Prat Vemana on the Target Plus Marketplace, a New Team-up with Shopify and What’s Next for Digital Retail

  • Jun 24, 2024
A person sitting on a sofa shopping Target Plus products on

If you’ve ever shopped Target intending to pick up a few groceries but ended up with a new set of Hilton Carter planters, treats from Favorite Day or summer gear from the Swim & Sand shop — you’re not alone. The joy of unexpectedly discovering something new to love happens at the Bullseye every day.

One way Target makes that discovery magic happen beyond our store aisles? Our invite-only, third-party digital marketplace, Target Plus, available as part of our and mobile app experience. Since its debut in 2019, our team of curation experts has been evolving the Target Plus assortment, reacting quickly to trends and adding new and design-forward brands and products that fit your budget and style. These coveted brands, like Ruggable, Crocs, Maui Jim and Timberland, complement the rest of our product assortment — and you can shop with confidence knowing we carefully select each one for its value and quality. And it’s about to expand with exciting new options (hello, True Classic, Caden Lane and more!) through our just-announced partnership with global commerce platform Shopify.

We sat down with Target’s Chief Digital and Product Officer Prat Vemana to learn more about digital marketplaces, what makes Target Plus so special and what’s next for the shopping experience.


Prat, why are you so excited about the Target Plus digital marketplace?


From where I’m sitting, Target Plus is exciting because it’s a win-win-win for everyone involved. For consumers, the curated experience enables us to bring an inspiring and connected shopping journey to life. It helps them discover everything they need — and even a few things they didn’t know they needed — at an incredible value. For the merchants with products in our digital marketplace, it helps them grow their businesses by giving them visibility to super-engaged consumers. And it helps Target grow, too — building our reputation as a destination for these coveted brands as consumers discover them in their search or on social media. In fact, according to E-marketer, an industry market research company, digital shopping will likely continue driving growth for the retail industry, and retail marketplaces are expected to account for more than 30% of all e-commerce growth in the next three years.

That growth will continue through our new partnership with Shopify, which brings the opportunity for more U.S.-based partners to apply to be part of Target Plus. That means we can deliver even more products consumers know and love at exceptional prices and quality. In the coming months, we plan to bring some of those Target Plus brands into select stores as well, reaching more consumers with these new brands to explore.


Given their importance, is there anything consumers need to know about digital marketplaces and how they work?


Digital marketplaces are industry game-changers because they enable retailers to give consumers a lot more choices without having to store those products. But it’s important to understand that most digital marketplaces were created to offer shoppers anything they might need, without many guardrails around quality or value. For some retailers, it’s about high demand and moving products.

At Target, that just isn’t the case. Our team has incredibly high standards, not just around quality and value, but how and where products are sourced, too. If you walk away only remembering one thing about Target Plus, I’d want it to be that you can shop with peace of mind knowing that every one of our more than 1,200 partners has been selected and vetted to deliver what consumers expect from Target.

Prat Vemana headshot.

Target Plus is about bringing consumers the new, on-trend, design-forward and high-quality brands and products they want right now.

Prat Vemana Chief Digital and Product Officer

Is that curation what makes Target Plus different from other digital marketplaces?


It’s a big one, for sure. We call Target Plus the ‘un-marketplace,’ because the shopping experience — and the assortment — are carefully crafted to make discovery easy and enjoyable. It’s about bringing consumers the new, on-trend, design-forward and high-quality brands and products they want right now. Our team of curation experts make that happen every day through the thoughtful and deliberate choices they make in adding sought-after brands and trending items, with all the perks that shopping at Target offers.

What’s more, with Target Plus you still get the full Target experience because it’s integrated within the rest of our assortment, so as you search for items, Target Plus brand partners appear in your search results. You also can access perks like 5% off* with a Target Circle Card, free shipping with orders over $35 and free returns at a place you already know and love.


There’s a ton of amazing things happening already in Target Plus. What’s next?


Make no mistake, we’re all-in on Target Plus. In the past year, we’ve more than doubled the number of partners and products hosted there, and new partnerships like our latest with Shopify will help it continue to grow.  But we’ll also keep being mindful about the way consumers use digital for inspiration, tapping into resources like the Target app to plan their in-store Target runs. We want to keep making those experiences as seamless as possible, ensuring they’re as inspiring and welcoming as consumers have come to expect from us. These are just a few of the ways we’ll bring the joy of endless discovery and drive growth for our business in the years ahead.

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