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How Target Uses AI to Deliver Superior Customer, Associate Experience

CIO Brett Craig shares how the retailer incorporates the technology into its operations
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Target AI phone
Target is actively using AI to help improve personalization and customer experience.

As it begins to round out the holidays, Target is pulling back the curtain on how it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver an easier, more affordable and more personalized experience for its customers both during its busiest season and all year round. The retailer’s chief information officer, Brett Craig, shared in a company Q&A exactly what that entails.

During the holidays, Target uses AI in myriad applications, including forecasting product demand and keeping items from going out of stock, and also ensuring inventory is in the right locations to provide a quick and efficient response as demand fluctuates. AI is also paramount in creating a personalized shopping experience and helping guests find the products and deals that are most relevant to them.

[Read more: "AI Winning Over More Holiday Shoppers"]

“Tech plays an indispensable role in ensuring that Target is at its best during the holidays,” Craig said. “From every store transaction and online order to each Drive Up interaction and guest service center call — the list goes on and on. And technology powers all of it.”

As for Target’s approach to AI, Craig explained that the company remains agile and flexible in an effort to embrace the rate of change made possible by the technology. The retailer also focuses on AI solutions that help foster emotional connections with its guests.

“AI is driving the inspiration and ease that come with a personalized shopping experience, regardless of when, where or how guests are shopping,” Craig said. “And it’s at the heart of the tools that give our store teams more time to deliver the Target magic that drives so much guest loyalty and love.”

Finally, the retailer is keeping an eye toward AI experimentation and innovation, including team- and guest-facing use cases for generative AI, especially those that drive meaningful improvements for both employees and shoppers, as well as long-term growth for Target. 

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. PG also included the company on its Retailers of the Century list. 

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