Target developed an app with a 3D animated game-like experience letting kids build wish lists and send them to Santa. This case study looks at how the US retail giant generated nearly 75,000 downloads.

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Case study summary

  • Target creates 3D gaming app that lets kids compile Christmas wish lists
  • ‘Dual function app’ also has adult friendly ecommerce platform aimed at ‘millennial mums’
  • 75,000 downloads of the app, over 100,000 wish lists were created, as well as 9,200 new Target.com accounts.
  • The average wish list was comprised of about 30 items and had an average value of $1,500

The challenge

Target wanted to enhance its Holiday Kids Gifting print catalogue and upgrade the tradition of wish-list making to create a multichannel wish list experience for moms and kids.

The overall campaign goal was to make Target and Target.com the preferred holiday destinations over competitors such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon.com.

The solution

The brand developed an app with a 3D animated game-like experience in which kids could build wish lists and send completed lists to Santa.

Meanwhile, Mothers could access wish lists and share them with relatives, and the list would automatically adjust when relatives bought toys, much like a wedding or baby shower registry.

The app also had an augmented reality function for in-store wish-list making.

The Target audience for this campaign involved two groups: mothers and kids.

The brand focused on “Millennial Moms,” who were not defined strictly as Millennials but as digitally-connected Mums with children in the preschool to tween groups.

The experience would leverage Target Registries technology so that lists could be shared in-store and online, and also update automatically as items were purchased, in the same way that a wedding or baby shower registry would work.

The solution was a dual mobile app experience, half of it a fun and engaging list-making game for kids and the other half a clean, simple interface where mothers could organize, edit, and share the lists.

In the game experience, kids were invited to visit the Target Toy Factory with Bullseye, Target’s holiday mascot, which featured 3D-animated rooms, avatar characters, drag-and-drop wish list creation, a letter to Santa, and even an augmented reality experience launched by the Target Holiday Kids Gifting catalogue.

Once lists were created, parents had secure access to their kids’ lists that allowed them view, edit, and share lists with friends and family. And, since the wish list was backed by Target Registry functionality, lists were also searchable in-store and on Target.com, and gift purchases could be removed from the master list throughout the holiday season.

The Target Wish List app was promoted through other channels of Target’s holiday marketing, primarily the Target Holiday Kids Gifting print piece, and through in-store promotion of the app, social media, special event promotion, and PR.

There were some adaptations made in real time throughout the holiday season to reflect the latest trending toys and update inventory and pricing, and to release Deal-of-the-Day and other money-saving promotions.

The app included an augmented reality experience, in which kids could scan pages of the Target Holiday Kids Gifting catalogue and add items from the page right onto a digital wish list.

The AR animation showed toys being “sucked” into the toy tube and into their Wish List Headquarters in the same way that toys in the digital factory were added to the list.

The AR experience also included a scan of the catalog cover, after which the child could see his/her avatar character come to life, and a special message with his/her name scrolling across the catalogue cover.

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Results

Though the app was released in limited distribution for its initial launch, the data collected from users proved that it was a success.

Among nearly 75,000 downloads of the app, over 100,000 wish lists were created, as well as 9,200 new Target.com accounts.

Sixty-one percent of users used the app multiple times a week, including 31 percent who used the app multiple times per day, generating over a million page visits to Target.com via the app.

The average wish list was comprised of about 30 items and had an average value of $1,500.

Over the course of six weeks from app launch to the close of the holiday season, nearly 1.7 million total items were added to Target guest wish lists, for a total sales potential of $92.3 million.