Mobile Commerce

Target Aims At Mobile In-Store Experience

Target is blurring the lines between mobile and bricks-and-mortar — a tactic that’s getting customers who use its mobile app to spend more in stores, a Target executive told a conference audience at eTail West 2015.

Jamil Ghani, Target’s VP of enterprise strategy, told a keynote audience that the fourth-largest U.S. retailer “rebuilt all of our digital experiences from the ground up,” Mobile Commerce Daily reported. “Our culture was holding on to some old beliefs and behaviors. We’ve reversed course.”

That meant replacing an iPhone mobile app that mirrored traditional weekly advertising with products and promotions intended to inspire future purchases and — most important — get customers to keep returning to brick-and-mortar stores. Target’s mobile-engaged customers make four times as many store visits per year, Ghani said.

Once customers are inside the store, the app now has a shopping list feature along with the ability to show a product’s shelf location. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy. The result of the mobile revamp: App users typically buy more items than non-app users.

The strategy paid off over the just-past holiday season. Target launched its new iPhone app for the holiday selling period, and shoppers used the app’s product-locating function more than 400,000 times before the end of the year. Mobile traffic also made up 60 percent of Target’s website traffic during November and December, and mobile was the source for twice as many purchases over the Black-Friday-to-Cyber-Monday weekend than in 2013.

“Mobile experience needs to make commerce as easy as possible,” Ghani said. “We call it bricks-and-mobile, and we’re really excited to see how far we can take it.” The next place the retailer will take it is likely to be its Android app, which hasn’t yet been upgraded with the new features for driving store traffic and sales.

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