Target looks to build rep as ‘America’s easiest place to shop’

Discussion
Source: Target
Jul 05, 2018
Tom Ryan

In an update to its Target Run campaign, Target is shifting focus to its newer Drive Up and same-day delivery with Shipt offerings.

Initially launched in May 2017, Target Run focused on “quick, grab-a-basket, run-in-and-move-on trips” for low-priced everyday essentials. In September 2017, prices were lowered on “thousands” of everyday essentials to reinforce its low-price proposal.

In December, Target acquired Shipt, which offers same-day grocery delivery from Kroger, Costco and others, and in March began rolling out the service in Minneapolis. Target expects to be the first retailer to be able to offer same-day delivery in all major markets across the country by the upcoming holiday season.

Target also offers Target Restock, next-day delivery of household essential products for $2.99 per box or free for REDcard purchases.

Drive Up, in which customers place orders via the Target app and have their items brought out to their cars, is being rolled out after a test in Minneapolis last fall and is expected to reach nearly 1,000 stores by the end of 2018.

In all, three unique Target Runs are being promoted:

  • The “Original”: When shoppers “run out of pretty much anything” and need to broadly cover the store for a full stock-up.
  • Drive Up: For the in-and-out visit, shoppers can place orders through the app and someone will bring the items to their car “in just two minutes.”
  • Same-Day Delivery: With a promise of not having to “leave the backyard,” shoppers place orders through Shipt and have them delivered to their home later in the day, often within a few hours.

“With our expanded fulfillment options — including Drive Up and same-day delivery with Shipt — reaching tens of millions of guests across the U.S., we’re evolving the campaign to highlight the new ways they can choose to complete their Target Run, how, when and where it’s best for them,” said Rick Gomez, EVP and chief marketing officer at Target. “At its core, it’s a campaign designed to help our guests make the most of their day, and an important step in making Target America’s easiest place to shop.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is making Target “America’s easiest place to shop” a message that will resonate with consumers? Will Target gain a competitive advantage with its push to bring same-day delivery to all major markets and Drive Up expansion?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"It’s a good marketing message as it creates a 'package' around their new services that they can more easily go to market with."
"I applaud any retailer this big playing the online/pickup game boldly and creatively! At least they’re taking a risk and doing something interesting."
"...offering these shopping and fulfillment options require precise coordination with stores to be successful."

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26 Comments on "Target looks to build rep as ‘America’s easiest place to shop’"


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Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon)
Guest

Ease of shopping with delivery or pickup seems to be the newest differentiator, with each new program driving this toward being the table stakes of retail. Will it add traffic to Target? Yes. There will be a time when the trial by a consumer makes sense. Generating increased share of wallet may not follow as easily as deepened customer loyalty. It is worthwhile for Target indeed, if only for the promotional value and revenues that will result.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

It’s a sound message that chimes with being where the customer wants you to be. That said, while all the new digital services are valuable, Target still isn’t the easiest or nicest place to shop in-store. Regular out-of-stocks, poor merchandising and less than optimal layouts still plague many stores. There’s more work to do here if Target is to live up to its new mantra!

Charles Dimov
BrainTrust

Great idea in terms of changing the game. However, I wonder whether the message needs to include the physical element. You might argue that Amazon one-click is very easy. Target, on the other hand, might be the “easiest place to shop … and have it NOW!” Good thinking nonetheless.

Art Suriano
BrainTrust

The moves that Target has made have had a positive impact on their business, and they are doing a great job in listening to their customers. However, I see a lost opportunity. “Target … America’s easiest place to shop” could be a great campaign for them giving Target the chance to “wow” customers with the many benefits they offer. The ad says “Run and Done” which is nowhere as effective.

I don’t understand why businesses today cannot implement some simple fundamental practices when it comes to marketing and advertising. Rule #1: be different, Rule #2: tell customers why you’re different and Rule #3: make sure customers know where and why to shop you.

Using “America’s easiest place to shop” properly as a campaign, Target can talk about all its advantages. “Run and Done” — sorry, to me it’s weak and doesn’t say enough.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

It’s a good marketing message as it creates a “package” around their new services that they can more easily go to market with. I believe it will resonate with consumers and keep them in the running with Walmart’s new services. It’s definitely a race between the big boys to get to national roll out for the seemingly dozens of new services each of the retailers are testing. “Competitive advantage” is not likely the result but more like “table stakes” as most of the national big box retailers will have services on par with what Target is rolling out. Exciting times!

