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Target leverages QR codes in-store to drive holiday sales

Target is using mobile bar codes in-store to promote the season’s 20 most popular toys. By using the Target mobile application, consumers can scan the QR codes and buy the items.

“The way we look at it, our guests are time-strapped and more connected than ever,” said Kent Hathaway, senior group manager of digital experience at Target, Minneapolis.

“One in five of users are using QR codes today and that number is growing rapidly,” he said. “They provide guests with flexibility and expand their shopping experience.”

Driving sales
The campaign is part of Target’s ongoing effort to use mobile in-store to solve common shopping challenges.

This initiative is part of a bigger holiday strategy that also includes an interactive toy catalog with an enhanced digital wish list.

Beginning Oct. 14, Target will showcase the top 20 toys on the main aisle in-store to help holiday shoppers find gifts easier.

Each of the showcased toys will have a QR code, which consumers can scan to purchase the product directly through their mobile device.

By implementing QR codes, Target is able to incorporate the latest technology and reach new and existing customers on a deeper level.

Mobile bar codes are a hot commodity and marketers are increasingly using the technology to help drive sales.

“We looked to integrate mobile and QR codes in new and relevant ways,” Mr. Hathaway said.

“Mobile continues to play a really central role for our multichannel guest experience,” he said. “It’s a connected tissue across our channels.

“And with our four platforms – mobile Web, Android, iPhone and iPad – we believe we can provide the guest a multichannel experience.”

More promotions
In addition to the QR code initiative, Target has also unveiled its annual toy catalog that features more than 200 toys and coupons.

Moreover, Target is letting consumers create and share wish lists with a new online tool on its Web site.

Consumers can browse the toy catalog and organize their must-have toys into a Target Digital Wish List.

“Target’s use of QR codes is a great example of how retailers can use mobile engagement with consumers to drive a purchase decision,” said Mike Wehrs, president/CEO of ScanLife.

“Target takes QR codes to the next level by utilizing the codes’ advanced capabilities,” he said.

“Forward-thinking brands and retailers like Target see the value of offering a timely, relevant mobile experience through a one-click QR code scan that provides value-added information — such as rich-media content, in-store assistance from a sales associate, product specifications, user recommendations, and more — that ultimately helps close a sale. ”

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