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Target launches new website targeted to tech start-ups

Target is on the hunt for startups to help improve their customer experience. To make it easier for everyone to get their foot in the door, the retailer has just launched a new website specifically geared towards it’s quest.

The Startups-Target website is where start-ups that are interested in running their pilot programs through Target can now submit pitches directly to the big-box retailer for consideration.  Under the “Pitch to Pilot” section is a submission form that takes about 15 minutes to complete, and applicants will receive a response within 30 days. Target is particularly interested in tech platforms that could help improve guests’ retail experiences, according to the website.

The program is not intended for companies to plug products that might sell well in Target’s stores or online, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. It’s more to streamline the communication and collaboration between Target and startups.

The program comes on the heels of the retailer’s three-month accelerator partnership with Techstars, where 11 startups worked on everything from data analytics to finding “new ways to integrate digital and in-store experiences startups formed partnerships with the retailer.” Target plans to host at least two more groups of startups through this program in the coming years, according to the Star-Tribune.

Target isn’t the only retailer to enlist the help of tech start-ups. Just last year, Amazon debuted Amazon Launchpad a section of the online retailer that is geared to helping customers find products that were produced solely by start-ups.

Since 50% of Amazon mobile shoppers search for a product via the retailer’s site or app, bringing new technology to Target’s customers through its app or website could help it mitigate losses in web traffic to Amazon, Business Insider reports.

Target’s push for innovation may already be paying off: the retailer spent $1 billion in 2015 to build up its e-commerce unit and saw 31% digital sales growth for the year.

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