Target's subscription services are about to explode, with the retailer making a slew of products -- from tampons to coffee K-cups – available for regular delivery.
Yesterday, the retail chain announced that it was increasing Target Subscription services tenfold to include more than 1,500 products. Customers can choose how frequently they wish to receive regular deliveries of an item, with the product being shipped for free to their doorstep.
Target began testing subscription services last September, when the chain launched the service for 150 baby-care basics. Despite minimal marketing, the service quickly caught on, and now accounts for more than 15 percent of online sales for eligible items.
The success of the subscription model for baby-care items encouraged Target to expedite plans to expand and add more products, according to Target spokesperson Eddie Baeb.
"We're adding items that if you woke up at 6 in the morning, you wouldn't want to run out of," says Baeb. That means toilet paper, concealer and coffee will all be available.
Target also focused on creating subscription delivery options items that would be inconvenient to buy in the stores, such as bulky bags of dog food and oversized packs of paper towels.
The third grouping of new subscription items are those that require regular, infrequent deliveries, like furnace filters and Brita filters. In the words of Baeb, "the things you know you should replace but you kind of forget."
With the huge growth of subscription service offerings, Target takes another step to grow its online presence. In the fall, the store began offering in-store pickup for online purchases, removing the delivery middleman. As big box stores have struggled to compete with online megabrands such as Amazon in ecommerce, one of Target's biggest weapons can be offering a diversity of sales options – in-store, online, subscription services, or a mixture of the two.
"For us, it's an online sale, but it’s a Target sale," says Baeb.
Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.