Beacons in Taxis
Old Industry, New Tech
Leave it to London to optimize the classic black taxi: they are being outfitted with one BLE beacon each to allow advertisers and app-based businesses to reach consumers via instantaneous notifications during their daily commute. The plan is laid out for 5,000 taxis thus far, each making an average of 4,500 journeys per year. For taxi riders, this will mean more direct access to retail and dining in various neighborhoods of London, and content to alleviate the boredom of the ride.
Statistically speaking, the average taxi ride in London lasts 20 minutes and the person in the taxi is likely on the wealthier end of the spectrum. Of course, the only thing one has to do in a taxi ride is get on their smartphone and check in with their social media and news. Here we have a mobile advertiser’s dream: a well-to-do consumer idly staring at their phone, and the opportunity to deliver personalized, specific advertisements! Further, studies have shown that this type of advertising can result in a CTR (click-through rate) of 24% -about 10 times the expected rate from standard search engine marketing. With London cabs completing over 22 million rides annually, the advertising potential is tremendous.
Other ideas about how to incorporate iBeacon with taxis are forthcoming as well. An app called Hailo is using beacon technology to make regular cabs feel more like Ubers.
The app is used to call a cab and interacts with a beacon inside the taxi to identify which rider is in which taxi. The app then automatically charges the rider for the fare, without them worrying about it at the end of the ride – as if it were an Uber. If the user has Hailo, but didn’t use it to call the cab, they will still be able to “pay with Hailo” in beacon-enabled taxis. Another app, TaxiMagic, is using beacon-enabled cabs to distribute referral codes. Users just exiting a cab will be able to send a referral code to anyone within range of the cab’s beacon, not just those people they have in their contacts list.
If you’re interested in implementing any kind of beacon system in your taxi network, be it for payment or for advertising, Beaconinside’s flexible platform and SDK will allow you to provide localized advertisements and relevant content to your riders.