Target Picks A Group Shopping App To Win Its Idea Competition

Target (NYSE:TGT) said last week that it has chosen a winner in its contest to come up with new ways of connecting customers with its multichannel agenda. The chain and Fast Company magazine awarded a $75,000 prize to a group of ad-agency employees for an app to enhance "group shopping."

The winning entry, named Divvy, lets a group of customers keep a shared shopping list, divide up a bill, work out sales tax, sharing copies of the receipt and earn loyalty points. "In New York, most people have roommates so they often buy things together," said Chris Reardon, one of the app's developers, in an interview on a Target blog. "There's always that sticky moment at the end of a group shopping trip when you have to settle the bill with one another. Those moments were the initial inspiration behind the app—using tech to solve the annoying parts of shared purchasing."

The seven developers are all employees of New York agencies TBWA/Chiat/Day and TBWA Worldwide, but they developed the winning app on their own time. Target said Divvy is now being developed for use by Target customers.

The idea of a contest to come up with new cross-channel ideas is a little hokey—like a cross between a reality show and a mid-20th-century contest to come up with a new commercial jingle. But it turned out to be more complicated than either Target or Fast Company expected.

"We did not give people stringent guidelines on what their submissions should look like," Chris Dannen, the editor of the magazine's Co.Labs website, told the New York Times. As a result, "some people put all their energy into the idea, some did highly detailed mock-ups and some submitted sketches on graph paper."

For more:

- See this New York Times story
- See this Target interview with the developers

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