In addition to recovering from the massive hack a few months ago, Target is looking to become what it calls “a leading omnichannel retailer.”
To help guide its journey, the retail giant announced Wednesday the formation of a Digital Advisory Council. The council will help the company “accelerate its digital transformation,” including guiding omnichannel strategies, innovating faster, and creating “new ways to leverage technology to enhance the [customer] experience.”
Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told VentureBeat the council was envisioned early last year, before the hack took place, and “is not related to security at all.”
“The pace has changed in retailing,” he said. “The next phase is coming, and we’re looking to create a new kind of retailing.” Baeb pointed to always-on mobile shopping and customers’ growing expectations as key drivers.
The retailer is testing one recasting of brick-and-mortars that is beginning to catch on — employing physical outlets as distribution centers for online and phone orders, as well as for foot traffic. A pilot is about to launch, Baeb said, with more than 100 stores.
“When you place an order on Target.com,” he said, “it will be shipped from the nearest store.”
Another possibility is that guests — Target-ese for customers — might be able to join a subscription program where staple items are automatically re-ordered. A same-day delivery service is also being tested at three stores.
Digital initiatives in the past year included a mobile coupon app and the opportunity for customers to buy online at Target.com and then pick it up at the store.
The council includes Match.com CEO Sam Yagan, who is also CEO and founder of OkCupid. In a video on the company’s Bullseye View site, Yagan mentions that his background has been in “designing consumer products that people love” and in creating digital disruption in existing industries.
Other members include:
- Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures
- Amy Chang, CEO/Co-Founder of Accompani, former lead at Google Analytics
- Roger Liew, Chief Technology Officer of Orbitz Worldwide
In addition to the council, the retailer is hiring at least 50 new software engineers for its Target.com and mobile product team.