Target is stepping up its holiday game with two new initiatives: free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items and nationwide same-day delivery through Shipt. Additionally, the retailer reports that it is ahead of schedule in expanding its curbside pickup program.
Target’s biggest brick-and-mortar competitor, Walmart, announced on Oct. 23 that it will offer free two-day delivery on millions of items, and that it has introduced a program to handle e-Commerce returns in-store.
Free two-day shipping at Target was already available for orders over $35 and REDcard members; the program will be expanded to all orders placed from Nov. 1 to Dec. 22. If the free two-day shipping option becomes unavailable during peak periods, shoppers will be given free standard shipping instead.
The two-day program will be complemented by expanded same-day options that will cover more than 55,000 items. Shoppers in 46 states will have access to the program through the Shipt app and e-Commerce site, with delivery times reaching as low as one hour.
Additionally, the Drive Up curbside pickup option will reach nearly 1,000 stores by the end of October, with more than 250,000 items available. The expanded shipping options will be complemented by Target’s existing services:
- Order Pickup: Shoppers can choose to buy items online and pick them up in-store the same day, with 95% of orders ready within one hour;
- Target Restock: Basic goods like diapers and paper towels can be ordered for next-day delivery on weekdays for $2.99, and at no cost for REDcard holders; and
- Delivery From Store: Certain urban locations in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. offer same-day delivery for a flat fee of $7.
Target and other retailers looking to improve their delivery prowess will need to ensure their seasonal associates are prepared to handle the new promises, according to Adam Silverman, SVP Marketing at Theatro.
“With Target now offering same-day delivery and drive-up service nationwide this holiday season, the pressure to do so efficiently will be massive,” said Silverman in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “As other retailers follow suit (or try and figure out how to keep up), the stress ultimately falls on in-store sales associates.”
Target also is seeking to improve its holiday appeal with an expanded toy selection. The retailer will offer 2,500 new and exclusive toys, nearly double the total from 2017, alongside nearly 25,000 hours of in-store events for kids and families. The company also has launched a digital toy hub featuring a gift finder on its web site.
Walmart has rolled out its own toy-centric improvements: the retail giant is expanding its collection of toys by 30% in-store and 40% online.