The holiday season is coming up, and with that comes the inevitable shipping wars as retailers rush to fulfil orders.
For Target, the coming year-end peak will be the biggest test for its supply chain which has been upgraded with $7 billion (S$9.68) worth of upgrades made to bulking up delivery options. Customers can now enjoy free two-day shipping, services like curb-side pickup and same-day delivery in major metro areas.
These new convenient options may sway the minds of Walmart or Amazon loyalists and make the difference in where shoppers choose to stock up on the holiday gifts.
In an article published by CNBC, Stacey Widlitz, president of consulting group SW Retail Advisors, said in a statement published: “From my perspective I think Target has a more differentiated product assortment than Walmart today.
“They have the product to win, and now they are putting the tools in customers’ hands — like two-day shipping. Customers are now like: ‘Wait a minute. Target behaves like Amazon, and they have strong private-label categories. Why would I not add some extra stuff in my basket?'” she continued.
In last year’s holiday crunch, Target claims its stores fulfilled 70% of all digital orders and this year, that percentage is projected to be even higher. According to the same article, that’s a key motive for the company hiring 120,000 temporary workers, or 20% more people than it did a year ago. Overall, Target said it will double the number of hires fulfilling online orders in stores and distribution centers this year.
This year, Target launched the free two-day shipping option for credit card holders ($35 for everyone else) and the REDcard also takes 5% off purchases. This is compared to Amazon, who provides the same option for Prime members who pay $119 annually, and Walmart where the two-day shipping perk comes with orders above $35 but doesn’t have the credit card perk.
Other shipping options Target is now offering include order online, pick up in store, along with curbside pickup. From the time orders associated with these services are placed, Target said it has the majority of items ready within an hour for customers.
To up its same-day delivery game, Target acquired transportation company Shipt for $550 million late last year. The deal brought with it a network of Shipt’s personal shoppers that help customers pick items and arrange for delivery to their homes. The same service which is available at other retailers such as Costco and Publix retails for $99 a year.