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Target sees 60pc repeat use for mobile-enabled store pickup

Target 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.

The two companies are now bringing the mcommerce functionality to 10 new Target locations on the East Coast, allowing consumers the convenience of buying on mobile and not needing to wait for shipments to arrive. The San Francisco area rollout saw users’ repeat purchase rates hover at 60 percent, which proves consumers’ desire for a blended mix of mobile and traditional shopping methods.

“Curbside makes the shopping experience for Target customers faster and easier than ever before,” said Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside, Palo Alto, CA. “They simply place their order from the Curbside app and then swing by the store where an employee will meet you right at the curb.

“And your order is ready in as fast as 40 minutes.”

Direct shopping
Curbside allows for a more direct form of shopping to take place. On-the-go customers can use the Curbside application to browse Target’s entire inventory, add products to their shopping carts and pay via smartphone.

Instead of choosing a shipping rate, the user may then indicate which Target bricks-and-mortar store is nearest to him or her. The shopper’s purchased items will then be accumulated and ready to be picked up right from the car at the designated time.

Therefore, consumers enjoy a hassle-free experience that does not include locating items on shelves, trying to find a parking space in a crowded lot or waiting in long checkout lines.

The Curbside app is free to download, and offers the same prices as Target’s app, eschewing any mark-ups.

Target first teamed up with Curbside last October and underwent a pilot in the San Francisco Bay Area (see story).

Curbside has seen enthusiastic consumer response following the first pilot.

“Since our rollout last fall in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve seen incredible interest from shoppers, with repeat purchase rates at 60 percent,” Mr. Waldman said. “We anticipate shoppers in New York and New Jersey will respond favorably as well, and expect that it’ll fundamentally change the way they shop.”

Bridging stores and mobile
A recent Census study has shown that 90 percent of retail shopping is still conducted in-store. However, brands have the power to effectively leverage mobile as a shopping companion for customers to maximize users’ time and ameliorate frustration during peak traffic times.

Curbside taps location technology to deduce customers’ exact car locations, ensuring a seamless handoff of purchased items in front of the store. Its app users are also said to be given updated store inventory, so that they may know what products are in stock.

Additionally, customers can select their exact arrival time at a Target location. This circumvents the need for high shipping costs and hands the products off to their new owners in a timely manner, proving the need for instant gratification on mobile.

New Jersey Target locations with Curbside’s service include stores in North Bergen, Jersey City, Edison, Edgewater, Fairfield, Hackensack and Vauxhall. New York’s Bronx, Brooklyn and College Point stores will also provide the feature.

“We’re planning to introduce Curbside to more metropolitan markets before the end of the year,” Mr. Waldman said. “We will be marking our entry into the Los Angeles market next week at the Glendale Galleria mall where we’ll be unveiling our ‘Pickup Pod,’ a hi-tech kiosk-like object where shoppers will pick up their order.

“We will be unveiling more retailers in the coming year as well.”

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