Target's same-day curbside pickup service, Drive Up, has now reached all 50 U.S. states, the retailer announced last week. The service allows consumers to shop online then pull up to designated spaces at their local store to have their order delivered to their car by Target staff. Drive Up has rolled out to Target stores at a fairly fast pace, given the technology requirements, infrastructure and operational changes required to support these fast-to-fill online orders. Since being rolled out nearly two years ago, Drive Up has become one of Target’s best-rated services. During its most recent earnings call, Target noted that it had more than doubled the total number of Drive Up orders in 2018 by fulfilling nearly 5 million orders within the first part of this year alone.
Total Retail's Take: Target has been a leader at offering the convenient shopping experiences today's consumers crave, whether it be its Cartwheel app, same-day shipping through Shipt (which Target acquired in 2017), Drive Up, among other services. Specific to Drive Up, Target is catering to a particularly valuable demographic: parents. While buy online, pick up in-store does offer a level of convenience, it can't match the ease of curbside pickup — if executed properly. Busy moms with carloads of kids don't have to get their children out of the car — and often baby seats — to pick up their orders in-store, saving them time and money (from incremental in-store purchases). In fact, Target's best-selling products for Drive Up customers include diapers, wipes and formula. While Target is likely losing out on incremental revenue from customers not entering its stores to pick up their online orders, it's making up for that loss with increased customer acquisition and loyalty. Consider that nearly 20 percent of customers placing a same-day order in Q2 were first-time customers.