Much like Apple does with its store catalog, Target reviews and curates the items that make it into its retail and online outlets. Target does this to make the shopping experience a high-end one by weeding out options that are of lesser quality. Naturally this approach has prevented it from letting third-parties sell on its website like Amazon and Walmart currently do.
The company has unveiled a solution that keeps customers from being overwhelmed but also allows it compete on some level. It is called Target Plus (displayed in marketing as Target +) and according to the company, third-party offerings will still be curated in an attempt to keep the shopping experience simple.
Target Plus versus other retailer offerings
If cost was not a concern, I’d choose to step foot in a brick-and-mortar Target over Walmart and other retailers every chance I get. This is because I find the overall Target experience to be more relaxed, organized, and friendly. To be clear, I do not view this as a people problem, but rather a company problem as Walmart seems to frequently pass on savings to its customers by cutting corners with its employees.
That being said, when I shop online I appreciate that Amazon and Walmart allow third-parties to sell products that are, at times, a lower cost than what the direct retailer sells it for. Not only does this allow me to find and choose the best value, but also provides another way for smaller third-party businesses to stay relevant in a growing world of online shoppers.
What to expect from Target Plus
With such a focus on curation in its third-party product lineup, the Target Plus shopping experience could be nearly invisible to customers. This is because the company will not be accepting applications at launch, but instead it will be invite companies directly to sell merchandise.
“Guests look to Target for great products. With Target +, we aim to give them easy access to even more great products by partnering with best-in-class specialty and national brands that will help guests save and get more done in just one stop to Target.com”, said Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer and digital officer.
According to the company, guests will find new Target Plus items ‘seamlessly integrated throughout Target.com’. The initial product categories provided in Target Plus will include items like running shoes, patio accessories, STEM toys, baseball gear, and more.
Whether you’ll be a Target Plus user or not, there’s no question that retail is a fierce market these days. It seems that Walmart and Amazon are in a constant struggle to dominate the market with acquisitions, exclusive offerings, and more.