Review: Targeting a Digital / Physical Retail Experience

I did not grow up with big box stores but boy do I really enjoy a good Target (or shall I say Targét given the fancy designer collaborations they do from time to time)! And, because I do shop at Target, I’ve become very familiar with their iOS app (if you know me, I’m an Apple person so can only speak to this version).

The Target app is probably one of the best apps I’ve seen in the retail space hands down. It does a phenomenal job of blending the digital and physical shopping experiences in a seamless way. The UX of the app captures an understanding that Target’s customers will take their phone everywhere, including into their local store, and in that context it becomes a companion to guide you through the store. Alternatively, it’s just as simple to sit on your couch and have stuff delivered straight to your door either from your local store in minutes or via a warehouse in days.

Example of a Product Detail page in the Target App
If I wanted my husband to buy me double dark chocolate milano’s, now he knows exactly what aisle and product to look for.
A good example of the effective blend of the digital and the physical can be seen on the “Product Detail” screen once you’ve selected a product you are interested in purchasing. Given you’ve already set your local store up as a default in the app, you’ll see all of the following information in once glance:

  • Your Local Store (to confirm you are looking at the right store’s inventory)
  • The aisle the item is located in and it’s stocking status (to understand whether this is even in your store, and if so where)
  • Picture of the item (to make sure it is what you want to buy)
  • Price of the item (to make sure you are comfortable paying that price for it)
  • Options for acquiring (whether you want to purchase before you get to the store and have it waiting for pickup, local delivery from store, or ship from a warehouse)

This one view provides so much useful information and also helps drive their outcome of having someone make an immediate purchase in app as they order pickup/delivery/shipping and ‘adding to cart’ first over adding to your ‘Target Run’ List.

And, I could write at length about the Target Run feature as, to me, that shows Target has a deep understanding of their customers. As we all know, sometimes we go to Target to browse the Magnolia section or some other stuff we don’t need; the ‘Target Run’ feature helps keep that list of the stuff you actually DO need ready so you don’t just browse but also walk out with a purchase. It’s a brilliant mix of what’s good for customer but also helpful to their bottom line. And I think that pretty much sums up with I think this app is incredibly effective.

Do you know of any other physical retailers with fantastic apps?

Let me know in the comments below!