There's nothing particularly different in Target rolling out the option of letting consumers order goods online and then pick them up in stores. Walmart and various other competitors are doing the same. What makes Target's rollout interesting, from my vantage point, is that it has done it so close to the Christmas selling season and has thrown in a blackout period during one of the busiest weeks to protect itself from snafus.
As explained on its A Bullseye View site, Target launched store pickup earlier this month with roughly two-thirds of its locations now participating. The plan is for the full national rollout to be completed by Nov. 1. Some products such as groceries and items exclusive to Target.com will not be eligible for online ordering and in-store pickup. The company also said the service will not be available during Thanksgiving week (Nov. 24 - 30).
In an open admission that the chain may not have all the bugs worked out, Target writes, "We expect to learn a lot as guests begin to use this service, so we'll listen to feedback and make tweaks along the way. Guests will have opportunities to take short surveys about their experience, and are always encouraged to fill out a feedback form on Target.com."
Will online ordering and in-store pickup be positive or negative for Target this holiday selling season?