Expectations elevated around e-commerce initiatives

Just launch the new site already. Target executives keep talking about how much better its new website will be now that e-commerce efforts have been brought in house, so it sure would be nice to see what all the excitement is about. Not sure when that will happen, but EVP merchandising Kathy Tesija contends it is going to be a lot better.

“The new site will be more visually appealing and customized to match each guest’s profile,” Tesija said last week during the company’s meeting with financial analysts in New York. “It also will provide more detail and expert product reviews while incorporating capability for user-generated video and photo content along with social features.”

The company also plans to replicate elements of the in-store experience on the site. For example, Tesija said, “Just as we focus on providing a best in class check out process in our stores, online functionalities for check out and account management have been streamlined to make the experience as quick and straightforward as possible.”

The rationale for the multichannel approach is well grounded, and the anticipated benefits are the same as those experienced by other retailers who have discovered the value of capturing a larger share of wallet from existing shoppers.

“Our multichannel guests are much more valuable than guests who interact with us in a single channel. They shop more often and their spending is dramatically higher,” Tesija said.

To that end, Target’s digital commerce efforts are expected to have a more robust mobile component as already more than 10% of the total visits to Target.com originate from a mobile device.

“We have 30 million unique visitors using mobile devices, and we expect visits on these devices to exceed traditional online traffic by 2015,” Tesija said. “To that end, we’re re-launching our mobile site later this fall, which allows us to integrate the technology with our new Target.com site and offer our guests an enhanced layout, greater usability and integrated social features.”

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