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Target shifts focus to mobile app for back-to-school campaign

The retail giant is looking to simplify the back-to-school shopping lists. By incorporating mobile into the mix, Target is educating consumers to shop for products via their mobile device.

“The back-to-college season is very important to Target—it’s one of our busiest times of the year,” said Kate Lohmuller, a spokeswoman for Target. “We have the opportunity to build relationships with college-age students who are shopping like an adult for the first time.

“In addition to meeting their back-to-college needs at great prices, we want college-age guests to have a great experience so they will continue to shop Target throughout the year,” she said. “With new and enhanced online and mobile resources, Target makes shopping fun and easy.”

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. serves guests at 1,763 stores across the United States and at

On target
As part of its bigger push to simplify back-to-school shopping, Target has introduced a checklist feature, which is available on its Web site, as well as via the company’s mobile app.

This customizable tool helps students organize and personalize their back-to-college shopping list.

This year, the checklist tool offers product recommendations – via filters and dropdowns – based on different living situations.

Additionally, students can print their checklists at home or at a Target registry kiosk.

Consumers can also share their list with friends and family either using their mobile device or through Facebook.

Target is also turning to mobile advertising to boast its mobile app downloads.

The company is running mobile banner ads within Pandora’s iPhone app, as well as People’s mobile site that encourage consumers to download the retailer’s app.

In addition to mobile, Target is also using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to engage students.

By using different mediums, Target is able to reach consumers no matter where they are.
Additionally, mobile and social go hand-in-hand.

By marrying the two, Target is able to connect with new and existing customers on a deeper level.

“In addition, Target is hosting close to 70 private shopping events for incoming freshman at universities around the country as a part of Welcome Week festivities,” Ms. Lohmuller said. “During these events, students will be able to shop for everything they need – from beauty products and groceries to dorm furnishings and fashion pieces from more than a dozen Target designer brands.

“We have created a Bullseye Badge QR code that will help us to communicate with students before, during and after these shopping events,” she said.

“By scanning a unique QR code for each event, students will receive event information, special deals and other event communications specific to their school directly to their mobile phone.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York