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Uber riders can get in-car shopping incentives with new Cargo app

10% of every purchase will be returned in the form of Uber credits.

Think of it like SkyMall magazine, but in a car, with products that aren't nearly as silly.


What do you do when you're utilizing ride-sharing services and have some time to kill in the backseat? Do you look out the window, or just bury your face in your phone? If you're in an Uber, you might have a new thing to do -- shop -- and you might be rewarded for it.

Commerce platform Cargo announced on Wednesday that it has launched the Cargo app as part of its collaboration with Uber. It will serve as a marketplace for ride-sharing occupants to browse and make purchases, and there's even an incentive system baked into it.

Here's how it works. After downloading the app for iOS or Android, riders can slide into an Uber and scan their driver's Cargo Box QR code. Then, if riders purchase any number of things available in the marketplace, 10% of that purchase will be returned in the form of Uber credits, which can be used for future rides or Cargo purchases. This applies to both Cargo's standard products and its "Daily Deals" section, which features higher-priced items like Nintendo Switch consoles or Amazon Echo devices. Cargo also offers media in its marketplace. The company has a partnership with Universal Pictures, and riders can download movies to watch either during the ride or at a later date.  

The benefits go beyond riders. For every purchase a passenger makes, that driver will earn an extra $1. That seems a little low, given the pretty solid 10% incentive for riders, but I suppose it's better than nothing.

Cargo first announced its partnership with Uber almost exactly one year ago. At the time, the partnership was limited to the small, vending-like boxes attached to an Uber's center console, offering up small things like snacks or replacement phone chargers. The debut of Cargo's new app deepens that relationship, offering to ship purchases to your door within a week -- so don't go purchasing a Switch on your way to the airport for a three-week vacation.

You might be familiar with the small vending machines Cargo is already supplying to some Uber drivers.