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“We want to have what our guests expect,” Carl said. “And that’s a smartly curated assortment.”
A search for coffeemakers in the home category of Target.com turned up 227 items. On Amazon.com the same search came back with 9,353 products. That’s the difference between having a curator, smart or otherwise, and having no curator.
Target is assuming that its customers will be perfectly willing to let Target cut the first 9,100 items from their list of options.
The challenge for Target is to keep the savvy customer on its site all the way through to a purchase, and not try to use its curation to find the right coffeemaker and then shop Amazon for that exact item. That’s pretty easy to do: a great-looking red KitchenAid 14-cup coffeemaker is $99.99 on Target.com and looks to be available on Amazon.com for $81.99.
Carl said Target has no intention of following Amazon.com’s strategy of presenting a nearly endless list of products, just as it has no intention of trying to match the strategies of retailers completely focused on offering the lowest prices.
“We don’t want to be Amazon; we want to be a better version of Target,” he said. “Whether it’s expanded sizes or colors, whether it’s incremental brands, whether it’s incremental services that we can offer to all of our guests, even if it might not be available in their local store.”
“To me that’s just a better version of the Target you already know.”