- Over 1,000 Target stores across the country are now responding directly to online orders in an effort to reduce delivery time, save on shipping costs and balance inventory, reported Internet Retailer last week.
- To facilitate an easier "buy online, ship to store" option, 80 of the locations now shipping directly will have a designated pick up port at the front of the store, while 325 of the stores are training specially outfitted staff able to assist customers with ship to store service.
- Target's third quarter online sales reached $575.4 million, an increase of 21% year over year. Over all, online shopping made up 3.5% of Target’s total sales year to date in 2016, equaling roughly $1.708 billion, an increase of 17% over 2015.
Target's plan to make its e-commerce options more convenient is in large part to remain competitive with other major retailers' efforts, as the proportion of company sales driven by online shopping continues to rise.
Target's efforts show the importance of "best of both worlds" initiatives that emphasize both online and in-store options for customers that, frequently, prefer the combination. Buy online, pick up in store initiatives allow retailers to save on last-mile costs while offering increased in-store inventory options and decreased time-to-delivery.
Target has been working to move past last year's slump, the first since 2014. Though earnings have since rebounded, the Minneapolis-based retailer is still considered under-performing. It remains to be seen how much the marked increase in omnichannel services over the past two years will translate to improved holiday profits.