Target on Tuesday let it be known it considers Cyber Monday just the beginning of an online holiday sales push, with 15% off sitewide starting early Cyber Monday morning, plus discounts on "hundreds of thousands of products" throughout the following week.
Some online price cuts actually start Sunday, Nov. 26, including lowest prices of the year on select items within home décor, kitchen appliances, toys, movies, electronics and more, according to a company press release. Key items include $100 off the Sony PlayStation 4 VR Gran Turismo Sport Bundle, a $20 Target GiftCard with purchase of BeatsX earphones or Beats EP headphones, $60 off the KitchenAid 4.5-qt. Classic Plus Stand Mixer, a $20 Target Gift Card plus $30 off the Keurig K200 Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, and hundreds of toys up to 50% off, including LEGO, Pokémon, Nerf, Our Generation and more.
For the first time the retailer is posting digital daily deals, including department-wide sales beginning Tuesday Nov. 28 through Saturday Dec. 2. Target already announced no-minimum free shipping through Dec. 23, and mobile pay for REDcard customers.
Target is on many prognosticators' lists this year as research finds that plenty of shoppers are most likely to head to mass merchants for their holiday shopping. Some 45% of holiday shoppers will head to Target stores or its site, behind Amazon (67%) and Walmart (60%), according to a report emailed to Retail Dive from Offers.com.
But online shopping is slated to grow the most and retailers should be prepared for high traffic online and in stores come Thanksgiving weekend as customers start tackling their lists, according to Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. "Although sales will remain an important factor for most consumers, many will lean on convenient locations and easy-to-use websites or mobile apps along with free shipping to complete their purchases," she said.
Consumers are paying attention to daily deals and searching for coupons to get as much out of their holiday budgets as possible, according to Offers.com. Target could have an edge there, thanks to its popular Cartwheel app, which integrates third-party coupons along with app-specific deals. In half of its stores, Target's app now points shoppers to nearby promotional prices in store. Nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) plan to use their mobile devices to assist with holiday shopping, though most of that activity involves looking for coupons, comparing prices, checking reviews and getting directions to the store for an optimal holiday shopping experience, Offers.com found.
Target's robust delivery and pickup services, along with its holiday free shipping policy, could also help. Rival Walmart is maintaining its order minimum, as is Amazon, which otherwise confines free shipping and same-day delivery mostly to Prime members. Most holiday online shoppers will take advantage of free shipping (94%) and conveniences like buy online, pick up in store (49%); 19% will take advantage of expedited shipping and 12% will use same-day delivery, according to research from the National Retail Federation.
The retailer's holiday announcements come as its capital investments, especially in merchandise and stores, are beginning to pay off, though executives recently warned that the holidays will be extremely competitive.
It should do all right, considering the strength of its merchandising efforts in apparel and home goods and attention to price competition, according to GlobalData Retail Manaing Director Neil Saunders, although Target "needs to be bolder and more creative" in its presentation and solve some retail fundamentals like stocking and shelving issues. Still, Saunders shrugged off some investor concerns evident in a pull-back following its third-quarter report last week. "The company is now in a much stronger position than it was at this time last year, which bodes well for the holiday quarter and beyond," he said.