Target and Wal-Mart Give Individual Attention to Customers
Target and Wal-Mart Stores may be the biggest mass merchandisers
in the country, but both believe business results can be improved by tailoring
what they do to individual shoppers.
Last week, Target announced it would begin
weekly online ad, "My TargetWeekly," in a new, customizable
The ad, which is
seen by 1.2 million visitors to Target.com on a weekly basis, now lets consumers
create views customized to their preferences as well as providing alerts to
shoppers when their favorite products are on sale. The chain will also add "My
TargetWeekly" to its Facebook page.
"Target is doing what smart retailers have to do: Go to where the customers
are," Rebecca Lieb, vice president at Econsultancy, told USA Today. "You
have to engage people on their own terms."
For its part, Wal-Mart is looking
to custom tailor product offerings to shoppers on a store-by-store basis. While
one-size-fits-all may offer some operational efficiencies and associated savings,
the chain knows that giving shoppers what they want is the key to selling.
Tribune report offered a contrast between two of the chain’s
stores just six miles apart in Florida.
One location offered "jugs of
‘Big John’s’ pickled sausages, $3 camouflage baseball hats and $8 ladies housedresses" and "a
3,000-square-foot section of the store sells yarn, craft supplies and fabric
by the yard."
The second "proudly
displays a row of $1,500 HDTVs, hip college clothing, and not a single bolt
Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet Consulting and a RetailWire BrainTrust
member, told the Tribune, "The days of buying containers of stuff
and loading it into stores with the goal of selling it through over a year
Target is also adapting product selection based on location.
Jennifer Glass, a spokesperson for the chain, said that stores in urban areas,
for example, offer a wider variety of furniture and household goods intended
for smaller dwellings.
Discussion Questions: Do you think Target and Wal-Mart, based on company
and store size, are capable of achieving a "neighborhood store" feel by
altering product selection on an individual location basis? Do initiatives such
as "My TargetWeekly" help to create a more personal relationship
between retailer and consumer?
- My TargetWeekly lets Target shoppers customize ads – USA Today
win consumers, Walmart gets more personal – The Tampa Tribune