Last December’s disclosure of a major theft of customer payment card data marred the 2013 holiday season for Target Corp. The retail chain announced today a series of promotions aimed at making 2014 a much more successful season.
The promotions includes offering free shipping for all Target.com orders through Dec. 20, making more than 65,000 products available for store pick-up and a new wish list app set to launch Oct. 31.
The company says sales on Target’s digital channels—web and apps—are up 40% this year. Aiming too fuel additional growth, Target is offering free shipping on all web orders through Dec. 20—a first for the mass merchant. The offer only applies to deliveries to the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Toy orders will ship free through Dec. 24.
Target is also making more products available for store pick-up, and Target says 80% of those orders can be fulfilled within one hour.
Target will also unveil a wish list mobile app Oct. 31. The app allows consumers to add products, share lists with family and friends, and use the app with the Target Kid’s Gifting catalog for an augmented reality experience. Consumers can use the app to pull up interactive experiences by scanning pages in the catalog. Consumers also can pick one day before Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving is Nov. 27) and receive a discount of 10% on everything on their wish lists. The app will be available for Apple and Android devices. Target is also relaunching its other apps.
Target also announced it’s extending its price-matching policy for the holiday season. Instead of the seven-day window, Target will match in stores any price consumers find between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 at Target.com, a local competitor’s print ad and at select online retailers (Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com and BabiesRUs.com).
“We’ve been building capabilities that put us in a strong starting position, including the right digital tools and a broad assortment of unique, on-trend merchandise,” says Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman of the board and CEO. “Our value proposition will be unrivaled, with compelling promotions and an exceptional shopping experience online and in our stores. It’s about delivering on our promise of ‘Expect More. Pay Less,’ and when we do that, Target is impossible to beat.”
Matt Nemer, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo, says the free shipping offer will only apply to one-third of Target.com’s orders as two-thirds of its orders are already over $50—the free shipping threshold. Amazon, for comparison, offers free shipping on orders over $35, and Walmart.com on orders over $50.
Wells Fargo estimates that the average shipping cost for Target.com is $5-$7.50. Nemer says the offer “does provide a unique offering relative to most retailers that have a minimum basket size.”
Offering free shipping during the holiday season has been on the rise. 63% of online orders placed via computers in November and December 2013 shipped free, up from 60% a year earlier, comScore says. And consumers still love it. According to a MarketLive and eTailing Group study published last week, 92% of consumers seek free shipping offers.
An Internet Retailer analysis in November of last year found 623 of the Top 1,000 e-retailers offered free shipping on at least some items—255 shipped products for free regardless of order value.Favorite