New versions of its iPhone and iPad mobile commerce and Cartwheel coupon apps plus new apps targeting health and gift registry, and the addition of curbside pickup via mobile app? No wonder Target says, “We view mobile as the new front door to Target.”

Target Corp., No. 37 in the recently published 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, is preparing to roll out new versions of its iPhone and iPad mobile commerce apps and Cartwheel mobile coupon app updated for Apple’s new iOS 8 mobile operating system and boasting new features and functions. What’s more, it’s finalizing two brand new apps, one designed for health and pharmacy matters and another to aid shoppers registering for gifts. And it’s partnering with a mobile-only company to enable curbside pickup of order via mobile and pickup in-store orders.

“We view mobile as the new front door to Target,” says Jason Goldberger, senior vice president of Target.com and mobile. “We’re launching a host of significant enhancements and updates to Target’s mobile offerings, making it easier than ever for guests to shop Target.”

All of the updated and new apps will debut this month, Target says. Target has not released specific dates.

The updated iPhone mobile commerce app (the “core” shopping app) will include enhanced navigation and search, more prominent lists functionality that includes a bar code scanner, and interactive location-aware store maps that show the specific location of any item in a Target store.

Target says customers who use its primary iPad app are very social, and that its updated iPad app will play off of that social success and showcase Target customers’ social posts on networks including Pinterest. The updated iPad app also will enable shoppers to personalize the home page by choosing which categories to feature.

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The new Target Healthful app will enable customers to organize prescriptions, check prescription status, transfer prescriptions and place orders for refills. The merchant says it plans many updates to this app in 2015 but declines to add details.

The new gift registry app will focus entirely on enabling customers to create gift lists, including in-store by using a bar code scanner in the app. Scanning a product on a shelf  automatically adds it to lists.

Target has partnered with mobile-only start-up Curbside to enable curbside pickup at 10 San Francisco Bay-area stores. Customers place an order for store pickup through the Curbside app and collect their purchase in person at a Curbside-branded trailer or tent near the store entrance.

Target also will soon update the phenomenally popular Cartwheel coupon app, the fourth most popular mobile commerce app after the apps for Amazon.com Inc., Groupon Inc. and Walgreen Co., according to the Internet Retailer/App Annie Mobile Commerce App Index. The core Target app is No. 7 on the index. Cartwheel will offer personalized recommendations based on customers’ in-app activities and exclusive offers that reward loyal app users with even more personalized, higher-value offers.

Follow Bill Siwicki, editor of the 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 and managing editor, mobile commerce, at Internet Retailer, at @IRmcommerce.

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