In brief: The Internet of Things has seen decent growth, especially in the home market. The automotive industry is another sector where connected devices, including GPS and streaming radio, are gaining traction. However, GM might have proven that retail shopping is not of particular interest when consumers are in their cars.
General Motors is finally throwing in the towel with its in-car Marketplace app. The infotainment system function allowed drivers (or passengers) to make dinner reservations, order food, or even pay for gas from the comfort of their car. The automaker announced on Friday that it was discontinuing service for the Marketplace app.
We were skeptical of the feature when initially reporting on it in 2017. It seemed like an unnecessary and potentially unsafe feature for the car dash, especially in an age when everyone carries a phone around capable of doing the same thing. Indeed, GM cites slow growth as the reason for abandoning the app.
“We routinely evaluate our services to ensure they provide the best experience for our members. In this spirit, we have decided to discontinue our Marketplace services,” GM said told vehicle owners via email last week.
Although GM installed the Marketplace app in millions of 2017 and 2018 vehicles, an anonymous GM engineer told CNBC its user numbers never got out of the “thousands.” So it’s not likely that the automaker will ruffle too many feathers by pulling the plug.
General Motors had several partners that signed on to the idea, including Shell, Exxon Mobile, Dunkin’, TGI Fridays, and more. The retailers even offered special discounts and coupons for app users, but it was ultimately not convenient enough.