Target Significantly Expands Online Subscription Service

Target Significantly Expands Online Subscription Service

Target now offers roughly 1,500 items through its subscription service, which ships products to customers at routine intervals.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation said Thursday that it’s bolstering its online subscription service in its ongoing effort to increase digital sales.

Target debuted its online subscription service last fall but focused more narrowly on baby-care products. The retailer said it has now expanded its assortment of items available through the program from 200 to more than 1,500, including everything from household cleaning supplies to beauty products.

Customers can sign up to receive shipments of particular items at specified intervals. For example, they can choose to receive laundry detergent and printer ink every several weeks. (Learn more here.)

In addition to significantly expanding the number of eligible items, Target also said it is offering a 5 percent discount on all subscription orders. To quantify the early success of the program, a Target spokesperson said that the baby-care items that were part of the original rollout account for 15 percent of online sales for that category.

The Associated Press reported, however, that Target is “playing catch-up in the subscription business,” which has grown in popularity among consumers. Amazon.com has been a major force in subscription services.

But the move also coincides with ongoing efforts by Target to increase its digital offerings. In December, the company said its efforts have been paying off, as online traffic grew at “double-digit rates” during the holidays and mobile sales climbed 100 percent year-over-year. (The company does not, however, break out digital sales, which appear to constitute a small portion of overall revenue.)

Target has said it aims to more seamlessly integrate physical stores and digital channels. It has also added new mobile apps and began allowing people to pick up goods at physical stores after ordering them online.