It takes moxie to go public with a huge prediction regarding what’s going to happen in tech, particularly if the prophesy would seismically alter the landscape of commerce. While plenty of people are divining that artificial intelligence will grow like crazy this year, and that the voice user interface will become a primary way for people to interact digitally, how about somebody think of something a bit more bold?
Enter venture capital firm Loup Ventures, which predicts its Minneapolis-based neighbor, Target, will be acquired by Amazon.
It makes absolute sense.
People love Amazon because of the (near) instant gratification it provides. You can find almost anything you want at the ecommerce giant’s website and in just one click can have it headed toward your doorstep to arrive in less than two days (thanks to Prime).
But sometimes you want your stuff even faster, and Target may be the brand which can make it happen. Last month the company announced it had acquired same-day delivery company Shipt for $550 million. Sometime early this year about half its stores will offer same-day delivery of groceries and a few other categories of products. By the end of 2019, you’ll be able to get whatever you want from the retailer the day you order it.
Target also has been sporting a tech-forward vibe that meshes well with Amazon’s ethos. Let’s say you’re in a store and you can’t find the size you need or you need something in a different color. The red-shirted associate in the next aisle can look it up and order it on Target.com using his or her hand-held device which now has an attached credit card reader. Oh, and you get free shipping, too.
And Moms shopping at Target (the retailer’s main demographic, Loup Ventures points out) likely have already linked their debit cards to Target’s REDcard because doing so provides a 5 percent discount on every purchase. (And gives Target a way to track what guests buy so as to be able to provide them with custom offers and coupons). As of last month, the Target app added a wallet function so you can pay using your REDcard, redeem digital offers and coupons and check out by just scanning a barcode on your phone.
How would an Amazon buyout affect Target, if it were to happen? Just look what happened after Whole Foods was gobbled up by the ecommerce behemoth in August. Prices went down, Prime members started getting special discounts and many stores began selling Amazon tech including Amazon Echo, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
As for what Amazon would get: More incentive for Target’s demographic to use Prime and about 2,300 physical stores, which is about half of Walmart’s U.S. number.