Target Mobilizes Back-to-School Print Campaign With Image Recognition

Ties traditional with digital to target college students

Target wants to prove that traditional media like print and TV can drive e-commerce sales, highlighted in its new back-to-school marketing push. Target is launching a mobile app that works with the retailer’s fall print catalog to trigger sales for its Room Essentials collection, aimed at college students. Target’s In a Snap mobile app also works with print ads in magazines including Conde Nast-owned Domino and Architectural Digest and Time Inc.’s Real Simple.

Shoppers with the app downloaded first hover a mobile device above an ad or a page in the catalog. Once the app recognizes a product, users can shop the item by viewing it on Target’s e-commerce site and check out without leaving the app.

Instead of incorporating the image recognition feature into Target’s branded app, In a Snap was built as a stand-alone project to quickly launch the back-to-school effort.

The big box retailer is also opening a 20,000-square foot store (roughly 15 percent of the size of a typical location) store called Target Express in Minneapolis this week that will promote the app in-store.

In a Snap is the latest mobile pilot program that Target has run in the past year as part of its efforts to drive mobile sales from traditional media.

In March, the retailer partnered with TBS’ Cougar Town on an initiative that let consumers shop product placements in the show. Another campaign with Purina aimed to drive sales from a newspaper ads.

Target is not the only retailer looking to trigger e-commerce sales from fall print catalogs. Similar to the past few years, IKEA plans to roll out an augmented reality app that works in conjunction with its 2015 catalog

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