Since Jason Goldberger joined Target in February of 2013, he’s had a strong hand in helping the company solve one of the biggest challenges plaguing retailers today—blending the physical and digital shopping environments. This is largely because Goldberger, a former Amazon employee, firmly believes that “Target.com will not beat Amazon,” but rather that “Target will beat Amazon.”
“Customers don’t think of themselves as being customers of Target.com or of one of our stores,” Goldberger told attendees at the eTail East conference in August of 2015. “They just care about shopping with Target. They want to shop when they want, wherever they want, however they want.”
At that same event, Goldberger noted that 98 percent of Target’s guests shop digitally, and three out of four online shoppers start their journeys on a smartphone or tablet. He predicted that by 2030, “technology will play an even more fundamental role in how people shop,” and while “there will still be stores—they’ll just be profoundly different.” In light of all this, Target has taken an approach that heavily factors digital and mobile interactions into the equation.
“Under Jason’s leadership, Target has released new versions of its Web site, [and] iPhone and iPad shopping apps,” Pablo Cohan, senior business leader of U.S. emerging payments at MasterCard, said at eTail East. Additionally, the company has launched new gift registries (including one specifically designed for college students) and in-store pickup services. Target’s digital sales, as a result, have grown by more than 30 percent since Goldberger joined the company, Cohan pointed out.
One idea Goldberger espouses is that technological improvements don’t necessarily take away from store business in the long run. While a program such as curbside pickup may forestall customers getting into Target’s stores, it can also help build brand loyalty, and guests become more valuable when they interact in more than one channel.
Target continues to improve its digital properties. In October of 2015, the retailer announced a deal with Borderfree, a Pitney Bowes company, to launch a Web site that enables international shoppers to make purchases from more than 200 countries and territories without having to deal with complicated conversion rates and ambiguous shipping charges.
And in May of 2016, Goldberger was promoted from president of Target.com to the company’s first chief digital officer, a testament to how influential he’s been to the company’s direction—as well as to the direction that retail will inevitably take.