Drive Up is Target’s latest attempt to blur the lines between online ordering and brick and mortar. Customers order things through the company’s app, drive up to a store, and employees will bring the purchases out to their car — the very literal embodiment of meeting customers halfway.
After beta testing the offering in its home base of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, the retail giant is ready to start rolling it out, nationwide. Target plans to introduce the feature to close to 1,000 locations over the course of the year.
After placing an order in the app, customers get an alert when the purchase is ready to go — a process that generally takes under an hour. After driving up to the location, curb service generally takes around two to three minutes. According to Target, the beta testing saw a 10-percent increase in orders.
It’s an odd play, as retailers do what the can to remain competitive in the face of a changing retail economy spearheaded by the likes of Amazon. But there’s still value in the physical location — as Amazon’s discovered in recent years — and Target still has plenty, with upwards of 2,000 stores across the U.S.
At the very least, it’s a way for the company to stay competitive with online retail’s increasing push toward same-day delivery. The feature has, unsurprisingly, been a particular hit with customers who have young children. Diapers are one of the top items purchased through the service, along with various other bulk household supply.
Drive Up is currently available to iOS users, with plans to hit Android next month.
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