London buses trial beacon technology for smartphone advertising

500 buses in the capital have been equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy devices

Passengers on London buses will soon be able to receive targeted advertisements on their smartphones with the trial of beacon technology.

The pilot scheme - which will initially be available on 500 buses - is the result of a partnership between proximity marketing firm Proxama and outdoor advertising business Exterion Media. It follows a six month trial on 110 buses in Norwich conducted by the two firms.

Using Bluetooth Low Energy technology provided by Proxama, retailers in local areas will be able to send in-app messages directly to passengers. In return for being served with ads, the service could mean commuters being offered deals from retailers.

According to Proxama, targeting consumers outside of the home is an effective way of attracting business, as it is more likely to prompt 'immediate action' from potential customers.

It said that the Norwich bus trial highlighted the possibilities of the technology, with 30 percent of users click through from receipt of notification, and 2,000 app downloads.

"The trial in Norwich and our partnership with Exterion Media showed us that consumers are open to receiving content via their mobile devices while they travel, so we expect to experience a similar level of success once we roll out across London," Jon Worley, CEO of Proxama Marketing Division. "By ensuring that content pushed to users is relevant, personal and received at the right time, beacons are set to enhance Londoners' commuting experiences."

Despite a slow start, beacon technology is gradually gaining wider acceptance in the UK for a variety of use cases. A trial is currently underway at London's Pimlico Underground station to assist blind and partially sighted people to navigate independently, while Barclays is experimenting with the technology in branches to improve accessibility for customers with disabilities.

Meanwhile retailers such as House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentall have installed devices in mannequins to send information about clothes on display to shoppers, while Urban Outfitters and US retail giant Walmart are also among those backing the use of beacon technology.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Behaviour change, by design

​We’re living in an age of unprecedented change. We experience with Oculus Rift, invest with Acorns, consume video through Hyper, tune into Pandora and navigate with Waze.

Glen Jeffreys

Head of UX, Deepend Group

Chat bots: How to use them commercially right now

I’m sure that many of you out there have heard a lot about chat bots (aka messaging bots) recently, and the fact that they are here to stay is pretty evident by now.

Deniz Nalbantoglu

Managing director, Webling-Interactive

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Thanks, Nadia. It was so interesting blog for me because it helps me able to understand well on the basics of business and marketing conc...

MichaelBGreen

3 ways marketers can raise their executive influence

Read more

Having been to the AO on Wednesday for the first time in a number of years I was very impressed with the new branding. The event has evol...

Naomi

Tennis Australia unwraps new brand identity for Australian Open

Read more

This was amazing and so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Vijay Kumar

Design thinking: Leading with experience

Read more

Great read, thanks for posting. MR should be seen as the holy grail for marketers and brands, as it offers an unprecedented capability to...

Barney

Interview: The business case for mixed reality in marketing

Read more

what a load of shit, and what a major stuff up... the new brand device is sterile, boring and just plain bad. Would be better suited to a...

James Yoi

Tennis Australia unwraps new brand identity for Australian Open

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in