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Target’s renovates its Open House with new connected devices

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December 7, 2015

Target employee Kate Whitcomb, left, shows Amanda Uchtman some of the products available at the Open House section in the Target store in the Metreon shopping center in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, July 10, 2015. The Open House is a space to show consumers what a smart house could look like, highlighting home automation products and how they interact with one another. (John Green/Bay Area News Group)

Customers checkout tech products at Target’s Open House

Target is introducing a new series of connected devices powered by mobile applications for its Open House retail space, continuing a mission to bring the Internet of Things into customers’ homes.

The interactive display space allows consumers to interact with connected products controlled primarily by apps to give a better understanding of how they work and attempting to drive sales. The new update features a variety of innovative tech products such as Flic, SmartThings, Sense by Hello, Automatic, Roomba 980 by iRobot, Sonos Play:5, Yonomi, Kinsa, Muzzley and If This Then That.

“We have had three main objectives since opening Target Open House,” said Jenna Reck, spokeswoman for Target. “To create an exciting and experiential retail setting that inspires guests to explore the possibilities of connected home living, to forge relationships with the IOT community and to get more connected products into consumers’ hands so Target and our partners can learn more about how connected home products and platforms can come to life in a retail environment.”

Connecting to consumers
The mass merchant retailer features a bevvy of connected products associated with the Internet of Things, which is the network of physical objects connected to smart tech products such as mobile devices. Its Open House is a chance to get consumers more familiar with these types of products so they feel more comfortable purchasing.

The first major update from Target is featuring a wide range of new products all operated through mobile devices. Consumers have become highly comfortable operating mobile apps, in turn allowing these products to be more widely accepted.

All of the new products introduced into the display are aimed at making consumer’s lives easier through technology control. For instance, Flic is a product intended to make smartphone use even easier with a series of features controlled by small clicks on the tiny device.

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The Flic device can put placed anywhere

Flic users can search for their lost phones, call friends and family, take pictures and send out GPS coordinates to other devices through clicking the product connected to their smartphone, acting as a separate button. Open House visitors can play with the device in the store and see how it works.

Samsung’s Smart Home allows customers to monitor control everything in their homes through an app whether they are close by or far away through a series of connected devices. Target’s Open House has mock house setups so visitors can physically see how the devices work in its’ lifelike model.

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Samsung’s Smart House devices are operated through an app

Everything featured in the Open House is available for purchase through Target, allowing it to start a buzz and drive sales for these products.

Targeting mobile
Target is known for its innovation in the mobile space, and is continuing to drive new products and methods in using the platform.

For instance, the retailer recently mashed up mobile, social media, user-generated content and data analytics in two new innovations designed to elevate inspirational discovery on Target.com and Target Awesome Shop (see more).

Also, Target released version 2.0 of its popular Cartwheel iPhone application with a forward-looking approach to delivering shopping shortcuts and personalization (see more).

“Sales were never the primary goal of this space, but we are encouraged by what we have seen so far,” Ms. Reck said. “Guests are not only engaging with and learning about the products, but purchasing.

“Interestingly, there has been direct correlation between the amount of time companies have spent with the Target Open House team and the performance of products,” she said. “The more engaged our vendors and partners are, the more guests are understanding and engaging with their products in return.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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