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GM Puts Local Search in the Driver’s Seat With AtYourService

At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), GM and OnStar unveiled 4G LTE, which turns cars into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. This year at CES, the company showed off LTE’s search capabilities by launching AtYourService, which will allow drivers to use OnStar technology for mobile search and local discounts.

To create AtYourService, OnStar partnered with RetailMeNot to offer drivers deals on local goods and services. To use AtYourService, drivers touch the OnStar button located on the rearview mirror of GM vehicles to reach an OnStar representative who acts as a concierge, guiding drivers with turn-by-turn directions to stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more. If drivers request directions to a RetailMeNot partner, their OnStar representative will email a coupon for goods and services ranging from gas at Speedway service stations to coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.

“OnStar offers turn-by-turn navigation 35 million times a year,” says Stuart Fowle, a representative for OnStar, “and a lot of times people are calling in for directions to a coffee shop or a gas station, so we see an opportunity there to give those people a little more value when they’re making that call.”

However, while OnStar agents may be able to give directions to local businesses, the discounts will most likely remain tied to major brands rather than local small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), since RetailMeNot mostly caters to national chains.

“RetailMeNot is largely focused on the biggest marketers that are out there in the marketplace,” says Brian Hoyt, vice president of communications for RetailMeNot, Inc. “So if you think about the top 500 retailers that are out there: Macy’s, Target, Walmart, we’re working with those types of businesses. We don’t do hyper-local brick-and-mortar retailers at this point. Right now our focus is on large national retailers and restaurants.”

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