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust
Mohamed Amer
Independent Board Member, Investor and Startup Advisor
1 year 18 days ago

Ease of shopping and remarkable convenience are parts of the shopping experience which transcend the purchase of specific products or items. So while the battle to differentiate turns from product to experience, Target will need to ensure that the basics of having the right assortment, refreshed branded lines, strong inventory management and competitive pricing are pursued in parallel. In doing so, Target will ensure that the differentiation strategy has a significantly higher probability of success.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

What makes Target “easier” than Walmart or Amazon? It’s a good tagline but is it supported by the facts? Target has a reputation for stockouts and other supply chain issues that a slogan by itself won’t cure. The company has a lot to prove, especially in light of Walmart’s laser focus on the same issue. Case in point: The new Walmart ad where the dad drives through in his PJ’s to pick up breakfast-in-bed fixings.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Well, this will kill the Target Syndrome: when you make a quick trip to Target to purchase one thing, but leave with a cart full of items you hadn’t intended to buy.

Drive-up and same-day delivery seem to be this year’s go-to add-on service. If this extension of Target Run makes your life easier, why not?

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

It’s a good strategy as we all know retailers want to move in this direction of being the source of ultimate shopping convenience anytime and anywhere you need them. Target’s campaign should resonate well as many consumers already think of Target as their go-to place for consumable everyday items. The added delivery and pickup options are a smart thing to promote. Is it unique to Target? Not necessarily, but perhaps their ad campaigns will give them an early-mover advantage. While these are great digital experiences to move forward with, Target should also continue to focus on their physical stores. They have been moving to remodel and improve layouts, but they still have a ways to go in this respect to capitalize on all the convenience features they are bringing to the shopping experience.

Max Goldberg
Guest

It’s a catchy slogan and an admirable goal, but Target still has a way to go to catch Walmart and a long way to go to catch Amazon. Target is hitting its stride in online, delivery options and exclusive merchandise. Branding itself as “America’s easiest place to shop” will attract consumers’ attention, but it’s a big claim to back up.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

While these innovations may be necessary, they are hardly sufficient to differentiate Target. Drive-ups, same-day shipping, etc. may still seem like increased service today, but they are likely to be retail table stakes tomorrow. So to me, the answer to the question of whether or not this gives Target competitive advantage is yes — or perhaps better said, maybe in the very near term, but probably not in the long term.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

I applaud Target’s continued investment in experiences, and I expect that these new offerings will enhance their reputation for customer-centric experiences. I am not convinced that curbside delivery is all that important to most consumers, but that is more a reflection of my personal bias than a sound data-based opinion. Regardless, I would encourage Target to also focus on the inventory and assortment side of the experience. Higher in-stock positions on items that are more relevant and curated to the local community will, in my opinion, have a greater long-term impact on average transaction size and lifetime value than will curbside pickup.

Joanna Rutter
Guest
1 year 18 days ago

I applaud any retailer this big playing the online/pickup game boldly and creatively! At least they’re taking a risk and doing something interesting that’s customer-centric. With deployment of a new intiative like this one, I think success will come down to internal communication with staff. I recently visited a chaotic under-renovation Target here in Durham, NC where two seasoned staff members told me they feel helpless and frustrated with all the change happening at their store, which hasn’t been communicated to them well. We’ll see the health of Target’s internal communications very plainly as this rolls out.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

The caveat here should be “for a store,” because, um, otherwise it’s just not true. Not even close. And even being the easiest to shop in terms of stores is quite a ways down the road for them as well. In this age, I believe the best marketing is the truth. And most of the time it’s also the funniest, smartest and most stunning material you can come up with, mainly because we have a very savvy customer out there. They KNOW the truth and find it refreshing. So if I was Target, I’d tread lightly on that claim. There’s going to be 5,000 posts by August 1, sarcastic and otherwise, disproving their point. Why go through that? It’s nice as an internal mantra, but outward; caution.

Lauren Goldberg
BrainTrust

In today’s time-starved, over-scheduled world, I think this positioning will resonate with shoppers However, they need to continue to back up the claim and continue to innovate. What is “easy” today, will be retail table stakes tomorrow. As others have mentioned, they do need to focus on their in-stocks and supply chain issues. It’s not “easy” to shop if you can’t get what you need, when you need it.

