Target wants to make your next shopping trip as easy as visiting a drive-through. The retailer’s drive-up service is set to roll out to around 1,000 stores throughout the country by the end of the year, and as of this week, customers in Florida, Texas, and the Southeast have access to the convenience-minded service.
While most retailers are desperately trying to get customers into their stores, it might seem curious that Target is eager to let them stay in their cars, but the curbside pickup program proved to be success during beta testing in the company’s home base of Minneapolis, Minnesota, increasing orders by 10 percent.
The move also gives Target an opportunity to leverage its strong brick-and-mortar presence in order to stay competitive against the specter of Amazon. Many of the stores now offering the drive-up service are also equipped for same-day shipping, which the retailer has been expanding to an increasing number of stores since it acquired the delivery startups Shipt and Grand Junction last year, including 60 announced this week.
For shoppers who’d rather make the trip to the store themselves (or who don’t want to pay the $7 delivery fee), curbside pickup offers an in-between alternative. Customers just have to download the Target app on iOS or Android to use the service, select “Drive Up” as their delivery method, and wait for a notification within two hours. Then, they can pull up to the designated parking spot and tap a button to notify the store of their arrival (if location services are enabled, the store will be notified automatically). Finally, an associate will bring their order to the car and scan a barcode to confirm their identity, so they can get on with their commute.