For a large majority of retailers, the holiday season represents the crucial time of year from a fiscal standpoint. Often lost amid the tunnel vision-minded executives seeking major sales increases is providing enjoyment along with greater and more accessible tools for customer engagement.

Enter Target.

“At Target, we are focused on creating a great experience for our guests every time they shop with us,” Target spokesperson Megan Boyd told Loyalty360. “During the holiday season, this means making it easy to find all the gifts, décor, and holiday essentials on their list.”
 
Boyd discussed some of Target’s key customer engagement initiatives for this holiday season:
 

  • “This year, we’re creating a branded destination for holiday trim in our stores and Target.com called Wondershop,” she said. “Wondershop will be filled with fun, festive holiday products that will compel our guests to stop, take notice, and shop. About 70 percent of our assortment will be new, totaling more than 2,000 products.” 
  • “We are also making updates to how we staff our Electronics department,” she noted. “Our team focuses on creating an assortment that’s curated for our guests, but we wanted to take that a step further and provide a higher touch service. We’re in the process of transitioning Target Mobile reps to Target Tech in more than 1,500 stores. While they were previously focused solely on mobile, we’re increasing their scope to include all of Electronics.”
  • “At Target, we’re taking a new approach to curating gift-giving ideas this holiday season,” Boyd explained. “We’ve created an online destination called Wonderlist (Target.com/Wonderlist) that will guide our guests in selecting personal, meaningful, and creative gifts for the most important people in their lives. Wonderlist features four personality types, each with a variety of interests, and matches them with unique and inspiring gift ideas. There will be about 400 gift ideas total featured in Wonderlist.”
 
In September, Target began remodeling projects at 82 of its top-volume Order Pickup stores to offer a better Order Pickup guest experience leading into the holiday season.
 
“With these remodels, we’re testing new layouts within our Guest Services area, a variety of storage solutions, and different staffing models with the goal of learning,” Boyd explained. “We recently introduced a new Target.com front-end adaptive experience, resulting in a unified experience across all devices, and made back-end enhancements to improve flexibility, speed, and stability. Since launch, we’ve seen improvements throughout the checkout process, including add-to-cart speed.”
 
Boyd said Target is focused on helping guests check off their lists while making the shopping experience as easy and inspiring as possible so they can spend time enjoying the season. Target will extend free shipping by a full week this year, waiving the shipping fee for all Target.com orders now through Jan. 1, 2017, as well as offering free returns.

More than 1,800 new or exclusive toys will be available, Boyd said, which represents a 15 percent rise over 2015. Guests will find thousands of Star Wars products, including more than 100 new options to gift and collect; more than 50 Trolls exclusives; two new Disney Princesses, Elena and Moana; expanded eye, hair, and skin tone combinations within the Our Generation doll collection, and 50 exclusive board games, including pop culture hits such as Oregon Trail.

What’s more, Cartwheel, Target’s digital savings app, is bringing back popular holiday deals, Boyd said, including 50 percent off one toy per day between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.

“We also have simple, well-timed promotions and will be bringing back the popular 10 Days of Deals again this year,” Boyd added. “As always, REDcard holders receive five percent off nearly all purchases, free shipping on Target.com, and an extra 30 days for returns.”

Boys said that Target will process more than 170 million transactions in its stores between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.

We’ll pick more than three million products in stores for Order Pickup, and thirty-five percent of all dot-com orders will be picked up in stores,” she said. “We’ll ship almost seven million products from stores directly to guests. We expect more than one million orders the week before Christmas. As we move into the most important months of the year, we are confident in our plans to offer our guests unparalleled value, an inspirational assortment, and a seamless shopping experience during the holiday season.”

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