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Target Seriously Upgrades Its IoT Retail Presence

Target renovates its Open House store in San Francisco with more interactive displays and more smart home products. The store also collects qualitative and quantitative data on engagement levels by shoppers.

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Target has put a bullseye on the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s good news for custom integrators.

The giant retailer has just completed a major overhaul of its Target Open House store in San Francisco, which first opened in July 2015. For the past seven weeks, the store has been closed for renovation, finally opening February 10.

The new store features an area called the Garage where companies can showcase or launch their connected home products, while also receiving quantitative and qualitative feedback from Target shoppers. The space will preview 16 products that will rotate every month.

The newly redesigned store also has an enhanced personalized experience within the “acrylic home installation” area. It now includes more effectively demonstrates the potential of various connected products for the user. Guests will be asked to answer a series of questions, which allow the house to show a personalized example of how connected products could fit into their lives.

There is also a large event space to accommodate gatherings. The refreshed space will be modular, allowing Open House to more easily transition from a store during the day to a community gathering spot in the evening.

The interactive area has also been updated to vertically mounted touchscreen monitors. In all, the new space features around 70 IoT products.

Lastly, there are now enhanced feedback and analytics available for the manufacturers, including the ability to do A/B testing, the ability to view product interactions and comparative engagement data, see event recaps and receive qualitative feedback from shoppers. 

Gene Han, vice president of Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) and head of Target’s innovation office, says the store had 150,000 guests during its initial 18-month run prior to the remodel.

“The feedback helped us more clearly understand what consumers need and want when it comes to IoT,” he says, adding that the connected home is “equal parts exciting and confusing” for many consumers.

For integrators, the broad consumer exposure from the Target Open House area is bound to elevate the need for professional installation. If this store concept takes off in other cities, it could feed referrals to more CE pros. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

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