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Target reaps rewards of mobile push as holiday traffic hits 60pc

With more than 60 percent traffic coming from mobile in November and December as well as Black Friday weekend mobile purchases coming in two times higher than in 2013, the mass merchant proves that when retailers build strong mobile experiences, shoppers will come.

Target joins Walmart and Amazon as retailers who worked hard throughout 2014 to better meet the needs of mobile shoppers and reaped significant rewards during the holiday shopping season as a result. Key mobile results also include that Cartwheel, Target’s deals-driven mobile application, added 2 million new users over the holiday period and surpassed $1 billion in promotional sales since it launched.

“Target continues to see strong growth in mobile traffic and sales,” said Target spokesman Antoine LaFromboise.

“We’re pleased to see how guests have responded to recent enhancements we’ve made to all mobile platforms — from a streamlined checkout process and integrations with Pinterest and Instagram in our mobile platforms to the enhanced lists and maps in the re-launched Target app,” he said.

“We are seeing guests use mobile for both utility and inspiration.”

App improvements
Target updated its iPhone app in the fall of 2014 and saw store maps in the new app accessed more than 400,000 times.

The app update focused on enhancing the in-store experience with the introduction of navigation features such as interactive maps, the ability to create shopping lists more easily, find the location of specific items and determine product availability at local stores (see story).

The app was also enhanced for online shopping with a streamlined homepage and a two-taps-to-checkout process (see story).

Additionally, the retailer launched a revamped app iPad and updated its mobile site.

The retailer has also been beefing up its social strategy, with more than 950 guest-generated posts to #TargetStyle on Instagram featured during the holidays in the new Target app for iPad. The posts were selected from tens of thousands of #TargetStyle tagged photos.

Digital sales jump
Target reports that its omnichannel offerings helped achieve record-breaking digital sales during the 2014 holiday period.

The digital offerings from Target included free shipping on, store pickup and Cartwheel deals. store-pickup orders hit a new record high on Thanksgiving Day and posted record sales on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up 40 percent from 2013.

On Dec. 20, the cutoff date for shipments to arrive Christmas Eve, had double its sales from last year’s cutoff date.

Mobile winners
Other retailers also saw their strong mobile focus pay off during the holidays.

Walmart reported that mobile drove approximately 70 percent of traffic to on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday (see story).

The Amazon mobile app experienced double the holiday sales in the United States while its Web site saw nearly 60 percent of traffic come from mobile (see story).

Target’s strong holiday results paved the way for new features and services to come in 2015, according to the retailer.

“We have described mobile as the front door to Target and in 2015, we will continue to place significant emphasis on mobile as a way to enhance the Target shopping experience,” Mr. LaFromboise said.

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