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Shop and Ride

Have you ever had a hankering to take a detour and do some shopping, while you’re on your way to work? Surely your boss will understand if you’re a little late – as long as you have some great deals to show for it!

Well, now you can get some of those deals during your daily commute, thanks to a new couponing app.

Xerox, which you may know more for its copiers than its coupons, has launched “Shop and Ride”, an app for mass transit riders who are interested in getting some deals during their drive.

Xerox researchers “have been studying how people use public transport to work, eat and play,” the company announced. “What they’ve found is that riders want offers for food, shopping, and entertainment based on their preferences in local proximity as they travel.”

The company has placed beacons in bus shelters and stores around the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, and hopes to launch the program in more cities soon. The beacons communicate with the app, to let you know when there are coupons and deals available in the area. You can then clip a coupon in the app to redeem it immediately, or save it for later.

Later, as in, when you’re not whizzing past the store aboard a commuter bus during the morning rush.

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Several retailers are testing out beacons in stores, to share deals with shoppers who are already inside. Others beam their signals outside, to notify potential shoppers who happen to be walking or driving by.

But commuters are a truly captive audience – unable to make an unplanned stop to enter a store on a whim, and actually redeem the coupons they get via Shop and Ride. Unless, that is, the deal is so good that they hop off before their stop, which is probably unlikely if they’re on their way to work or trying to get home after a long day. So it’s not entirely clear how Xerox expects the coupons to be used.

At least it’s an untapped market. Though probably for good reason.

Xerox is even pitching the program as an incentive to ride mass transit – if you drive yourself to work, you might miss out on some great deals! “We’re committed to helping our customers make the necessary changes to their transit systems, so they can provide the best service to their riders,” said Xerox’s Chris Holmes.

There are currently 35 merchants in Hoboken participating in the program. Xerox hopes to nearly double that by the end of the year, and is looking to expand the program to other large and medium-sized cities in the future.

“Even commuters have to shop, eat and play,” the company says. Whether those commuters will change their routines to use coupons – Xerox and a few dozen Hoboken merchants will soon find out.

Image source: Xerox

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