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Target Launches New Apps, Upgrades Others to Capitalize on Mobile Commerce

Target, the discount retailer that has in the past been slower than some to enter the digital fray, announced Monday a set of tech upgrades that will launch the company further into mobile mainstream.

The retailer will completely revamp its existing app, and launch new apps for pharmacy and gift registry, to make it even easier for the consumer to shop for both needs and novelties.

Jason Goldberger, the company’s senior vice president of and mobile, said, “We view mobile as the new front door to Target.” He added, “We’re launching a host of significant enhancements and updates to Target’s mobile offerings – making it easier than ever for guests to shop Target.”

Mobile Commerce Daily named Target the 2013 Mobile Retailer of the Year for making its mobile presence “ubiquitous to the point of mainstream.”

Last year, Target upgraded its mobile commerce to better leverage social media and allow for in-store engagement. “By consistently focusing on moving the mobile shopping experience forward and quickly jumping on board to test the latest consumer-driven technology trends, Target is able to hold a prominent place in the shopping habits of the fashion-forward, price-conscious moms who make up its core audience,” Mobile Commerce Daily noted in its end-of-year announcement.

Target’s iPhone app update, available later this month, will feature a more prominent user-created shopping list with a scanning feature. The new version will also allow consumers to find products more easily as enhanced search functionality and interactive store maps show the location of any item in a Target store.

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The iPad app update, which will also be available later this month, will showcase trending Target items on social bookmarking site Pinterest, and if a guest snaps a photo of herself in an Altuzarra for Target dress, for example, Target might feature the post within the app.

Target’s new pharmacy app, called Target Healthful will allow guests to sort prescriptions, check prescription status and place orders for refills. The app will be available this October as well.

The retailer is also updating its existing mobile coupon app Cartwheel to include personalized recommendations that suggest tailored offers based on guests in-app activities, and exclusive offers, which will reward more loyal Target shoppers with personalized, higher-value offers.

Target has partnered with Curbside, a U.S.-based startup developing a mobile application to find, buy, and pick up products from stores, to offer curbside pickup at 10 of its San Francisco Bay Area stores. Guests can place orders for store pickup through the Curbside app and pick up their purchases in person at a Curbside trailer or tent near the store entrance, increasing the omnichannel offering consumers are continuously seeking to make shopping seamless.

Last month, Target also announced its integration with Apple Pay, the new mobile payments service that will allow consumers to make secure purchases from the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Shoppers using Target’s app for iOS will be able to make purchases with one touch using Touch ID.

“We know mobile is becoming the front door to Target, and we’re focused on creating the best possible mobile experiences for our guests,” Goldberger said.

Apple Pay will be available in Target’s iPhone app in the U.S. in October.