It’s official! Christmas is just around the corner, all the store fronts are lit up with glowing lights, red and green. However, Target in New York City went the extra mile to create an all-out Winter Wonderland for its customers.
This “Target Wonderland” is a bit overwhelming, but the red walls, red chairs (red everything), the giant Etch-a-Sketch and candy cane stripes everywhere, puts people in the Christmas spirit. The playground, as some are calling it, take up 16,000 square feet in NYC. The Target Wonderland is a place children, and even adults, can play with toys and just have fun!
The new pop-up shop is something Target is trying out for the first time. It is a way Target is testing out their RFID technology. As many people know, RFID is what makes keycards work. It is also what makes tracking a package possible. However, in Target’s Wonderland the RFID is available for personal use.
Every toy throughout Target’s Wonderland is accompanied by a bullseye. Using the bullseye, you can scan your badge (which is given to you at the entrance) and add it to a virtual shopping cart. Wonderland is equipped with all of the season’s hottest toys from Disney’s Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace Playset to the Star Wars Episode 7 Remote Control BB-8. Once you scan the items onto your badge, each item added to your virtual cart awaits you at checkout.
This isn’t the first time a store has used this technology for shopping. In fact, Crate & Barrel has been using barcode scanners for their shoppers for some time. However, Target’s is a bit more user-friendly (with less wait time at checkout). Target’s RFID technology also allows Target employees to simply wave a wand across the racks to check an item’s availability. Prior to this technology being available, checking an item’s stock availability was reliant on human accuracy, which is not 100 percent.
Another fantastic option with Target Wonderland’s RFID technology is the ability to share on social media. You can link the badge to your Twitter so that any photos that are taken while there are automatically posted to Twitter with the hashtag #TargetWonderland. There are cameras set up all over Target Wonderland, and you can scan your badge, pose for the photo and post it to Twitter.
In addition to the shopping and photo ops, there are huge areas for play. The play area is equipped with a plush wall, a giant ballon-ball pit, climb around on a lego playground and even talk to Santa (virtual Santa). You walk up to the screen and say the words “jingle, jingle” and Santa appears on the screen. He greets you by name, and you can ask him for an item for Christmas.
Target’s Wonderland is a playground-shopping hybrid, but in reality, it is a way for Target to learn more about its customers (through their scanned ID badges). “[These] all represent different things we’re trying to understand about the future of retail,” Target CMO Jeff Jones said. “For me, this is how do we bring joy back to shopping and how do we remove friction. If we can study and learn and watch how people engage and interact, those are two really important things for us to try to understand.”
Whether Target will see a significant increase in revenue from their “Wonderland” is not yet clear, however, it is certainly a peek into the possible future of shopping.