Target adds Shazam's visual recognition

Target (NYSE:TGT) is partnering with Shazam for the rollout of a new visual recognition platform. The mobile platform can now photograph images on packaged goods and print media then transform them into "dynamic pieces of content."

Here's how it works: Users open the Shazam app on their mobile phones to start the camera. Then, the user simply waves the phone over any item with a Shazam camera logo or a QR code. Interactive content, including special deals, instantly appear. The platform also gives users the ability to purchase items directly through the app or share them with others.

The use of QR codes is becoming increasingly popular, as 24 percent of U.S. shoppers are now taking out their mobile phones in brick-and-mortar stores to scan these codes.

Previously, consumers used Shazam to listen to music or watch television. Currently, the app has more than 100 million monthly users, according to the company.

Several companies have signed on for the initial launch of the revamped app, including Outfront Media, which will Shazam-enable portions of their digital and static displays located in high-traffic locations.

Target is working with Shazam to create shoppable print and TV ads that can be accessed through a mobile phone. When Target guests "Shazam" an image, they will be able to engage with additional content and shop for featured products on Target.com.

Target is working to stay at the forefront of retail technology. Later this year, the company plans to roll out radio frequency identification technology for pricing and inventory control. The retailer has also experimented with shoppable ads. For example, Target created shoppable videos in 2012 and 2014. In addition, the retailer teamed with cable TV channel TBS to integrate 25 home products into an episode of "Cougar Town." Viewers watching a synced streaming version of the show saw flashing red icons on products available to purchase. This allowed shoppers to click the item and buy products directly from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Several companies abroad, such as U.K. retailer Boohoo, have signed on for the initial launch of the Shazam app. Shazam has also been developing a digital watermarking initiative. Digital watermarks allow retailers and brands to use push messages and communicate with shoppers' smartphones directly through the Shazam app. 

*An earlier version of this story appeared in FierceMobileRetail's sister publication, FierceRetail.

For more:
-See this Shazam press release
-See this FierceRetail story

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73% of shoppers browse online, purchase in store
Target's profit's jump 52%
Google, Target data shows mobile search ads drive in-store sales
Target's Lilly fail shows flaws in digital strategy

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