Target’s Digital and Omnichannel Retail Strategy Brings New Customers



Target announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2015 results on February 24, 2016.

For full-year 2015, Target’s comparable sales grew 2.1 percent, comparable traffic increased 1.3 percent and Adjusted EPS increased 11.3 percent to USD 4.69.

Target increased the retail presence with Omnichannel retail strategy and saw the Mobile retail sales increase by over 2.5X with Digital Channels sales increasing by 34 percent, contributing to an overall 1.3 points increase in retail sales.

Target saw the highest growth from  signature categories (Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness). Comparable Sales in Q4, 2015 were primarily driven by increased traffic, proving that Target has focused on the right strategic priorities.

The options that make for a flexible shipping and fulfillment are at 30 percent of all digital sales. Order Pickup has grown more than 60 percent YOY, making Omnichannel retail as the growth are that big box retailers need to focus on for 2016.


Coupled with a Digital focus, Target’s Brand Strategy is focused on targeting upscale audiences with products and campaigns that resonate with mobile audiences. Research from Nielsen shows that Target is the preferred retailer among Upscale Millennials.  Target has focused on capturing the upscale Millennial market with a strategy focused on designer partnerships and niche home product lines. Target has continued to build presence in Digital with a focused content strategy that engages audiences across social networks and search advertising.


Gift Cards Retail Trends



According to Bizrate Insights, a survey conducted among consumers of 5000 eCommerce retailers via an online survey presented immediately after completing a purchase, Gift Cards are seen to be preferred by Millennials, with over 70 percent of 18-34 years, hoping to receive Gift Cards. However, there is a gap among consumers hoping to receive a Gift Card and those who plan to buy a Gift card. The survey was, conducted among 11,067 online buyers, ages 18 and over, in the U.S. and Canada and carried out between November 1, 2015 and November 8, 2015.

According to Card Hub, the size of Gift Card market is projected to grow over the next two years. In a research shared by CEB TowerGroup, Gift cards represent 18 percent of the money spent by consumers on Holiday purchases and eGifting is likely to trend upwards. The preferred  Gift Cards categories that buyers plan to purchase for Holiday season are Restaurants, Department Store, Coffee Shops, Entertainment and Electronics Store.

GiftcardsresearchRetailers targeting Holiday Shoppers have designed offers on Gift cards that are focused on customers interests and build on the experiential gifting. The search queries for Gift cards increase in the first two weeks of December and the top search queries for 2015 thus far are restaurant gift cards, best gift cards.


Consumer Focused Approach

Walmart’s robust offering of Gift Cards targeted at Movies and Music fans as wells  restaurant gift cards, provide a wide choice to buyers who want to buy Gift Cards that are likely to be preferred by the target audience. The choice of  retail gift cards provide an offering for consumers that are looking at choosing gifts based on interests. The gift cards value proposition offers a complete suite of gift options for different categories from Apparel, Dining to Entertainment. Combining the products with an e-gift delivery option makes for a comprehensive Gift Card experience from product design to delivery stage. Gift card experience from Walmart is designed around the consumer, with Branding and Design and the User Interface enhanced for Discovery.




Key Takeaway 

Design your Gift card strategy around your core target audience buyer persona, offering different options, with branding and content experience enhanced for mobile discovery. Create a special icon to flag products that have an email delivery option or a special price offer, as can be seen for Walmart’s eCard.

Pricing Focus

Amazon has designed special offers targeted at buyers of speciality cards, with a 20 percent off for buyers of gift cards, with special packs designed for up-selling. Target has also focused on creating special price offers for gift cards and running special offers to promote gift cards.

Amazon’s gift cards strategy focuses on creating a value proposition based on pricing and the choice of shopping all gift cards at one place. The choice that is available promises at reducing stress usually associated with finding the right gift.


Key Takeaway 

Design your Gift card strategy around the different Gifting needs of the consumer. Usually customers looking for deals and offers around holiday season tend to buy into value offers that can be redeemed after the Christmas sales.

Giving a choice of retail brands adds choice for consumers with the possibility to find the right gift for different recepients.

Experiential Rewards

Sam’s  Club has created experiences for Motor Sports Enthusiasts, that features racing Experiences and different Drive packages. Sam’s Club includes  Gift Cards rating that lets customers choose and decide from popular cards that are featured in  “Popular Products” section.




Key Takeaway 

Designing experiential rewards gift cards engages audiences for your brand with one of a kind offers that are not likely to be available off the shelf. Offering Experiential rewards Gift Cards are likely to create greater buzz and social media sharing for Gift Cards.

Price Match Guarantee

Best Buy offers consumers to choose from the options available with a Price match guarantee.


Key Takeaway 

Offering Price Match Guarantee on Gift Cards is likely to resonate with audiences as it takes the stress away for Gift Card Shoppers.

Limited Edition Gift Cards

Starbucks  Limited Edition holiday cards, embellished with Swarovski crystals in Silver and Blue are aimed at engaging audiences with a Lifestyle aspiration, where the card design is the reward itself. The Gift cards are an extension of other merchandise available at Starbucks with Crystal and Gold embellishments.




