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June 2018 saw Southeast Asia-based ride hailing app Grab partner with US-based in-car commerce startup Cargo to launch Grab&Go in Singapore. The new initiative turns Grab cars into a mobile convenience store that stocks snacks, drinks, personal care products and more for passengers to purchase. Grab say participating drivers could earn up to an extra SGD 250 per month.

Our recent Future of Retail in Asia report featured the trend MAGIC POINT OF SALE, all about how consumers increasingly expect to summon retail brands and experiences as they would a genie from a lamp. Many examples of that trend leverage AR to deliver a retail experience into a physical environment. Grab&Go may be less tech-fueled, but it is tapping into the same set of underlying consumer expectations: bring retail experiences to me wherever I am, and let me browse, test and purchase products without having to visit you in-store or online.

What’s more, Grab&Go is a great example of adaptation of a trend around local context. A whole host of factors – including worsening traffic! – mean Asian consumers are spending more and more time commuting (read WORLD ON WHEELS for more 😉). In that environment, car rides become a perfect alternative channel via which to reach existing and new customers.

The main takeaway here for you? Consumers around the world are going to become increasingly accustomed to the idea that brands and retail experiences can be summoned into their physical environment as and when needed. So what new channels and new technologies can you leverage in order to be a part of that story?

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