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Target brings shoppable aisles to smartphones via Instacart delivery

Target is cottoning on to the influx of retailers experimenting with mobile delivery platforms by teaming up with the Instacart application to enable Minneapolis residents to purchase groceries via smartphones and have them delivered to their homes in as little as an hour.

Consumers may use Instacart’s app or online site to virtually browse Target’s aisles and products before adding them to their shopping carts. As more retailers team up with third-party delivery platforms to offer customers the utmost convenience – as well as the ability to drive impulse purchases – Target’s partnership with Instacart is a smart move, especially as the holiday season approaches.

“Target listens to guests’ needs and and we’re focused on providing more options to make it easier for guests to shop Target wherever, whenever and however they want,” said Eddie Baeb, spokesman for Target, Minneapolis, MN. “Guests now have the option to order exclusive Target products—at great prices— for delivery and we are excited to gauge interest in groceries and other products offered through the Instacart partnership.

“This program is Target’s latest effort to leverage new technologies and services to create more seamless, convenient and on-demand shopping experiences for guests.”

Convenient grocery shopping
Time-strapped consumers are increasingly searching for more convenient ways of shopping for necessities, which may include purchasing online or on mobile. Retailers that do not begin offering these features in the near future may find themselves pushed aside for brands or third-party platforms that do, suggesting this must be a paramount concern.

Target is seeking to make grocery shopping more streamlined, appealing to a wide berth of customers who perhaps do not have the time necessary to peruse aisles in-store and pick up all of the products they would like.

Users can also view sale items within Instacart’s app

In addition to groceries, users shopping with Instacart may also buy participating Target household, pet, baby, health and beauty items.

The partnership has already kicked off and is in effect for residents in the Minneapolis area, where Target’s headquarters is located. To use the service, guests must download the Instacart app or visit

After entering their ZIP code, users will be informed if their neighborhood is eligible for the service. Instacart offers a free first delivery, which is then bumped up to $3.99 for a two-hour delivery on a purchase of $35 or more.

A $10 order minimum is required.

Preparing for the holidays
Target’s Instacart rollout arrives at an opportune time for the brand, as the 2015 holiday season creeps closer. Consumers will undoubtedly be on the lookout for last-minute gift ideas accompanied by quick-shipping options.

If Target expands its repertoire of available products via Instacart, customers will be able to experience a less hectic holiday season as they shop for ingredients for festive dishes as well as presents for family and friends.

The sheer convenience of shopping on mobile and checking out with just a few clicks may fuel more impulse buys among Instacart app users, in turn bringing retailers’ holiday sales even higher.

Instacart has previously teamed up with other retailers for similar partnerships.

This past May, Whole Foods Market joined forces with the platform to enable mobile shoppers to order Mother’s Day bouquets, reflecting how consumers are increasingly turning to delivery options on mobile (see story).

Nevertheless, Target has been engaging in a serious blitz to make its products more accessible to all customers, regardless of whether they prefer shopping online, in-store or via mobile.

Last month, the retailer announced it is bringing its partnership with Curbside, a shopping platform, to consumers in the New York and New Jersey regions after a successful West Coast test, enabling customers to purchase items from their smartphones and have them waiting for pick-up at a nearby store (see story).

“We’re excited to pilot in our home market of Minneapolis so that we’ll have direct visibility into the test — so we can gauge what’s working and what needs improvement, make changes both to our processes and learn how guests respond,” Mr. Baeb said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York