In a Snap: Target’s Image Recognition App

In a mobile innovation and omni-channel play, Target introduced an image recognition app called In a Snap just in time for Back to School. The app is much like those we’ve seen before (as stand-alone  apps or as part of an of existing app) from brands like eBay Fashoin and startups like Toronto-based Slyce or London-based ASAP54.

The app allows users to snap a photo from Target’s ads in magazines like Real Simple or in their upcoming catalog.  Based on the image, the app then leads users to the website which allows them to add to their cart or try out Target’s new click and collect service.

The app comes just in time to compete with Amazon’s FireFly, an image recognition service that comes on its new Fire Phone. The visual search service can recognize over 100 million items from QR codes, bar codes, images and even song clips.

While Target’s app may be less “advanced,” it is still both buzz-worthy and useful, two important characteristics of a new app. The company reportedly built the app in 6-8 weeks in its Rapid Accelerated Development group and is currently collecting customer feedback and working on fixes.

My take: It’s awesome that Target is experimenting with mobile technology but it is even more awesome that they are investing in teams that can quickly develop customer-facing features. The continuous deliver, test and iterate model can make a huge impact at companies that are able to dedicate the resources (financial and human). By rapidly delivering this feature to customers, Target will have the quick feedback they need to improve the product and deliver even more value to their customers.  I don’t think visual search is going anywhere and anything to innovate print is pretty cool.

Target In a Snap App Target In a Snap App

Images from All Bullseye View

More coverage around the web:

The Target ‘In a Snap’ App Makes Shopping, Well, a Snap (Bustle)

New Target App Makes Shopping a Snap (PC Mag)

Target In A Snap Image Recognition App Aimed at Boosting Sales (International Business Times)

Target’s ‘In a Snap’ App Makes Catalogs, Ads Shoppable (ClickZ)

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