Target, which has 1,850 retail stores in the U.S., decided last February to get into the third-party marketplace business with its new program called Target+ (plus). But the store is taking a much different approach to how the marketplace will function than its biggest competitors, Amazon and Walmart.
We’ve outlined everything you need to know about Target+.
What is Target+?
Target+ is a third-party online marketplace that is similar to Walmart and Amazon. The new marketplace which launched in February will allow hand-picked third-party sellers to list their products on Target.com.
Third-party seller products are then integrated amongst the retailer’s own products. The only way a shopper will know if a product is sold by a third-party seller is by reading the product description which states that the item is sold and shipped by another company.
Here’s an example:
How Does Target Plus Work?
Currently, Target is looking to partner with brands of all sizes that offer high-quality products. So far, they’ve added partners with products in categories including electronics, toys, home décor, and sporting goods.
Currently, Target’s third-party sellers include companies like Mizuno USA, Kaplan Early Learning Company, Serenity Health & Home Décor, SVSports, VM Express, and Music123, and the retailer plans to continue adding new partners to Target+ over time as they prioritize product categories.
Similar to Amazon, third-party sellers are responsible for fulfilling their customer’s orders. However, customers are able to make returns at any Target brick and mortar store, making the process easier for both customers and merchants.
Additionally, Target+ buyers can still take advantages of Target perks including free shipping and 5% off when they use their Target credit cards.
How Can Ecommerce Retailers Sell on Target+?
Usually, ecommerce sellers can apply to list their products on various online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart. As long as they meet certain requirements, they’re usually approved to sell on the marketplace pretty quickly. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t take long before sellers can begin listing their products. Target has chosen to make their process much different than other online marketplaces.
Sellers can’t simply apply to become a Target+ seller. Instead, the marketplace sends invitations to certain retailers. Target is carefully curating the brands they wish to work with and haven’t yet revealed what criteria their selections are based on, only stating that it is their intent to keep the quality of products on their website high.
There are many potential reasons that Target has chosen to go this route, most likely it is based on watching the challenges that rivals Amazon and Walmart have faced. Both Walmart and Amazon have struggled to keep counterfeit, offensive, controversial, or low-quality products from appearing for sale on their sites. Amazon has tried to combat these issues with programs such as the Transparency Program, but continue to deal with it. By carefully selecting the brands they work with, Target hopes those types of issues can be avoided.
Final Thoughts about Target Plus
It’s no surprise that Target has entered the online marketplace scene by allowing third-party sellers to list items on the store’s website. By getting into the arena after Walmart and Amazon, it’s likely that Target will be able to prevent many of challenges that its rivals have had to deal with. It’s a win-win for the retailer and the brands it chooses to work with. Sellers benefit from the visibility the Target name brings, while Target gets to grow its product offering.
Only time will tell how Target+ performs. Many online sellers hope that Target will reveal how they are selecting brands to partner with and, perhaps in time, have a process that allows third-party sellers to apply to list their products on the site.