Target Flips the Switch on New In-Store Navigation Features

Share this:

target-logoTarget continues to be a leader in adapting hyperlocal technologies to a big box business model. And just in time for the holidays.

Yesterday, the Minnesota-based chain announced several new in-store navigation features are now live in the Target App. Thanks to Seattle-based Point Inside’s StoreMode technology, Target shoppers can now use the store’s app to more easily build shopping lists, find product locations and determine item availability at any store.

Target’s app now features interactive maps that help shoppers find products as they shop shopping lists with aisle locations of each item. Its type-ahead, auto-complete functionality allows guests to quickly add items to their shopping lists. Target is even rolling out special interactive Black Friday maps with store layouts and doorbuster locations.

“We want to build mobile experiences that Target guests will love,” said Alan Wizemann, vice president of product and mobile for told Street Fight. “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.”

After a 40-store trial run last summer, the features are now available in each of Target’s 1,801 U.S. locations. Point Inside VP of Business Operations Mike McMurray said the transition from 40 stores to nearly 2,000 was seamless.

“It’s enterprise level where we’re able to scale across all chains,” said McMurray. “Anything with this many moving pieces is going to take a little while, but it’s actually been very smooth and Target has been great to work with.”

He said the behaviors of shoppers during the trial phase reinforced the idea that the integration of digital and physical is going to be a driving force in hyperlocal marketing.

“What we’ve seen is that 70% plus of guests use their smartphone in store,” said McMurray.

McMurray feels that StoreMode’s features will be “foundational” for successful retailers in the near future. In addition to Target, StoreMode is currently used in 200 locations by grocery store chain Meijer and every Lowe’s in the U.S.

Point Inside CEO Josh Marti agreed said retail’s adoption of StoreMode reflected the impact mobile is having on the retail experience.

“Mobile’s influence on in-store retail is rapidly expanding and we believe that the best retailers will benefit greatly by satisfying customer demand for mobile-assisted in-store shopping,” said Marti.

The new features also underscore Target’s desire to enhance the holiday shopping experience for its customers. Black Friday is fast approaching, and the special Black Friday features were designed so the busiest day of the year can be as efficient and enjoyable as possible for both shoppers and the retailer.

“For the first time, Target is also going to be introducing a digital version of their Black Friday maps,” said McMurray. “It will make it easier more efficient for Target’s guest, which will build a positive brand experience.”

In addition to a positive shopping experience for the customer, McMurray said StoreMode has some obvious benefits for retailers.

“People actually buy more when they’re interacting physically with the product,” said McMurray. “In addition, from the overall brand experience, it’s a way to have a focused interaction with your customer base. “

Target’s adoption of StoreMode comes at a time when there is a lot of talk about hyperlocal marketers helping brands and retailers to develop stronger bonds with their customers. By making it easier for shoppers to plan and execute their shopping experiences, Point Inside thinks its accomplishing that mission.

“From our standpoint this is a way for retailers to be more connected to their shoppers, and when they go to different locations, they will always be able to find where things are,” said McMurray. “It makes for a very easy and efficient shopping trip, and it’s a positive brand experience.”

Mason Lerner is a contributor to Street Fight.