Here’s How Target Is Investing in Store Technology to Make Shopping Even Better

October 31, 2017 - Article reads in
guest experience
Self-checkout registers at a Target store

As part of our efforts to make guests’ #TargetRuns better than ever, we’ve recently made a host of powerful technology enhancements to stores nationwide. And while guests may not notice all this new tech that’s powering the in-store shopping experience, they’re already benefiting from the impact.

“We’re using cutting-edge technology to make it easier, faster and more convenient for guests to shop Target stores,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer. “Technology is increasingly vital to make sure Target can deliver like nobody else—both in our stores and online. We’re excited to have these store upgrades ready for guests as we head into the busy holiday season.”

Store Team Members Can Now Help Guests Buy Online

Say guests can’t find the item they want in their size or they want a different color. Instead of leaving the store empty-handed, they can now have a team member place an online order right from the sales floor and have the purchase shipped to their homes. 

How? It’s all thanks to a new app called “myCheckout” that Target’s tech team built for team members’ handheld devices. Team members can use myCheckout to search for desired products, then take guests’ payment on the spot with a credit card reader that’s attached to the handheld device. Guests walk away knowing their items are en-route to their doorstep—with free shipping, by the way!

MyCheckout combines the best of Target technology, supply chain and our expanded online assortment to help guests find what they’re looking for without missing a beat. And it’s working. We’ve already done more than 10,000 transactions since we began testing the service in select stores this spring.

Watch as Mike McNamara explains more in this video:

MyCheckout with Mike McNamara Play

New Software + New Look = Better Self-Checkout

To improve self-checkout, Target’s tech team developed new, back-end software for the system and a new-look for the front end that’s simpler and more intuitive for guests. Since the new system went live in August, our self-checkout lanes are running smoother and faster than ever, sending guest satisfaction scores way up.

Network Upgrade

If your wi-fi seems a little zippier at Target these days, it’s not your imagination. We’ve more than doubled wi-fi bandwidth to our stores due to sweeping upgrades Target just completed to its network infrastructure, including the installation of more than 300 miles of fiber-optic cables to our stores and distribution centers.

The more robust network makes everything from wi-fi to checkout registers to team member handheld devices work better. The overhaul also included a new backup system that’s already withstood its first big test: When Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma hit Texas, Louisiana and Florida this fall, more than 120 impacted Target locations went onto the backup network, and all but two maintained connectivity throughout the storms.

Bots to the IT Rescue

To keep checkout registers, Order Pickup and other store services humming, Target’s tech team created custom bots—software that runs automatically—to help tackle store IT issues. As soon as the bots detect a glitch, they immediately begin troubleshooting and putting fixes in place, often before anyone at the store (both team members and guests!) even realizes there’s an issue.

So far, the tech team estimates this automation has saved 1,000 store team member hours since it rolled out over September and October. That means our store team members are spending less time calling for tech-support and more time on the sales floor helping guests.

Which is, of course, our ultimate goal. The more we can rely on technology to work hard behind the scenes, the better experience we can deliver for guests when they shop our stores. There will be plenty of tech advances ahead at Target, so stay tuned for more to come.

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