Target to add Starbucks service to its pickup orders

Photo (c) sanfel - Getty Images

Other improvements include a wider variety of item substitutions and adult beverage pickup options

“Would you like a peppermint Frappuccino or a chai tea latte with your grocery order, ma’am?” Don’t laugh – later this year, Target shoppers will be able to add a Starbucks order to their Target curbside pickup in select markets.

The innovation is part of Target’s plans to enhance its pickup services and differentiate it from the pickup humdrum of its competitors. When the company puts the idea into action – most likely this fall – guests can add a Starbucks order or make a return within Target’s free, contactless curbside service through the Target app. Target said it will also expand its “backup item” functionality in additional categories to allow guests to pick up everything on their lists.

The idea for the Starbucks marriage sort of fell in Target’s lap. The retailer said placing an order for Starbucks was a top request when it surveyed shoppers on things they’d like to see. 

The pandemic changed a lot about retail shopping as we knew it to be, but companies that paid close attention to how consumers changed their routines are starting to reap the rewards. Target said its digital business has more than doubled during the last two years, and Order Pickup, Drive Up, and Same-Day Delivery have accounted for more than half of those sales.

“Ongoing investments in our same-day services have built trust and relevance with our guests, while meeting their needs — no matter how they choose to shop,” said Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer. 

Items brought to customers' cars

When the new feature becomes available, guests will simply let the store know that they’re on their way via the Target app. That’s where they’ll have the option to place their Starbucks order.

When consumers get to the store, a Target Drive Up team member will bring their full order to the car. The same will hold true for the return process, giving guests the ability to initiate a return via the Target app and complete it at the Drive Up lane.

With expanded “backup item” functionality, guests will also be able to select from a wider assortment of categories — including beauty and household essentials — to designate secondary backup items for their Drive Up and Order Pickup orders in the event that their first-choice items are unavailable.

In the months since the option rolled out for food and beverage orders, Target said its teams have successfully substituted backup items 98% of the time to help guests pick up even more of what they need — including high-demand items.

Other innovations that Target has already rolled out include wine and beer pickup; “Shopping Partner” – a feature that allows guests to send someone else to pick up their Drive Up or Order Pickup order; and “Forgot Something” – a feature that allows guests to easily order forgotten items after they’ve placed a Drive Up or Order Pickup order.

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