With its consumer electronic tech sales down 1% last year, Target is looking ahead to a future where IoT-related products are part of a $1.7 trillion global market, as IDC projects will be the case by 2020.
Based on its Connected Health program and last summer’s Open House connected concept store in San Francisco, Target has installed a smart home and “Connected Living” section within the consumer electronics department of a Minneapolis-area store as part of a possible chainwide rollout.
“One of the goals of building Open House was to understand how to display and educate consumers on connected home products,” said Casey Carl, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Target in a statement. “We have learned three big lessons: storytelling is key to helping guests understand how they might use connected devices; having a knowledgeable team member on hand is extremely important; and guests want to see products in a real-life setting.”
The pilot Connected Living space, located in Target’s Ridgedale, Minn., store, is organized into six sections and features a dedicated expert; animated discovery tables; and Open House-style LED screens, to tell stories that illustrate a product’s usefulness and ability to work with other devices. The different sections feature many products that are currently on display at Open House, and they give a taste of the 20.8 billion IoT products Gartner projects will be available by 2020. The sections include:
- Family Fitness;
- Connected Kitchen;
- Virtual Guardians;
- Connected Nursery;
- Rest and Relaxation; and
- Item Trackers and Smart Buttons
“There is tremendous untapped potential here, and we’ve been steadily adding more connected products to our assortment,” said Scott Nygaard, Senior VP of Merchandising, Hardlines for Target in a statement. “But the market is still early and consumers are focused on single-use, single-benefit products. Our goal is to educate and inspire guests about the potential of connected devices, and take learnings from the test to refine the experience with the hope of eventually expanding it to more stores.”