This is great news and this is what competition is all about. Target will be doing two major things this Christmas shopping season that they should have done a long time ago to combat online only shopping experiences like Amazon.
And as a consumer, I say bring it on. Where are you in all this, Walmart and Sears/Kmart?
See, Target is currently offering consumers the opportunity to buy something online and then go into the store to pick it up without having to wait too long for it. This move is something Target and other brick-and-mortar stores should have offered a long time ago.
Imagine what it would have been like had Borders, which no longer exists, and ailing Barnes and Noble had done this like 15 years ago against Amazon or others during the dotcom era.
By November 1st, Target will expand the in-store pickup option to all its stores. Now, it's not guarantee that it will be a win against Amazon. So, in addition to letting users get their stuff earlier than free ground shipping, Target will do price matches for purchases that take place between November 1st and December 21st.
It's a limited window to be sure and it makes more sense for Target to try to expand to year round but it's unlikely that is feasible financially.
I'm talking about this here and now because of the intended target in all of this: Amazon.
Jeff Bezos and Amazon has done for consumers in terms of offering deals, services, and pushing the online shipping services in innovative directions. And let's not forget its ebook, video, and music services that is now the Kindle ecosystem.
It's unlikely what Target is doing for the 2013 Holidays is going to be enough. Online shopping experiences offered by Amazon and others have been to ingrained into the minds of shoppers these day. The convenience of clicking a few keys or touches on a tablet and your product just shows up a few days later is just too hard a habit to break.
But the possible convenience of being able to pick it up at a store quicker might help Target a bit. I can count three Target stores in my area that I can drive to to do just that. In fact, one is on my way to the gym.