Casey Carl Q&A: Target and Fast Company Challenge Developers to Create a New Mobile Experience for Target

March 11, 2013 - Article reads in
Target at SXSW

To celebrate and foster technological innovations that are reshaping the retail industry, Target and Fast Company are teaming up for the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator, where developers will vie to create a new mobile experience for Target.

The competition will span several months and will be covered by the editorial team of Fast Company’s new, developer-focused Co.Labs vertical. Both Target and Fast Company know a thing or two about innovation.

Below, we talk with Casey Carl, Target’s president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy, about how and why Target is making mobile tech a priority in 2013.


What is the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator?
The Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator challenge is about experimentation, working differently and engaging with developers to bring innovative ideas to life. We’re looking for transformative, technology-driven ideas in four categories–Social, In-Store, Personalization and Education–that will help Target continue to engage guests with differentiated, uniquely Target experiences.

Why partner with Fast Company?
We’re excited to partner with a publication like Fast Company to encourage and foster technological innovation in retail. We want to challenge the best minds in the developer community to help us achieve our goal of creating seamless, integrated and personalized multichannel experiences between our stores and digital platforms. And to challenge the best minds in tech, we want to partner with the best minds in tech.

Why is Target doing this?
Target is committed to creating new technology solutions because we know more and more guests are using technology to research, recommend and purchase products. According to a Google study, 44 percent of the U.S. population now has a smartphone, and more than one-third of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone. That’s why the mobile space is a big priority for us. And, as always, we are looking for creative ways to enhance the shopping experience for our guests.

What are other mobile experiences Target is working on?
Target believes mobile will continue to be a game-changer for retail, from mobile wallet to apps that deliver more personalized offers and promotions–all designed to enhance the in-store experience. We’re excited about technologies such as augmented reality, smarter search applications and new social media innovations that will reshape retail as we know it today. But, right now, we’re focused on digital technologies that make smartphones a more useful shopping companion.

Tell us about Target being at SXSW. What is Target doing at a techy confab? 
South by Southwest is where the best minds in digital come together every year to talk about what’s new and what’s next, and it’s been great for Target to be part of those conversations. Our presence at South by Southwest—which included our sponsorship of the Fast Company Grill and having a booth at SXSW’s Tech Career Expo—is a reflection that multichannel and technology are top priorities at Target. We’re committed to growing both our multichannel offerings and our multichannel team.

check out Target at SXSW

Submit ideas to the Co.Labs + Target Retail Accelerator Here

Photos courtesy of and William Ross

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