On Target in Digital Commerce

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When you think of cutting edge digital commerce companies, Amazon and Google come to mind. What about Target?

Most of the news about Target is traditional retail stuff. I'm talking stories like "Target rolling out organic, natural grocery brand" and "Target delves deeper into the beauty business." But then you read a piece like "." "Hmm," you think, "Something might be happening here." Something is.

While Target has been doing all the usual retail things and dealing with all the usual discount retailing challenges, they've also been quietly mastering the art of digital commerce. Here are some stories to help you get your head around what Target is doing.

Start by reading "The Digital Commerce Revolution" from Strategy + Business. It will give you a good overview and a peek at what Target is up to. Then use the following stories to dig up some of the details.

From the Mercury News: Target dives into e-commerce with S.F. tech lab
"Target's Technology Innovation Center in San Francisco's financial district will be the retailer's West Coast hub for mobile app, online search and social media development -- pillars of the retailer's e-commerce expansion. It also marks the latest effort by a major U.S. retailer to challenge e-commerce giant Amazon and remake its image from that of an outdated brick-and-mortar store to a tech-savvy, multichannel shopping experience."

From Retail Touchpoints: Target Uses Guest Intelligence To Drive Marketing Strategies
"By analyzing customer-driven data from market basket analysis and sales by category Target Corporation is learning new ways to market and merchandise products within its 1,700+ big-box stores. The fifth largest retailer in the U.S. shared its customer-focused strategies in a standing-room-only Big Ideas session at the National Retail Federation convention in New York in January."

From the NY Times: How Companies Learn Your Secrets
"Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: 'If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? '"

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  • 6/12/2013 7:01 AM Alex wrote:
    Hello Wally,

    The free and endless information in the digital era have their price. The continuous connectivity brought by the interNet (the mighty Net) has its reverse. Online marketing is the new world war led by big retailers. Unfortunately the prospects (or the victims) are conditioned to want more and more, even though they do not need.
    Reply to this
    1. 6/12/2013 8:29 AM Wally Bock wrote:
      Good points, Alex. Every coin has two sides. Thanks for adding to the conversation.
      Reply to this
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