Target Takes In-Store Shopping to the Next Digital Level

target-app-01-2014_0This week Target announced a new mobile app that will help customers find just what they are looking for in store. Just in time for the holiday season, the new app will direct customers to the product they are searching for or have on their shopping list. This type of integration between mobile technology and traditional shopping is an ingenious way to leverage the popularity of mobile apps.

So how does it work? The app utilizes GPS technology built in to smartphones to guide individuals to their desired items. The user can create a shopping list or search for a particular Target item, and the app will direct them to the exact location within the store. The app was designed to streamline the customer’s experience in the store, getting them in and out as efficiently as possible.

With Black Friday on the horizon, the introduction of this app is another step in the right direction for Target. Everyone knows the pain of retail shopping on Black Friday, and Target is clever to create an app that is essentially a digital sales associate, directing traffic to the desired part of the store. Hopefully, the directional app will help customers find what they are looking for, get them moving, and quickly get them out of the store. The app will provide “door-buster” deals for individual Target locations, and help people find their insanely cheap holiday deals.

A logistical hurdle that Target will have to overcome is accurate inventory counts and uniform display placement. Every retail chain strives to have unified and consistent stocking and product placement. But, the truth of the matter is, especially during the holidays, retail displays are not consistent from store to store. It will be a real challenge for Target to keep items where they belong and keep each store displayed exactly per corporate directive.

Time will tell if the new location-based Target app will be a success. Every Target shopper has felt the pain of not being able to find the exact item they need, so a successful guidance app could be just the key to an easy holiday shopping experience.

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