App review: Target

Category: Lifestyle
Price: Free
TiP Rating: 3/5 stars
Release Date: updated 12/03/2009
Version: 3.2.1
Languages: English
Seller: Target
Rated: 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
Link to app (clicking launches iTunes)

App Store Description: The Target App gives you the tools to simplify and streamline your shopping experience at Target stores and on Target.com

Summary: This Target App has a very streamlined appearance and makes it very easy for users to maneuver around and literally shop, create shopping lists and find those difficult gifts on the fly. The only downside is the rumored coupons that iPhone users will be able to have scanned at the store. There are currently none to be found but would be a great addition for users.

Review: As most consumers are today, we are too busy to allow ourselves time to browse through the aisles of a store, let alone comparison shop among different locations. This is where I introduce to you the new app on your iPhone from Target.

The big draw for this app is the ability to get coupons for use in store, with a cashier scanning the bar code right off of your phone! After a few clicks though, I was not able to actually find any coupons, but it is still early and we could see something soon.

The big question will be whether the barcode scanners at Target can actually read the glossy, glassy surface of the iPhone. Not all scanners are equal, and other coupon apps wind up with limited functionality due to equipment failure. If you have success with this, leave your impressions in the comments. We’ll also report back as soon as we get a chance to test this out.

In the mean time, let me take a moment to point out a few other features within the app.

First; the clean interface and easy setup for choosing a preferred branch easily allowed me to start using this application with little delay. As you can see there are but a few tabs that allow for quick shopping right from your phone, whether you prefer to shop online or visit that favorite Target store.

The overall streamlined appearance continues in the browse section, allowing you to search in your spare time (however little that may be) to shop and compare different brands and create a game plan for when you walk into the store.

But you are telling me that you want deals … not a problem!

By choosing the store of your choice, you will be easily connected to that location’s weekly ads (that you used to wait for on Sundays in your local paper). By having this in the palm of your hand, you can control yourself from spending $300 in one visit when you meant to spend $50! (We have all done this at least once.)

Inside the weekly ads, or by browsing through the different categories, you can then email this list to yourself or to other shoppers in the household. But the really cool thing is that you can actually text/SMS them to a given phone number!

This is where I will have to warn you just a little bit. My first text took about 5 minutes before I received it. But after the initial delay, it did seem to move along rather smoothly.

In the text message, the recipient receives a link to the item of interest, for purchase right from the phone’s browser. (So us guys don’t buy the wrong brand or the low-fat version, when it should have been fat-free or 2%.)

Now if you are looking to make more of a list rather than just a few items, the app allows you to create a “TargetList” or “Registry” that is linked to an Amazon.com or Target.com account. Simply add stuff to the list and send it to that significant other.

Finally there is one more feature that will save my backside over and over and over… well you get the point. Under the “More” tab you will find a “Gift Finder” option.

This, coupled with the ability to find the exact aisle location of an item within a specific store, makes it a breeze to find and pick up a last-second present as you are heading to a party — very handy, if you forgot to get the gift last week when your wife asked you to… uhh hmm… (And of course, if you actually plan ahead, you could buy the item and have it shipped to you.)

You can choose gender, age, price range and a personality type, and the app offers suggestions. This, I am sure, will not only keep me out of trouble, but will help most consumers in a pinch. And it’s easy enough to use for a quick shopping session, whether you are on a short lunch or waiting for the kids to finish up with their after school activities.

Overall, I give this application a 3 out of 5 stars — mostly due to the fact that there are no coupons yet. I was really looking forward to trying this out in my local store. With that said, I might come back and update this review once some coupons have become available, and I get to road test that feature.

In truth, I probably would have never tried or even downloaded this program had I not had to review it for TiP, but even so, I have become a believer of this app. With it being free, it is definitely worth a try. It could save you time, money or even that death stare from your significant other!

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