Target taps new mobile tools

3 December 2012

NEW YORK: Target, the US retail giant, is employing a diverse range of mobile tools from apps to QR codes as it endeavours to enhance the in-store experience.

The company's smartphone app is central to its efforts on mobile, and boasts around 150 functions, from a store locator to tools enabling customers to view the latest deals or make shopping lists.

"[Smartphones are] in most of our guests' hands and is the connective tissue for all of our strategies going forward," Casey Carl, Target's president, multichannel, said in a new video.

"It's really going to unlock our potential to bring the best of online and offline together in a seamless and integrated fashion."

Other initiatives being pursued by the firm at present include offering WiFi connections in many branches, which improves app functionality and the overall customer experience.

Target gift cards can also now be purchased and delivered via wireless devices, offering greater convenience for consumers.

"Technology is changing the way that we live and we work," said Beth Jacob, Target's chief technology officer. "Because of that, it changes people's expectations for speed, for reliability and for mobility."

In keeping with such moves, Target has included QR codes and text-to-buy numbers on many of its in-store marketing materials, circulars and ads for the holiday season.

"All of it is intended to allow our guests to see an item and be able to literally interact with the item and have that item shipped directly to their home," said Jeff Jones, Target's chief marketing officer.

"Target's always been a brave creative leader, and I think what we're trying to do is to bring forward that sense of innovation and new types of execution, and bring it into the modern world where we have all these social and digital tools that we know our guests are using on a daily basis."

More broadly, the company recently mixed content marketing and "shoppable media" by producing a three-part romantic comedy which started running online in early October.

Visitors to the dedicated website for "Falling for You" could research products featured in this series without pausing the action, and similarly share links on social media platforms.

Data sourced from Target; additional content by Warc staff