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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Non-linear transformation: The internal struggle

Let’s face it, transformation is messy. Every business is different, with a set of specific challenges based on a mixture of external (the market, competitors, regulation) and internal factors (technology, people and process investments over time).

Neil Kelly

Partner, transformation, Wunderman Thompson

7 ways to champion a human centred design culture

Human Centred Design (HCD) has come a long way in the last decade with many forward-thinking organisations now asking for HCD teams on their projects. It’s increasingly seen as essential to unlocking innovation, driving superior customer experiences and reducing delivery risk.

Shane Burford

Head of research and design, RXP Group

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

It's a useful info for small businesses owners. We can't live without mobile apps. They are so helpful! It's hard to deny that.

Mae Davis

7 ways small businesses can benefit from mobile apps

Read more

Hi Jennifer,Fascinating read about design-led companies!If you would like to learn more, our Design Thinking and Innovation programme mig...

Andrea Foster

How to spot a ‘design-led’ versus ‘design-fed’ company

Read more

ABC web-site not easy to use/navigate. Even getting this far in sign-on to ABC My Space was problematic - it was asking for my password,...

Vee.

How the ABC used an online community to help build a movement

Read more

Thank you for your feedback, Astha! Always appreciated.

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Read more

Hey Vanessa, thanks for providing us the things marketers should know about data privacy. This was really an informative post.

astha sharma

5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in