Target is engaging its customers through “hands on” with the mobile phones and other electronic products in its store’s electronics dept. The new look comes on the heels of Apple and Best Buy stores that allow the customer to feel and experience the device, reports John Ewoldt, Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Oct. 18, 2013.
Target is testing the new format to give customers a more convenient way to interact with products and services, according to spokeswoman Erica Julkowski. “Guests are looking for more interactive ways to make purchasing decisions about the latest technology.”
The Minneapolis store is one of five in testing with possible expansion to Target’s 1800 stores. This comes at a time when the switch over from cameras to cell phones is now the product to produce revenue and profit.
Putting phones directly in the hands of customers is a reaction to competition from online retailers like Amazon.com, Christopher, the IHS analyst, said.
The hope is that the test departments will create "reverse showrooming." That occurs when customers do preliminary research online at CNet or the carrier's site, for example, and then go to the retailer to buy, if it's in stock, Christopher said. It's easier to compare features and check reviews online, he said, but brick-and-mortar stores can put the phone in their hands faster, assuming it's in stock.
Target has been remodeling other departments prior to this entry into electronics. There is a concept called Baby 360 to assist expectant and new mothers, while the cosmetic’s dept. has pumped up the on service with make overs and concierge efficient service at 200 stores.