August 4, 2011, 10:00 AM

Target’s back-to-school promotion merges online and offline shopping

Consumers can create and share their shopping lists online, or print lists at store kiosks.

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Target Corp. this month hopes to win more sales from college-age back-to-school shoppers with tools designed to link online and offline shopping. The retail chain has launched a web page for college students that includes shopping lists, social media sharing and daily discount offers.

The web page, Target.com/college, features a checklist to which shoppers can add products as they plan their purchases. Shoppers can add items to the checklist as they browse the site; they also can add products to an online shopping cart, print a shopping list at home or at a kiosk inside a Target store, or send the list to a mobile device so they have it when they walk into a Target store.

Shoppers also can share their checklists with acquaintances on Facebook, where Target is running additional back-to-school promotions. Each weekday in August, the retailer’s “1,000 Likes” promotion serves up a new 40% to 50% discount on an in-demand school supply. The first 1,000 Facebook users to click the Facebook Like button each day receive a mobile coupon for the item they can redeem inside Target stores.

The retailer also will extend its back-to-school program into September when it launches U Care Cards. Students can create shopping lists of items they want and share them on Facebook or e-mail them to friends or relatives, who then could send the student a U Care gift card redeemable online at Target.com or at Target stores. 

Stacia Andersen, senior vice president of merchandising at Target, says the back-to-school programming is designed to make it easier to shop for products in a fun and convenient way. Target is No. 22 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

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