Starbucks continues to promote Holiday cards with Gift Cards Messaging.

Key Takeaway 

Designing Limited Edition Gift Cards are  a way to engage audiences for key occasions that reward your loyal customers.

Gift Card As A Reward


Offering a Gift card linked to a purchase as can be seen from Target’s USD 100 Card linked to an Apple Watch purchase. Linking a free gift card offer with a purchase can help retailers boost sales with a special pricing offer linked to Gift Cards. Allowing time bound offers on Gift cards can further help retailers divert spend in lean sales months.

Key Takeaway

Gift Cards can increase sales when used as an incentive and increase sales during low season months.

Gift Card Statistics




12 Notable Brand Campaigns This Holiday Season

Target Launches The Holiday Odyssey

Target followed a Storytelling approach engaging audiences with a brand experience titled Adventure, where three kids and Bullseye set on a  quest to light up a Giant tree, set in a magical forest. In another video, Target introduces Free shipping an returns with a   story where the adventure is Set on the Whipped Cream Sea, with LEGO pirate ships carrying precious holiday cargo. Target has boosted the viewer engagement with Free Digital Storybook spot “The Holiday Odyssey” featuring the epic adventure. In the newest spot titled Undercover, the gang goes past the Stormtroopers, through a maze of giant presents as the  quest to light the ridiculously giant tree continues. Target began the Holiday marketing effort,  over a month ago, with first Chapter titled “The Journey Begins”.

Key Takeaway: Engaging experiences targeted at an audience with storytelling approach requires more than a single post or video for audiences to discover the content. Creating an experience that helps audiences discover about your offers and products with a video makes for more interactions, repeat visits and conversions.


Disney Stores Launches 12 Most Wished For Gifts

Disney Stores Most Wished For Gifts campaign features a contest that requires customers to share a pic with #12GiftsContest to win a USD 1000 Disney Store Card.

Most-Wished-For Gift of the Day: Captain Phasma Mask! Fly back to Halloween mode and post a pic of you dressed up as a character from a galaxy far, far away. May the Force be with your pic! Tag #12GiftsContest & @Disneystore for your chance to win a $1,000 Shop Disney Store Card. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Contest ends 12/12/15.
Key Takeaway: Brand Contests that are run for a limited time with an offer can create a greater impact as Social Media helps create buzz for your offers with popular Giveaways.
Febreze Lightens Up The Mood 

With the holiday season advertising being all about miracles, wishlists and Stocking Stuffers, Febreze has created a humorous campaign that is likely to be noticed, much like the Ugly Sweaters for its unmarketing.

Febreze, a Proctor and Gamble brand has taken 12 Days of Christmas to the level of a parody by introducing 12 Stinks of Christmas.  Lynch and Morrison will premier their music video during the Febreze #12Stinks of Christmas Party – ugly Christmas sweaters all – at LightBox. Attendees can expect to sing along to the kitschy tune and learn that they can be guest-ready all season long with Febreze through interactive product demos.

Febreze has reinvented the classic holiday tune, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” to showcase the stinks of the season and how to stay guest ready, with the debut of “The #12Stinks of Christmas” starring the hilarious duo, Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison.

“Sure, it’s always great to see family; it’s great to walk into a kitchen and smell a pie in the oven,” said actress Jane Lynch. “But when the turkey’s burning and your bathroom is seeing a lot of foot traffic from party guests, it hits you: the holidays stink! And, Febreze is a great solution to eliminate odors and stay guest ready.”

Febreze boasts a line of products with freshness capabilities that range from ridding of pet odors and tackling sweat stink to decorating the home with scent and freshening on the go and has introduced a limited edition holiday line. Febreze continues to be one of the fastest growing brands in P&G’s portfolio of household brands and bring innovative products to market. Fresh air is an essential and basic human right, and that the air we breathe can give us “fresh starts.”

Key Takeaway: When you need your advertising to break through the clutter, unmarketing may get your brand noticed with a campaign that brings out the unusual.
Lowes Foods 30 Days Of Giving

Lowes Foods has newer ideas to inspire giving this holiday season. One of them is a handwritten letter that makes the gesture seem genuine and another idea is to have the family play a board-game.

Key Takeaway: A series of engaging social media posts over a prolonged time can get your offers, deals and campaigns noticed, as it builds anticipation with users looking forward to the next announcement or offer.
Macy’s Make-A-Wish

Macy’s Make-A-Wish Campaign weaves Christmas Magic with a Wish-writer pen that brings magic to unusual situations that makes Christmas look magical. “The star of the commercial is the magic pen, and we were trying to find another way to get engagement — this idea of gamification is the way to do it,” said Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy’s. “It’s our twist of bringing something traditional and nostalgic to the modern way the generations of today work, which is on mobile devices and through apps.”

