Thursday, July 19, 2018

Here’s How Target’s Secret App Connects Designers and Customers

Did you know Target has been developing a secretive mobile app? Well, the secret is out now, and this app is proving to be an ingenious new way for retailers to use mobile!

What Is It?
The Studio Connect app is an invitation-only app–only roughly 600 Target customers have access to it. Much like Instagram, the app displays large square images, giving the customer the ability to “heart” and comment on photos they like. The proprietary app’s goal is connect Target’s design team with the people they’re designing for. With it, Target is able to quickly obtain customer feedback at point of the product design process.

“Studio Connect enables our designers to interact with guests at any point while developing products, encouraging conversations and adding a level of flexibility to the formal feedback process,” Julie Fuggemos, Target’s senior VP, product design and development, explains.

Real World Examples of the Studio Connect App
To see Target’s Studio Connect app in action, look no further than Mother’s Day. Product designers turned to real-life Target customers to crowdsource ideas for for Mother’s Day shirts, and by the end of the day had a better understanding of what customers would like to see for the holiday.

Target designers also used the app to ask users with kids to help with ideas for their children’s fashion line. From a common theme in responses, Target quickly developed a new apparel line, all thanks to the Studio Connect app.

Bullseyeing the Benefits
The benefits of this app are twofold: first, the retailer is able to garner real-time feedback for quick turnarounds, which provides Target the ability to get ahead of their consumers’ preferences, even before a product hits the shelf. Second, the exclusivity of the app allows some of Target’s most loyal customers to feel really special, which in turn keeps them loyal and gets them excited about new releases. Target has eliminated the need for more traditional consumer feedback surveys, like those that are traditionally included at the bottom of a receipt, which oftentimes take too long, leaving the collected information irrelevant.

Nationwide, Target has shifted away from big-box stores to smaller-format stores with more specialized inventory curated for the individual location. The ability to collect localized information gives Target a clearer perspective on what specific areas want from their local Target store, again giving Target the ability to better meet (and maybe surpass!) consumer expectations.

It’s clear to see how this innovative use of mobile is paying off big time for Target! Based on customer feedback, the Studio Connect app allows the second-largest department store retailer in the United States to create products and experiences tailored exactly what shoppers truly want.