Motivate mobile customers? Look at Target

by Jeremy on March 16, 2010

There is a revolution occurring out in the market right now.  People are becoming more and more reliant on their smart phones.  Many people use their smart phones for checking their email, texting, FaceBook, Twitter, web browsing, and other things.  Many businesses should be watching this shift occur and figuring out how to leverage the new medium to gain customers.  A company who is pursuing this market heavily is Target Corporation.

Target is employing a strategy to make it easy for them to communicate with mobile phone users.  Also, they are working to make it easier for mobile phone customers to spend their money with Target.  Target isn’t the only one employing this strategy but it does seem they have jumped in with both feet and are really leading the way for national retailers.

Target Mobile Website

The Target Mobile Website describes all of the tools available for mobile devices.  They have many options available for shopping, coupons, deals, etc.  Target has also made it very simple to access their site on a mobile by simply allowing you to go to Target.com on a mobile device and simply handling the requirements for a mobile instead of making you remember a different address for mobile.

Mobile Coupons

One of the very cool options that Target is offering for mobile devices is the concept of mobile coupons.  By signing up for the Mobile Coupon service, Target will text you with exclusive coupons on a monthly basis.  The message will contain a bar code that can be scanned at the store to receive the deal.  No need to remember the paper coupon, it’s right there in your phone.

Mobile Giftcards

Target Gift cards are probably one of the most well known gift cards in the market right now.  Target was one of the original retailers to offer the plastic themed gift cards.  They have heavily marketed the “product” and I think that most people have received at least one for a birthday, Christmas, or their wedding.  Now Target is offering an electronic, mobile giftcard.  You take any gift card that you receive from Target (physical or e-giftcard) and store the information on your mobile phone.  By placing this in your mobile phone, you will then have the ability to check your balances and utilize your gift cards.  The mobile gift card functionality will provide a bar code that can be scanned at the store to utilize the stored balance.

Daily Deals

The daily deals option will send you a notice of the “Daily Deals” at Target.  These are deals that they have running that only last for that day.  What a terrific way for Target to have instant interaction with their customers.  So, if you get the message from Target you’ll know that you have to stop in on your way home from work to pick up that new swimsuit or pair of shorts for the upcoming summer season.

iPhone Application

Target also offers an iPhone app.  The application provides access to the Target mobile functionalities and adds the gift finder, wedding and baby registry viewing, weekly ads, and some other features.   Since the iPhone is so popular right now this really allows Target to connect with many of their mobile smart phone customers.  It would also make you think that they would work to port the app to other platforms (such as Android) as the platforms begin to grow their marketshare.

Target has focused significant effort on building a way to interact with the growing smart phone market.  It seems to be a way to ride the wave that is growing currently in the United States.  Businesses would be very smart to follow this trend very closely.  It appears that it could have a revolutionary impact similar to what the Internet has done over the last 15 years.

Is your business pursuing mobile users?  What is the best mobile strategy for companies that you’ve seen?

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