Key Takeaway: Making Audiences nostalgic is a way of capturing audience interest and launching your campaign when audiences start looking for gift ideas can help you strike the right chord.
Staples Launches More For Less Campaign


“We’re giving our customers more for less this holiday season with exceptional savings on a great selection of stocking stuffers and last-minute gifts,” said Peter J. Scala, executive vice president – merchandising, Staples. “At Staples, we know our customers are busy so we offer convenient solutions for their holiday shopping needs including a buy online and pick up in store option, Price Match Guarantee, and free shipping for our Staples Rewards members during the holidays and everyday.”

Staples more for less campaign is targeted at different buyer personas, From the Inner Geek to the Fashion-Forward co-worker, with great last-minute gifts and deals throughout the holidays.

Key Takeaway: Staples More for Less campaign is notable for targeted offering for customers value-shopping for different types of Gift recipients.
Hallmark Entertainment Channel’s Countdown To Christmas

Hallmark Entertainment Channel’s Countdown to Christmas features a movie premiere every Saturday night bringing new movies every Saturday night, with engaging posts for Christmas.

Key Takeaway: Hallmark Entertainment Channel’s Countdown to Christmas brings singularity of the brand value proposition of Family entertainment up-front, making it the channel of choice for the time when families are most likely to be looking for family entertainment options.
Walmart’s Retailtainment

Walmart has followed a retailtainment strategy  introducing Musical scores for Christmas by Craig Robinson that features number of videos  with gifts targeted at different audience segments.

Key Takeaway: As important as it is to have gifting ideas for a valued shopper, it is equally important to present the ideas in a context audiences find engaging and relatable.


Hallmark’s Keepsake It 

Hallmark’s online video campaign has a humorous take on Christmas with three spots titled Family Potrait, Vegan Christmas and Perfectionist Mom. The video has funny takes on situations that are characterized by quirky characters, playing on uniqueness of every family, and how Hallmark makes holidays memorable despite odd situations.

Key Takeaway: Hallmark’s Keepsake campaign infuses realism with humor where quirky characters are used in the creative for better ad recall. With an interactive digital experience it makes for one-of-a-kind user engagement. 
Oreo’s Wonderfilled Christmas

Oreo takes a Wonderfilled spin on some storied Christmas traditions, taking a look into all the things that make the holidays feel like the holidays.

Key Takeaway: Oreo’s Wonderfilled theme campaign extends the Wonderfilled campaign to feature the Christmas traditions while weaving in the brand’s proposition of cream filled cookies in the video creative.
Kohl’s All Together Now

Kohl’s All Together Now campaign features gifts that are right for the whole family, with exclusive deals featured on Social Media Channels.

Key Takeaway: Kohl’s All Together Now Campaign sets the tone for entertaining during Holiday Season where the positioning of “Everything for Entertaining Everyone” makes holiday season gift shopping and entertaining seem stress-free. Kohl’s has successfully used All Together Now to position the discounts it has on offer for the season.
Apple’s Someday At Christmas

Singer Andra Day joins the legendary Stevie Wonder to sing his classic 1967 holiday song “Someday at Christmas.” Without a band, Wonder sets up his Apple computer to record both the piano he plays and the vocal track. As Day and Wonder sing together, their family plays games, makes crafts and spends time together. To bring the song to a close, the youngest member adds her voice to the mix and then the rest of the family joins in.

Key Takeaway: Apple’s Video brings out the creative power of the products in an engaging way while showing how technology can help you free your time for family. Using musicians and a music score associated with the season, Apple has ushered the Christmas spirit bringing out the holiday moments that matter.





Amazon Leads Impression Share For Paid Search Advertising


CSTATACSSurgebfIn total, 30,563 advertisers spent USD 106 million sponsoring the keyword group consisting of 2500 keywords via U.S. Google Search Ads for Desktop and Mobile from October 15 through November 15. Far fewer advertisers, a total of 6,091, spent USD 22.3 million sponsoring the keyword group via Product Listing Ads on U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet during the same period. The surge in  search ads for Black Friday Keywords a month earlier this year with advertisers starting to spend a months earlier than last year, on September 27.

Target is the leading advertiser for Total Spend on Paid Search and for share of clicks. Online Black Friday Deals and Black Friday Online Sales are the keywords with the highest average click-through rate.


PLAs space is less crowded with five retailers leading click-share of advertising. Walmart and Target both led with a 7 percent click share. Walmart increased its click share from 6 percent in November 2014 while Target increased its click share from 5 percent last year. eBay also increased its click share, from 2 percent in 2014 to 3 percent this year.


For impression share,, leads with a 10 percent share of voice by impressions on the keyword group, Target ‘s impression share at 7 percent for impressions is the same as Click Share, and Walmart at 2.2 percent impression share.

An analysis from Kantar Media for 2014 ad spend, with a syndicated research carried out by Placed with an opt-in panel of smartphone-enabled consumers to track their locations and the retail stores they visited from Thanksgiving Day through the following Sunday.For in-store shopping Walmart was seen as the most efficient advertiser with the least Cost Per Visitor.