Target's (NYSE:TGT) new app features include in-store navigation, interactive maps, enhanced shopping lists and search capabilities.
The app, developed in partnership with Point Inside uses the StoreMode platform to improve the in-store experience for shoppers by answering the two most important questions in retail, 'Do you have it?' and 'Where can I get it?,' according to Point Inside CEO Josh Marti. "The fact is that if a shopper can't find what they are looking for in-store, he or she will leave empty handed and may not come back again," he said. "We've learned that shoppers allot a certain amount of time for shopping—so if we can save them time, they will add additional items to their basket."
Shoppers can use the app to build shopping lists, find products in the store and determine if the item is available for purchase. When physically standing in a Target store, the app will recognize their location and provide aisle information for each item on the shopping list. Shoppers can then click on the aisle location and they will be taken to the interactive store map.
On the store side, the platform benefits associates by keeping product availability lists and location information up-to-date. The platform is another example of a retail trend in which brands are using physical stores as fulfillment options.
Other new functionalities include special Black Friday maps for doorbuster locations and type-ahead, auto-complete to allow guests to easily add shopping list items.
"All of the doorbuster deals will be mapped in each store, with pins on a map indicating the locations," said Marti. "In addition to implementing the StoreMode platform, Target will be the first retailer to provide interactive digital maps powered by Point Inside with all of the Black Friday doorbuster deals shown on a map. These will be available for both iPhone and Android, so shoppers don't have to wander aimlessly throughout the store in search of a deal."
"We want to build mobile experiences that Target guests will love," said Alan Wizemann, VP of product for Target.com and mobile. "We believe the new shopping lists and maps make it easier than ever to shop Target. While we've got a lot more mobile innovation to come, we look forward to guest feedback on these new experiences so that we can continue to refine and enhance them."
The shopping lists and in-store map features are the latest in Target's digital initiatives. The company recently announced an overhaul of its iPhone app, which now also features site navigation, more intuitive user experience, and one-touch checkout for online purchases with Apple Pay.
The new platform bridges the gap between online and offline, via mobile. According to Marti, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in the physical store, but also an embracement of mobile-in-store experiences.
"This bridge is critical since shoppers don't differentiate between online and offline, expecting a seamless experience between the two," said Marti. He explained that until now, there was no digital representation of Target and all the value within those walls.
"There's no replacement for the sensory interaction with a product or the immediate gratification of taking a product home. We even see online only stores like Bonobos, Warby Parker, and even Amazon (NYSE:AMZN) opening physical stores because they realize the huge benefit to the brand of interacting directly with shoppers," said Marti. "We're also starting to see more and more retailers embrace mobile in-store. With 70 percent of shoppers using a retail app intending to purchase an item in-store, this makes sense. This year we've seen many retailers pilot iBeacon indoor location technologies to engage shoppers in-store via mobile. In 2015, we'll see more pilots and even chain-wide rollouts. Mobile is, and will continue to be an integral part of the physical shopping experience."
-See this Point Inside press release
Target closing 11 stores
Target launches 3D printing for holiday gifts
Target promises new apps for the holidays
Target pledges to act more like a start-up
Target names location of second Express store