Target's 4 New Retail Technology Tools

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Target's 4 New Retail Technology Tools

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 11/08/2017

Target has been making a mass of powerful technology enhancements to its stores recently, including adding a workforce app to provide endless aisle service and chatbots to help with IT, as well as making updates to self-checkout and Wi-Fi.

“We’re using cutting-edge technology to make it easier, faster and more convenient for guests to shop Target stores,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer. “Technology is increasingly vital to make sure Target can deliver like nobody else—both in our stores and online. We’re excited to have these store upgrades ready for guests as we head into the busy holiday season.”

Workforce App

Target’s tech team built a new app called “myCheckout” for associates' handheld devices. Now if shoppers can’t find the item they want on hand in stores, an associate can place an online order from the sales floor and have the purchase shipped to their homes. Employees can use myCheckout to search Target.com for desired products, then take shoppers’ payment on the spot with a credit card reader that’s attached to the handheld device. Shoppers walk away knowing their items are en-route to their doorstep—with free shipping.

Click here for a video of McNamara explaining myCheckout.

Target says it's already done more than 10,000 transactions since it began testing the service in select stores this spring.

Self-checkout Updates

To improve self-checkout, Target’s tech team developed new, back-end software for the system and a new-look for the front end that’s simpler and more intuitive. Since the new system went live in August, Target says its self-checkout lanes "are running smoother and faster than ever, sending guest satisfaction scores way up."

Wi-Fi Upgrade

Target says it has more than doubled Wi-Fi bandwidth to stores. The improvement is due to sweeping upgrades Target just completed to its network infrastructure, including the installation of more than 300 miles of fiber-optic cables to stores and distribution centers.

The more robust network makes everything from Wi-Fi to checkout registers to employee handheld devices work better, according to the retailer. The overhaul also included a new backup system.  When Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma hit Texas, Louisiana and Florida this fall, more than 120 impacted Target locations went onto the backup network, and all but two maintained connectivity throughout the storms, according to Target.

Chabots

Target’s tech team has created custom bots to help tackle store IT issues. As soon as the bots detect a glitch, they immediately begin troubleshooting and putting fixes in place. So far, the tech team estimates this automation has saved 1,000 store team member hours since it rolled out over September and October.

Target says there will be "plenty of tech advances ahead."