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Target elevates mobile Web shopping with input from shoppers, Instagram

Target mashes up mobile, social media, user-generated content and data analytics in two new innovations designed to elevate inspirational discovery on and Target Awesome Shop.

The first is the addition of a heart button alongside each product photo on, enabling the retailer to curate personalized recommendations in the new “for you” section. Additionally, Target Awesome Shop, which originally curated popular items from Pinterest and, has been updated to integrate content from Instagram as well.

“Target’s new heart feature is designed to provide discovery, inspiration and also allows guests to self-curate and personalize their shopping experience at Target,” said Eddie Baeb, spokesman for Target. “Based on guest loves, Target can recommend more relevant products and brands to our guests – in hopes of creating a more engaging and personalized shopping experience.”

Mobile discovery
With mobile traffic to retailers’ Web sites continuing to grow, but conversions a challenge because of the devices’ small screens, savvy marketers are looking for ways to help mobile shoppers easily discover items of interest.

This is what Target is trying to accomplish by introducing a heart icon. When users tap on the heart button next to an item or featured brand, new technology on the site learns what a shopper is interested in and can recommend additional items that shoppers might like. The recommended items appear in a curated list in a new “for you” section on the site.

When shoppers tap on the heart icon, the related item is bookmarked to make it easy to keep track of items of interest.

More than one million Target mobile shoppers have tapped the heart icon since the new feature went live in September, with a suede Mossimo strappy boot among the most-loved items.

Totally Awesome
Target also recently overhauled its Awesome Shop, which originally curated Target items trending on Pinterest and top-rated items on

The site has a brand-new look and now includes user-generated, crowd-sourced images of Target products from Instagram.

The move reflects the growing importance of Instagram to marketers as it opens its doors wider to working with them.

With the update, consumers on the Awesome Shop site can easily see what is trending across three categories – products, looks and places – click the images to learn more and purchase items on

The most popular categories on Awesome Shop since its launch in Dec. 2013 are home décor, baby products and furniture.

Target has been busily updating its mobile strategy over the past few months.

Recently, Target released version 2.0 of its popular Cartwheel iPhone application with a forward-looking approach to delivering shopping shortcuts and personalization (see story).

In August, Target jumped to the head of the class for in-store beacon marketing with a new program in 50 stores that leverages the retailer’s application to alert shoppers to hyperlocal content accessible via a newsfeed-like stream (see story).

“Incorporating user-generated content into Target Awesome Shop was a natural step because the site is all about curation and discovery,” Mr. Baeb said. “We also know that many of our guests love to post their Target finds on Instagram and other social channels, so we realized this content would be a great source of inspiration for guests shopping Target Awesome Shop.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York