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Target sets sights on mobile, social shopping with winning app concept

Target and Fast Company’s Co.Labs have picked a winner in the competition to create a new interactive shopping experience for the retailer that focuses on simplifying the multi-person shopping experience.

Target and Fast Company chose Divvy to win its Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator competition. New York-based developer Team Pilot is the mastermind behind Divvy.

“We loved the simplicity and clarity, and how the concept stands to make group shopping more convenient and seamless,” said Eddie Baeb, spokesman at Target, Minneapolis.

“We also loved that Team Pilot thought through how the concept could be integrated into Target’s existing app,” he said.

Mobile development
Earlier this year, Target and Fast Company announced its Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator competition to challenge mobile developers to create a mobile Web design or app for the retailer.

Divvy team’s idea was to improve Target’s mobile shopping experience by giving multiple consumers access to a shopping list.

Team Pilot’s idea lets consumers update a shopping list in real-time and includes options to let consumers split bills, earn reward points and distribute receipts.

The goal is to streamline the group shopping experience, which could be particularly helpful with Target’s core group of moms to help map out her family’s shopping via an app.

The concept also uses email as a way to trigger app downloads and get consumers interacting with shopping lists.

Additionally, the concept includes a QR code feature to handle returns and discounts at Target.

Divvy will receive $75,000 and the opportunity to work with Target to incorporate its idea into a new mobile shopping experience for the big-box retailer.

More than 350 registrations and 76 entries were received from March to April. The submissions were then narrowed down to seven finalists by a panel of executives from Target, Fast Company, Github and Dropbox.

The top seven finalists each received $10,000.

“We’re still working out the details of when and how we will bring the winning concept to life, and as we’re early in the process our launch timing is still very fluid,” Mr. Baeb said.

Streamlining mobile shopping

Mobile past
Target has steadily been building up its mobile repertoire over the years across all channels.

Most recently, the retailer launched a mobile app for its Cartwheel social deals service. To promote the app, Target leveraged Facebook to push out an ad encouraging consumers to download its app (see story).

Earlier this year, the retailer also ran a mobile advertising campaign that included SMS and mobile Web to dole out mobile coupons (see story).

“At Target, we’re always looking to improve the shopping experience for our guests,” Mr. Baeb said.

“For us, this program was all about accelerating innovation in the mobile space and tapping the best minds in the developer community,” he said.

“We were thrilled with the innovative ideas that the finalists delivered, and we look forward to bringing the winning concept to life for Target guests.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York