The Shop and Ride beacon and app system, powered by Xerox, is promising to deliver personalized, hyperlocal, mobile offers to transit riders based on their preferences and travel patterns.

Beacon technology placed in local bus shelters and at merchant sites communicates with the app so users are notified of existing offers in the area or at a particular store. With a single touch, riders can save a coupon to redeem it immediately or at a later time.

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Merchants also benefit from the app. They share two mobile offers per week with Shop and Ride app users. Xerox provides the merchants with real-time tracking of deal conversions and anonymized data – such as the number of users who save, open and redeem the coupons. This allows merchants to make data-driven decisions based on which offers resonate most with consumers.

The app grew out of research conducted at Xerox’s storied R&D facility PARC, working in concert with other Xerox innovation efforts helping transportation customers integrate mobile technology into their offerings. Shop and Ride joins other Xerox urban mobility projects being deployed around the world.

Earlier this year, Xerox launched Go LA, Go Denver and recently Go Bangalore to encourage multimodal transportation. These apps capture all available transportation options in the city and compute the shortest, cheapest and most sustainable ways to reach a commuter’s destination. 

Belying their office product and photocopying history, Xerox is also a leading provider of transportation technology services worldwide, including tolling, parking, mass transit and photo enforcement services, supporting governments in more than 30 countries.

Beacons are becoming routine for retail

German lottery operator Westdeutsche Lotterie (WestLotto) is piloting a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon solution to attract consumers into 60 outlets at which they can buy lottery tickets. The system, provided by Berlin-based technology company Sensorberg, delivers coupons and other location-based content to WestLotto app users, and then tracks whether those individuals enter stores and make purchases based on those offers.

As well, South Korea’s YAP is looking westward to expand after conquering Vietnam and China, with a beacon network aimed at storefront retailers.