Target launched a new app called In a Snap that enables customers to shop for Target items from the pages of magazines and printed ads, without having to scan barcodes, look up links, or search store shelves for the product.
Just scan select ads, choose your favorite items, and make quick purchases without ever entering the store. Users can also save products to consider buying at a later date.
According to Target, the app will recognize Target Room Essentials products in several magazines such as Real Simple and Architectural Digest.
The app has been part of Target’s college campaign, promising an easy experience for students looking to style their dorm rooms with reasonably priced furniture, bedding, and accessories.
Many apps and mobile phones already have the capability to scan QR codes and other barcodes, but more tools have emerged to enable the recognition of pictures and physical objects.
The app is currently a beta version, but Target invites customer feedback to refine the app and possibly use it for more ad campaigns in the future.
Target says it spent a year researching its app and its Rapid Accelerated Development technology team took about six to eight weeks to build the app.
In a Snap is currently available to download for free in the Apple iTunes Store.
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.
Firefly, a service Amazon is launching this week with the debut of its Fire smartphone, is a similar tool. The company claims Firefly can recognize 100 million items. Amazon’s current app for iPhones and iPads has a similar service called Flow that scans barcodes, grocery labels, books and DVDs.