Target Corp. aims to enhance its Drive Up curbside pickup service via pilots to include orders from in-store Starbucks locations and to accept item returns.
Minneapolis-based Target said Wednesday that, with the planned Starbucks feature, Drive Up customers indicating via the Target mobile app that they’re on their way to the store will also be able to place an order from the Starbucks menu and have it brought out to their vehicle along with their full Target order. For product returns, curbside customers will be able to initiate a return through the Target app and complete it at the Drive Up lane.
Target noted that it also plans to expand its “backup item” capability for pickup service. If first-choice products aren’t available, click-and-collect customers will have a broader assortment of categories — ranging from beauty care to household staples — from which to designate second backup items for Drive Up and in-store Order Pickup orders.
“Our guests continue to tell us they love the ease and convenience of Drive Up, and they have been asking us to add even more of the Target experience to the service,” Mark Schindele, chief stores officer at Target, said in a statement. “Adding a Starbucks order and easy returns, while expanding our backup-item options, will give guests even more of what they love about shopping at Target, quickly and easily. Ongoing investments in our same-day services have built trust and relevance with our guests while meeting their needs, no matter how they choose to shop.”
Plans call for the Starbucks, returns and expanded backup-item services to become available at Target stores in selected markets by this fall. Target said that the ability to place a Drive Up order for Starbucks was a top request in a customer survey. Also, in the months since backup-item functionality launched for food and beverage orders, Target associates have successfully substituted secondary product choices 98% of the time, including high-demand items.
Other same-day service enhancements by Target since last year include adult beverage pickup, a “Shopping Partner” feature that enables customers to send someone else to retrieve their Drive Up or Order Pickup order, a “Forgot Something” tool that allows customers to add forgotten items after a Drive Up or Order Pickup order has been placed, and additional personalization for Shipt delivery shopping.
When reporting fiscal 2021 third-quarter results in November, Target said digital sales through same-day services Order Pickup (in-store pickup), Drive Up (curbside pickup) and Shipt (home delivery) climbed nearly 60%, building on growth of 217% a year earlier. Curbside pickup led the way, as Drive Up sales surged more than 80% in the quarter atop a 500% increase in the year-ago period. Order Pick Up and Shipt sales each grew over 30%.
Target said Wednesday its e-commerce business — fueled by its “stores as hubs” fulfillment strategy — has more than doubled over the last two years, with Order Pickup, Drive Up and Shipt same-day services accounting for over half of the sales increase. As of the end of the third quarter, Target operated 1,924 stores overall.