By Chris Holmes

Clipping coupons has been popular for years. After all, who doesn’t like a good deal? Now, we’ve seen a shift from the traditional paper coupon to adoption of more cutting edge couponing technologies. Many grocery stores, for example, offer mobile coupons on shoppers’ smartphones.

Chris Holmes

“The Shop and Ride app … delivers personalized, hyperlocal, mobile offers to transit riders based on their preferences and travel patterns. — Chris Holmes, vice president of Mobile Commerce Solutions in the Payments and Public Sector at Xerox

According to a report from Juniper Research, the retail industry will continue to be transformed by innovative technology like beacons. When placed strategically, beacons enable consumers to receive targeted mobile coupons based on their location. Juniper has forecast that almost 1.6 billion coupons will be delivered through beacon technology in the next four years.

Beacons are typically placed at a retail location, pushing coupons and other notifications to consumers as they enter the store. But what if we take the technology a step further to greatly expand its reach?

The mass transit beacon

Cities everywhere are looking for ways to boost mass transit ridership by expanding access and improving the overall experience for riders.

To help our transit customers address these daily challenges, our research teams at PARC and around the world have been studying how people use public transport to work, eat, and play. What they’ve found is that riders want offers for food, shopping, and entertainment based on their preferences in local proximity as they travel.

Today, we’ve launched the new Shop and Ride app, powered by Xerox. The app delivers personalized, hyperlocal, mobile offers to transit riders based on their preferences and travel patterns. Beacon technology, owned and operated by AR James Media, has been placed in bus shelters and at merchant sites in Hoboken, New Jersey. The beacons communicate with the app so riders are notified of existing offers in the area or at a particular store.

While the app is initially being launched on its own, our intent will be to eventually integrate this capability into mobile ticketing applications that Xerox develops for transit organizations like New Jersey Transit, further enriching the features of their ticketing operations.

Hop on Board
Hoboken residents can download the Shop and Ride app today in the Apple App Store.

Location, location, location

Commuters in Hoboken can now download the app and receive discounts, savings, and special offers from merchants along their routes. With a single touch, riders can save a coupon to redeem it immediately or at a later time.

Hoboken is the ideal place to pilot the app because of its size and its significant transit ridership – in fact, the city has the highest public transportation use of any in the U.S. The Hoboken launch is a first-to-market test bed for many other transit organizations that Xerox works with across the nation.

A two-way street

The app benefits not only riders but also local merchants. Xerox provides 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 data allows merchants to make decisions based on which offers riders are most responsive to.

Thirty five local merchants have already partnered with Xerox to extend deals to New Jersey Transit riders. By the end of summer, the number of participating merchants is expected to grow to at least 60.