TMCNet:  Driving Commerce Behind the Wheel

[January 08, 2019]

Driving Commerce Behind the Wheel

In December 2018 PYMNTS queried 5,000 consumers with support from P97 Networks, a mobile commerce platform, to identify the key drivers and opportunities of commuter commerce. With the increasing demands of the commuter's life, the driving experience is no longer just a matter of getting from point A to point B. Drivers are looking to use their time in the car more efficiently and to carry out their daily tasks: pre-ordering groceries, purchasing coffee, paying credit card bills, and ordering take-out.

Advancements in voice recognition have led commuters to rely on voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri to perform these tasks and more. Despite the popularity of Amazon Prime membership, Google (News - Alert) Apps such as Waze and Google Maps have the driver seat when it comes to providing assistance to commuters. As many as 36.6% of commuters connected their voice assistant of choice via a device. For 10.2% of commuters that voice assistant is integrated into their car.

As many as 73% of commuters mentioned they connected to the internet while driving (up from 66.4% last year). While improvements to in-dash interfaces are paving the way to improved commuter engagement, 64% of those surveyed downloaded an app to make purchases. The majority of commuters, 58.7%, connect to the internet through their smartphones while on the road. To dive deeper into the purchasing habits and preferences of commutes, PYMNTS research categorized the American population into three personas:

1. Device-Connected Drivers
2. Car-Connected Drivers
3. Unconnected Drivers

Car-Connected Commuters take the lead in usage frequency with more than 11% always using apps, approximately double the rates of Device-Connected Commuters and Unconnected Commuters. As many as 38.5% of payments during commuting were made via apps, with the highest being food and coffee orders. Just under half of those using connected devices, 47.2%, fill up on gas 36 times a year. An average commuter ordered coffee at a drive-through 65 times last year. Commuter purchasing activities expand to finding gas stations and ordering an item to pick up at a store.

The survey also identified Bridge Millennials - consumers 30-40 years of age who purchase goods and services primarily via their mobile phones - as the demographic that is leading the way in their use of connected car technologies. The majority, 62% of bridge millennial commuters use voice assistants while driving. The most common way for bridge millennials (40.1% to connect to voice assistants is via their device, while only 13.9% connect via in-dash interface.

Additional key findings around the connected commuter experience identified that:

  • 53.5 percent of commuters turn to voice assistants to connect while driving
  • 64.9 percent of commuters who use voice assistants connected to the internet using technology from the vehicle manufacturer
  • 36.6 percent of commuters who use voice assistants connect to the internet using their mobile devices
  • 47.2 percent who used connected devices while driving reported being most interested in finding a gas station
  • 52.5% of bridge millennials rely on Siri as their voice assistant of choice, 46.9% prefer Google Assistant, 21.7% Alexa, 7.6% Bixby, 5.4% Cortana and 5.4% use another voice assistant

To get more details on when, how, and how frequently American consumers make purchases while driving, as well as how the latest technologies and innovations, such as Voice Assistants and mobile apps, are paving the way for retailers to build better, long-lasting relationships with their consumers, download the report here.

About PYMNTS is where the best minds and the best content meet on the web to learn about "What's Next" in payments and commerce. Our interactive platform is reinventing the way companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that make news and shape the future of this dynamic sector. Our data and analytics team includes economists, data scientists and industry analysts who work with companies to measure and quantify the innovations at the cutting edge of this new world.

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