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Target supports holiday shoppers with AI

Target holiday app
AI features prominently in Target's holiday shopping experience.

Target Corp. is providing a variety of artificial intelligence (AI)-based features to holiday shoppers this year.

The discounter, which kicked off its Black Friday promotion in late October and has since added more holiday services and deals, is including more AI-driven solutions than ever before in its holiday shopping experience.

AI is helping Target ensure that shoppers find the holiday gifts and essentials they need by forecasting product demand and keeping items from going out of stock, Target CIO Brett Craig said in a corporate blog post

It even helps us predict and correct when a store has an unknown out-of-stock item — something that could otherwise disappoint customers during the busiest time of the year<" Craig said. "And further up the supply chain, we use AI to ensure inventory is in the right locations so we can quickly and efficiently respond as demand fluctuates.”

In addition, Target leverages AI to help customers find the most personally relevant products and deals in its Target Circle loyalty program and on its e-commerce site. This includes connecting customers to favored brands through its Roundel retail media business.

According to Craig, Target has been using AI for “many years” to drive speed and efficiency across enterprise operations, including supply chain and inventory management, as well as checkout in-store, online and in its app.

He also said Target continues exploring employee- and customer-facing use cases for generative AI. Based on machine learning (ML), generative AI can create new content and ideas, including conversations, stories, images, videos and music.

“Maximizing the impact of AI requires agility and flexibility,” Craig said in the blog post. “That’s why, many years ago, we began building an infrastructure that allows us to move quickly and efficiently, and to embrace the incredible rate of change made possible by AI. This solid foundation — which we continue to build on each day — allows our team to continue focusing on what’s next for our business and our customers.”

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