Tech Viewpoint: Three reasons Target-Toys ‘R’ Us partnership is a win-win(-win)

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Tech Viewpoint: Three reasons Target-Toys ‘R’ Us partnership is a win-win(-win)

By Dan Berthiaume - 10/11/2019

Target and Toys “R” Us both stand to gain from their new omnichannel fulfillment collaboration.

Toys “R” Us is back, and Target is supporting the digital side of the briefly departed toy retailer’s return. Consumers browsing and purchasing items on ToysRUs.com can complete their order by clicking “Buy Now at Target.com” to be automatically linked to the same product page on the Target site to complete their purchase.

In the store, sales associates will help customers interested in purchasing unavailable items complete sales transactions that will be fulfilled through Target.com. Toys “R” Us omnichannel shoppers will be able to take advantage of Target customer service offerings such as free two-day shipping, same-day curbside or store order pickup, same-day delivery with Shipt, Target Circle loyalty benefits, and in-store returns of online purchases.

This partnership holds potential to be a win for both Target and Toys “R” Us, and even for the retail industry in general. Here are three reasons why.

Undoubtedly, the retail industry will be paying very close attention to how the Toys “R” Us-Target partnership plays out.

Target gains exposure to valuable shoppers
Core Toys “R” Us shoppers are parents of young children and children themselves. With recent NRF data indicating Gen Zers born after 1994 influence 48% of purchases parents make specifically for them along with 36% of household purchases, these are demographics worth reaching out to.

Target has already been increasing its focus on toy sales, remodeling stores to feature more toy selling space and partnering with Disney for store-within-a-store locations selling licensed toys and children’s merchandise. Its new partnership with Toys “R” Us not only creates a platform to sell even more toys, but creates a branded online fulfillment experience that will stay in the minds of kids and their parents as they shop for apparel, footwear and other products.

Toys ‘R’ Us launches digital commerce on the right foot
Digital commerce is hard. The omnichannel expectations of modern customers, which include seamless access to online inventory in the store and same-day delivery and in-store pickup options, make digital commerce that much harder. 

As much as any retailer, Target has figured out omnichannel commerce. The retailer’s seamless shopping offering generally produces desired results, many other retailers are already using its Shipt online delivery service, and it has successfully rolled out in-store and curbside pickup of online orders across the country. 

By holistically integrating Target’s omnichannel fulfillment capabilities into its digital commerce enterprise, Toys ‘R’ Us eliminates the pain of “learning on the job” as the holidays rapidly approach.

The whole world is watching
Undoubtedly, the retail industry will be paying very close attention to how the Toys “R” Us-Target partnership plays out. Assuming it is successful, Target, as well as other large retailers with well-established omnichannel fulfillment networks (such as Walmart), may find themselves in demand to help brick-and-mortar chains quickly get up to speed with digital commerce.

This would provide retailers with a new alternative to using Amazon, or hosted e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce or Shopify, to support omnichannel operations. Increased competition usually produces more innovation and lower prices, meaning this collaboration may create a lot of winners over time. 

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