Images via Cargo.

Mobile phone app Cargo is capitalising on ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft by offering an opportunity to turn cars into convenience stores.

The New York based start-up has partnered with rideshare drivers to offer snacks and other convenience items for passengers to purchase at their convenience.

Cargo CEO Jeffrey Cripe described it as a mobile mini-bar on the go.

“[It] allows you to purchase high-utility items like iPhone chargers, energy bars, energy drinks, Advil,” he said.

The items can be purchased through the corresponding mobile app, as each Cargo car box has a unique code enabling the driver to sell and earn a commission on each sale from the box.


Each Cargo car box has a unique code.

Cripe said: “We see this massive passenger economy starting to emerge, where people will have more idle and downtime than ever inside a vehicle.

“And there’s an opportunity to monetise those passengers, but do it in a way that helps them and improves their day.”

Cargo makes it money by buying products at wholesale prices and selling them to passengers at retail price. It also partners with brands wishing to promote and provide samples of new products.

Cripe said he doesn’t think companies like Uber and Lyft will try to copy the idea.

“We have relationships with these companies,” he said. “It’s not like we’re operating in a vacuum and they don’t know who we are and we’re sort of hoping they don’t notice us. We’ve built Cargo from day one by soliciting the buy-in of executives and partnership directors at those companies.

“What’s really valuable about our company is our ability to distribute products directly to thousands and thousands of drivers across the country and eventually across the world.

“Essentially [we] have these mobile, connected, automatically replenished storefronts that can not only be retailers in and of themselves inside the vehicles that are connecting passengers with products—they can also be forward-located delivery vehicles.”

This story originally appeared on C&I Retailing.


Want the latest retail news delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up to the weekly retailbiz newsletter.