In an effort to maximize sales this holiday season, mega-retailer Target is adapting the way it does business in order to provide more personalized, relevant customer service. The brand is adopting a variety of technologies to gather real-time data, enabling it to better engage customers, and, ultimately, improve sales. And with this year’s holiday retail season expected to be bigger than ever, it’s clear that brands like Target need to use all the tools at their disposal to offer customers the highest level of service possible.
Target, the United States’ second largest retailer, operating more than 1,900 stores throughout the nation, rolled out its annual holiday advertising in October in an effort to jump start the year’s biggest sales period.
The retailer is building off strong sales momentum, having reported in August that is had raised its annual profits for the year, seeing a fourth straight gain in revenue in store locations that have been open for at least one year.
Aligning Customer Needs with Business Goals
In preparation for this year’s holiday season, Target has made big investments in improving its technology programs, improving its omnichannel efforts which provide the company with several distinct advantages:
- Technology enables the company to learn more about its customers.
- Collected data can be leveraged to offer customers relevant offers, rewards, and merchandise.
- Customers experience greater convenience as they are able to shop and seamlessly complete transactions across multiple channels.
Investing in technological solutions creates a win-win situation. Customers receive a a more hassle-free shopping experience, especially important for already-stressed holiday shoppers, while at the same time helping Target to further meet it revenue goals. Here are a few of the ways Target is investing in smart technological solutions to improve its in-store and online customer service.
Earlier this year, the retailer introduced a new way to enhance the shopping experience with beacon technology, small devices located throughout each store that send push notifications to shoppers who have downloaded the Target app, alerting them to sales, product recommendations, and special offers. With this technology, Target places buying habits under the microscope, perfecting the science of gathering in-store customer data which, in turn, makes it easier to tailor service and provide a more valuable shopping experience to the customer.
Target collects customer data through guest satisfaction surveys, which help the company identify buying trends and develop initiatives to drive more customers into stores. By creating customer profiles which include buying history, age, marital status, salary, and web browsing history, the retailer can help customers make smarter buying decisions as it is better positioned to provide customers with special offers and product information.
By tracking its website visitors, the company has also collected information about the number of non-U.S. visitors to the site, which has helped the company determine valuable markets in other countries. Working with Borderfree, an ecommerce platform provider specializing in accessing foreign markets, Target has begun offering its digital inventory to 200 countries, providing price conversions in local currencies. According to Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com and mobile, the move into international ecommerce “marks another step toward Target being able to truly deliver for guests anytime, anywhere.”
Customer Convenience = Customer Loyalty
Target understands that today’s customers expect simplicity and convenience, and that a high level of exceptional customer experience across all channels is key to building sales. By investing in smart customer solutions, a company will not only drive impressive results this holiday season but well into 2016. Retailers like Target are, after all, looking for long-term results and, by offering added value to customers during the holiday season, they stand a better chance of earning new customers and turning them into loyal repeat purchasers well into the new year.