By Christine Kern, contributing writer
New beacon and Bluetooth technology will help consumers find their way through busy stores.
With the busy Holiday shopping season fast approaching, many shoppers may be dreading facing the crush of crowds in stores that keep them from finding their perfect gifts. Now, Target has announced that it is adding beacon and Bluetooth technology to its mobile app that shows a user’s location on the app’s map as you he or she moves through the store – like “GPS for your shopping cart,” as Target explains. The technology will be live in approximately half of all Target stores by the holidays. The app also will display Cartwheel deals on products in the vicinity of the shopper.
“Now you’ll never have to miss out on an opportunity to save,” asserts Mike McNamara, chief information and digital officer of Target. “This promises to make it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for, so you can fill up your cart and get on your way.”
The indoor mapping component is designed to make it easier for shoppers to find their way through stores and to the products on their lists. It includes a dynamic “you are here” blinking dot that follows you through the store, rather than a static map that might be difficult for shoppers to interpret in a busy store, Tech Crunch explained. The app constantly updates your location as you move through the store.
McNamara explained, “I want our digital experiences to be every bit as delightful as shopping in one of our stores.” In an introductory video, McNamara demonstrated how users can click on an item on their lists via the Target app, see its location on a store map (including aisle number), and determine whether or not the item is currently on sale.
Currently, the shopper’s in-store location on the app’s map is live in about 800 stores and the “deals nearby” functionality is live today in fewer stores. The company plans to have its indoor mapping functionality available in about half its over 1,800 U.S. stores by this holiday season,