Target opens pop-up smart home store to promote IoT technologies

Target opens pop-up smart home store to promote IoT technologies

Target opens pop-up smart home to promote IoT technologies
Target opens pop-up smart home to promote IoT technologies

US retail giant Target is introducing a concept smart home store to give consumers some hands-on experience with new IoT products coming to market.

Target, the largest discount retailer in the US, has kick-started its pop-up smart home concept in a bid to give customers an insight into the marvels of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The retailer launched the Open House smart home concept in San Francisco during the summer of 2015, and it turned out to be such a success that the firm wants to do it again.

Related: Dixons Carphone partners with SSE to take smart home mainstream

A pop-up concept

This concept, which Target believes is unprecedented, will reopen its doors in downtown San Francisco on February 10th. The concept store will act as a platform to boost awareness of IoT products and software.

Open House will be pretty diverse in what it delivers to customers. It will act as a retail space, an IoT tech showcase, a knowledge sharing hub and a spot where techies can meet in the Bay Area.

It will be 3,500 sq ft in size and will do several things. First of all, there will be an area where companies can showcase or launch early-stage products to customers.

Visitors will also get to try out a personalized IoT experiences. They’ll just have to answer a few simple questions and will then be able to see how smart home technology can impact their lives.

As well as these features, there will be interactive touchscreen monitors, and around 70 IoT products will be featured in total. They will all be available for customers to use.

Catering for the city 

The pop-up space will cater for popular and frequent tech events within the city, too. It’ll be modular so it can easily be transformed into a community gathering spot easily.

The company said it is relaunching Open House because IoT is quickly growing and will be worth a staggering $1.3 trillion globally by 2020.

Todd Waterbury, chief creative officer at Target, said: “Putting a house in the space, we felt, was the most relatable and welcoming way to introduce these products.

“What we’re trying to do is humanize and personalize the benefits of these products, as well as show them working in concert. It’s really about relevant storytelling and creating a destination for engagement and discovery.”

Related: GE & Nest partner to protect smart homes from malfunctioning ovens

Bright idea

Casey Carl, chief strategy and innovation officer at Target, said: “From a strategic perspective, we see Internet of Things as a megatrend on the horizon.
“We know it’s going to generate huge value,” said, whose “Enterprise Growth Initiatives” team created Target Open House. “We’re using Open House to test the trend, both for us and for guests.”

Laura-Emily Dunn, a marketing consultant at LED Media, praised the concept. She told Internet of Business: “It’s good to see that a global retailer like Target is recognizing the value of the Internet of Things, and not just the financial benefits.

“The true test of OpenHouse’s success will be the education of consumers, and providing a hands-on experience is a vital step in this journey.

“From a marketing perspective, staging a pop up like this is an exciting concept, bringing the familiarity of the home direct to the consumer and inspiring them to see what their space could be like.

“Creating a human connection and a personal story will always attract the customer and should be at the heart of every marketing strategy.”

Related: Asos chairman Brian McBride says IoT in retail is a slow-burner

The Internet of Things possesses the ability to greatly enhance the ways in which retailers are engaging with their customers. Advanced beacon, RFID, Sensor, AI, VR and wearable technologies are offering new ways to improve loyalty and increase revenue. However, disassociation between the business and digital sides of companies coupled with previous project failures and negative consumer feedback is placing strain on new IoT projects.

This 2nd Annual Internet of Retail event will present case studies from some of the world’s leading retailers who have overcome implementation pitfalls and are successfully harnessing IoT to heighten the customer journey.