An example of someone who has tried this positioning and not executed well is TD Bank. TD Bank has the slogan “America’s Most Convenient Bank” because they are open seven days a week. However, they do not have drive-thru ATMs. For a family with very young children (like mine), this is not convenient at all!

Phil Rubin
BrainTrust
1 year 18 days ago

This is a nice and ambitious idea but Target is years if not decades behind Amazon in being customer-centric. Nothing like chasing the competition to craft a new positioning statement, as it is essentially in a battle with Walmart to see which is #2 in terms of being “easy” to shop. At least they aren’t trying to have the lowest price.

As Bezos said, “If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

This is a nice message and will likely resonate with some. But let’s face it — Amazon is America’s easiest place to shop.

Kenneth Leung
BrainTrust

Offering ease of online shopping and delivery is the core messaging that Amazon has built up over the years. Target now needs to leverage their extensive store footprint to push the customer to think in terms of shopping experience; whether it is online browsing and fulfillment or getting out of the house to go shopping (some people still like getting out of the house to browse/hunt) in the store or a mix in between.

Time will tell whether consumers will vote with their wallet, but certainly just doing e-commerce better than Amazon or cheaper than Amazon isn’t going to work. One has to try something different.

Cate Trotter
BrainTrust

Who doesn’t like the idea of an easier life? I think it’s a strong message for Target and one we can all relate to. The proof is in the execution though. I like the idea of the Drive Up service. Seems like a great thing when you’re out and about and suddenly think of something you need. In turn with the delivery expectations of customers so high using Shipt to offer something Amazon-like is no bad thing. However, if Target really wants to be the easiest place to shop then it needs to not neglect the in-store experience as well and make sure that’s as simple and effective as possible to match its other efforts.

David Naumann
BrainTrust
David Naumann
Vice President, Retail Marketing, enVista
1 year 18 days ago

The “America’s easiest place to shop” tagline is a good aspiration for Target, as anything they can do to make shopping easier and frictionless will be appreciated by consumers. I think it is a tall order for Target, but they are making some smart choices by giving customers more options to shop and obtain merchandise in multiple ways — whatever works best for them.

When Amazon first came out with two-day delivery, we were all impressed and now anything more than two days is considered unacceptable for most consumers. Very soon, consumers are going to expect same-day delivery for almost everything.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

Easiest place to shop = Amazon.

Easiest brick & mortar place to shop = Target (maybe one day). Stocked shelves is one thing. Having a trained staff that smiles and assists rather than points is another. There is still work to be done.

Larry Negrich
BrainTrust

Consumers have shown that they want shopping options that fit their lifestyles, budget, time constraints. Target is doing a nice job offering fulfillment mechanisms to create an easy place to shop. It is important to recognize that offering these shopping and fulfillment options require precise coordination with stores to be successful.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

You hit this one right on the head, Larry. Precise coordination with the stores is critical.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Although the program itself doesn’t excite me much — Target will get to lose even more money on delivery, just like everyone else — it’s probably necessary (see “like everyone else”).

But Target needs to make clear what it’s offering: neither the ad nor the cliched tagline tell us very much — or anything, really — and that’s a big no-no in today’s attention-span challenged world.

Jennifer McDermott
Guest

These new rollouts will certainly help Target level-up as they continue to compete alongside big name brands like Amazon and Walmart. Offering its shoppers the option to shop in-store, pickup outside the store or receive a delivery at home gives Target the ability to meet the unique needs of many shoppers. While Target is taking steps in the right direction, I believe there’s still a long road ahead to becoming “America’s easiest place to shop.”

Min-Jee Hwang
Guest

Target’s mission, to become America’s easiest place to shop, will more than resonate with customers. By putting emphasis on a specific type of shopping trip and dividing that particular trip into three categories, Target can appeal to a niche population no matter the purpose for their quick in-and-out visit. It will quite literally become America’s easiest place to shop because of the many new ways the shopper can complete their Target Run. Target’s competitive advantage in the marketplace will push its competitors to take up similar initiatives in Drive Up and same-day-delivery. Its traffic will increase and so will customer satisfaction due to the convenience of the Target shopping experience.

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Braintrust
"It’s a good marketing message as it creates a 'package' around their new services that they can more easily go to market with."
"I applaud any retailer this big playing the online/pickup game boldly and creatively! At least they’re taking a risk and doing something interesting."
"...offering these shopping and fulfillment options require precise coordination with stores to be successful."

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