Target announced that in preparation for the holiday shopping rush it is rolling out several enhancements to its buy online pickup in store program, including making its Order Pickup service available on Thanksgiving Day starting at 6 p.m., when many Target stores are set to open.
Target also said its is making an effort to highlight its Order Pickup program in at least 325 store nationwide by outfitting team members who can help with orders in white “Order Pickup” t-shirts and offering customers Order Pickup reusable shopping bags.
About 80 of Target's top-volume stores for Order Pickup have been remodeled to make the pickup process faster and more efficient; more than 90% of orders for pick-up will be ready in an hour, up from 85% in 2015, due to program enhancements, team efforts and deployment of new technology.
It looks like Thanksgiving this year won't be interrupted by every member of the family fleeing the dinner table and rushing out to retail stores to take advantage of pre-Black Friday sales. It could instead be interrupted by family members running out to Target to pick up the items they ordered online while the bird was still in the oven.
But if Target has its way, they won't be gone for long.
Target has had a little bit of a checkered history with buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS). It only recently held its first joint online/in-store discount promotion, and it halted a curbside pickup pilot earlier this year to re-focus on different order collection methods.
Now it looks to be tweaking those methods at just the right time. Target this week said same-store e-commerce sales were up 26% during the third quarter, a number which suggest that any enhancements it makes to its BOPIS program are well worth the expense and effort. The retailer's changes to its Order Pickup services show that it recognizes the importance of the program in converting sales and promoting positive customer experiences.
Something else that's notable here is that Target isn't doing just one particular thing to improve its Order Pickup program. The changes combine in-store physical space changes with increased effort from store employees and even a hand from technology, such as RFID, which can help store associates find radio-tagged products more quickly throughout the store and get them to the Order Pickup desk within the one-hour window.
Overall, this seems like a thorough and thoughtful update to an existing program, and when it comes to the holidays, remember: It's the thought that counts.
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.