Target In A Snap
The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. Reuters

In its latest effort to boost sales, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) is launching an app called In a Snap, which enables users to purchase items after scanning ads through their smartphone.

In a Snap allows Target shoppers to scan items located throughout Target catalogs and ads placed in various magazines and purchase the featured items with just a few taps.

According to Target, the app will recognize Target Room Essentials products in several magazines such as Real Simple and Architectural Digest.

Many apps and mobile phones already have the capability to scan QR codes and other barcodes, but more tools have emerged in recent years to enable the recognition of pictures and physical objects.

Physical retailers are also bracing themselves for the release of Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire Phone, which touts a service called Firefly, which Amazon claims has the ability to scan and recognize 100 million physical items. Flow, a predecessor with similar functionality to the Firefly app, has already existed on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Store for some time.

Unlike the Firefly and Flow apps, In a Snap is limited to recognizing products contained within Target ads. While the app is current a beta version, the Minneapolis-based retailer invites customer feedback to refine the app and possibly use it for more ad campaigns in the future.

In A Snap was conceived by Target’s marketing group and built by its Rapid Accelerated Development technology team.

The Target In A Snap app is now available for Apple iOS through the App Store.