TECHNOLOGY

Target launches new way for shoppers to pay in-store

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. has expanded the features on its mobile app.

The discounter has added a mobile payment feature to its app, allowing shoppers to pay with a single scan of their phones at checkout. According to Target, a big benefit of the new wallet feature is faster in-store checkout—up to four times faster than other payment types.

In addition, Target’s wallet combines digital savings via its Cartwheel offers and weekly ad coupons with its 5% REDcard discount. Shoppers also will be able to store and redeem Target gift cards with the wallet feature, which is available for both Android and iOS (Apple) versions of the Target app.

In August, Target officially moved its Cartwheel savings app into the main Target app in a move designed eliminate customer confusion over the retailer’s two separate apps.

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TECHNOLOGY

The top strategic initiative for retailers is…

BY Marianne Wilson

It really is—or should be—all about the customer.

Customer-centricity ranked as the top strategic initiative in a new report from BRP. According to the report, retailers must accommodate customers who “pre-shop” for merchandise online before they ever enter a store, want one-day or even same-day delivery, and expect “more” from their shopping experience – more personalization, a larger assortment, a more fulfilling experience and non-stop entertainment. Customer-led demand is driving retailers to transform their business to be more customer-centric.

“Customers use technology daily to enable and control their shopping journey,” said Gene Bornac, senior VP at BRP. “Now it is up to retailers to play catch up with their organization, processes and technology to deliver the right products for the right price in the right place.”

According to BRP’s 2017 Merchandise Planning Benchmark Survey, it is imperative that retailers take a customer-centric viewpoint.

“To innovate the customer experience, they must transform their disparate systems, processes and organization into one cohesive environment with the ability to offer customers a seamless shopping environment across any channel and the capability to deliver merchandise immediately – wherever it is needed,” the reported stated. “It is time to prepare for the future of retail – it is here – whether we are ready or not,” the report stated.

To prepare for today’s new retail model, BRP said retailers need to do the following:

•Align the organization
·58% of retailers currently have an integrated planning organization across channels;

•Integrate planning processes
·64% of retailers have integrated their business planning processes across channels;

•Implement the right technology
·33% of retailers have implemented new omni-channel demand planning systems within the last two years;

•Prioritize customer insight
·42% of retailers incorporate real-time customer feedback into their in-season planning; and

•Take action
·19% of retailers must overcome IT/business resource constraints to advance their planning activities.

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The top Black Friday TV advertisers were…

BY Marianne Wilson

Despite all the hype, retailer spending on Black Friday TV ads decreased this year to $90.4 million from $113.3 million in 2016. But some retailers bucked the trend.

That’s according to a report by Kantar Media which found that Target Corp. went all out on TV advertising that promoted Black Friday. Target increased its spending 118% from 2016 to $8.4 million in the month (October 30-November 26) leading up to the holiday weekend.

Although Target’s ad spend increased the most, it wasn’t the top advertiser of Black Friday ads. J.C. Penney claimed the #1 spot, spending $13.4 million, which was down 19% over last year. Penney was followed by Lowe’s ($13.1 million; up 41%), Home Depot ($10.8, up 28%), Kohl’s ($9.5 million, up 43%) and Target.

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