Target expands use of Curbside pickup app

Taget (NYSE:TGT) customers at 11 California locations can now order online and pick up purchases at their local store. Using the Curbside app, shoppers don't need to leave their cars as employees bring the purchased products out to them.

How it works: Consumers download the free app, select a Target store, select and pay for products and then head to the store for pickup. Prices are the same in the app as on the big box chain's website reported Internet Retailer. Items offered match up with a store's inventory, so the app will not display any products that are not available in stock.

A Target employee is charged with gathering the items requested and Curbside employees bring them to the designated pickup area outside—usually a tent in front of the store. The employee will also send a mobile alert that the purchase is ready. The app itself alerts store employees when the customer is nearby so that they can bring the items out to the car. The employee confirms the shopper and places the parcels in the car.

Target first began testing the Curbside app back in October at 10 stores in the San Francisco area.

"It's still early, but we're excited that it is going well," a Target spokesperson told Internet Retailer.

Jaron Waldman, the CEO of Curbside, says that an entire shopping process could be finished in as little as an hour. "One of the advantages is that flexibility, you're not needing to schedule to be there," he said.

If a few days pass without pickup of an order, Curbside sends the shopper a reminder alert.

Curbside takes a percentage of each sale, at no cost to the customer. Thus far, 50 percent of customers who purchase with Curbside use the service again. 

Curbside is exploring the option of using indoor kiosks or permanent structures as it expands to stores in colder climates.

Target is among a handful of retailers testing out curbside pickup for purchased items. Earlier this year Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) began offering the ability for Shop Your Way members to collect purchases in five minutes or less via curbside pickup. And Hannaford recently announced it would add a curbside grocery pickup service.

*This article first appeared in FierceRetail's sister publication, FierceMobileRetail.

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