Target Makes Technology Upgrades

The creation of an in-aisle checkout app and improvements to self-checkout kiosks are part of the rollout
November 9, 2017Joanne Friedrick

Mike McNamara of TargetMike McNamara of Target
MINNEAPOLIS—Target is counting on a new app and improvements to the self-checkout process and IT infrastructure to make shopping a more seamless process for its customers.

“We’re using cutting-edge technology to make it easier, faster and more convenient for guests to shop Target stores,” said Mike McNamara, chief information and digital officer in a post on the retailer’s A Bullseye View blog. “Technology is increasingly vital to make sure Target can deliver … both in our stores and online.”

Using the new myCheckout app on their handheld devices, store associates are able to assist customers with online orders on the sales floor. The app helps associates search for products that may not be available in the store, such as a different color or size, and then allows shoppers to order and pay in the aisle.

According to a Target blog post, the company has made 10,000 transactions using the app since it began testing it in selected stores.

Improvements to the self-checkout process, which were instituted in August, include new back-end software and a more intuitive system for shoppers. The retailer has also doubled WiFi bandwidth in stores as part of an upgrade to its network infrastructure. The more robust network improves the efficiency of registers and handheld devices as well as WiFi connections.

The creation of custom bots—software that runs automatically—is also helping with IT issues such as registers and order pickup. As the blog explains, as soon as the bots detect a problem, they can troubleshoot and put fixes in place in advance of any human response.

Target has also teamed with start-up company Inspectorio to improve supply chain transparency and efficiency. Target is using mobile and web solutions from Inspectorio that manage purchase orders, book inspections, generate reports for retailers and provide factory risk assessments, among other processes.

Irene Quarshie, vice president of product quality and responsible sourcing, said the transparency provided through Inspectorio “will allow us to make real-time decisions about our products … and it will help us greatly improve the consistency and quality of products we offer.”

The product, which is being used initially with apparel vendors, came out of Target’s Techstars Retail Accelerator program that assists start-ups.

 

Joanne FriedrickJoanne Friedrick | Contributing Editor

Joanne Friedrick is a contributing editor for HFN with more than 20 years of retail and housewares business reporting, writing and editing. For the past 15 years she has been operating her own business with clients that include Convenience Distribution, Seafood Source and Zest, a Maine-focused consumer food and lifestyle magazine.

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