What Is The Target Marketplace?

Protest outside of Target

When consumers need to shop for goods, whether that be clothing and apparel or groceries, one of the most popular stores is Target. The American retail corporation is one of the country’s most popular department stores, offering a wide variety of products and goods to their customers. While Target might be a common option for those looking for a harmless shopping trip, the department store has made moves to modernize their business functions with an online Target marketplace available to third-party sellers. But what is Target Marketplace? Created in 2019, Target Plus Marketplace is an online marketplace for these sellers to market their goods and products through Target’s website. 

In this article, we’ll explore Target marketplace, how merchants can sell on target marketplaces, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of Target’s online marketplace. As a huge company that has only expanded to online commerce more over time, understanding the ins and outs of Target Plus is a smart choice for merchants looking to expand their consumer reach.

How To Start Selling On The Target Marketplace

When first learning how to get your product in Target’s online inventory, it’s crucial to understand that Target Plus is an exclusive program, only available to select merchants who are invited by Target to apply. When Target Plus was first developed it was designed to stand out from Amazon and Walmart, as those ecommerce spaces have a wide variety of suppliers that can be accepted. While selling on Target Marketplace is invitation-only, there are still many items that will need to be completed in order to improve a merchant’s chances of being invited to the platform. Some of the requirements sellers will need to meet in order to sell through Target Marketplace include:

  • Business must be located in the USA
  • Must have a bank account based in the USA
  • Must have a new unique product available for sale
  • Products must have valid UPC labels
  • Orders have to be shipped within 24 hours and arrive within 5 days
  • Can ship only within the USA

Currently, Target Plus is not inviting new merchants nor adding to their waitlist. Another valuable option to consider is finding a company that is already an invited Target Marketplace seller. If your products are similar to that company’s line of inventory it might be possible to work out a partnership with them in order to access Target Plus. This arrangement could be either a permanent plan or a temporary strategy while merchants wait to be invited to Target Plus.

Benefits Of Selling On Target Marketplace

As we’ve previously covered, Target is a very popular department store that already reaches a vast number of consumers. Due to Target’s well-known brand, there are many benefits to selling on Target Marketplace, especially for new or growing companies. While Target Marketplace is invite-only, once merchants are accepted they can take advantage of the many services Target has to offer. Some of the most prominent benefits of selling on Target Marketplace include:

  • Low Competition – Since Target Marketplace is invitation-only, this limits the amount of competition in consumers finding your product. The low competition also means that there will not be duplicate items sold through Target Marketplace, increasing the chances of consumers choosing your goods. 
  • Higher Quality Products – The exclusivity of Target Marketplace leads to a more refined selection of products. Target carefully curated products for sale to avoid duplicates to offer higher quality products overall.
  • Returns Can be Done at Brick and Mortar Stores – Handling returns for online orders can be time-consuming, but with Target Plus, consumers can head into any local Target to return their products. Being able to simply return items in person can save consumers time if they don’t want to worry about shipping items back. 
  • High Barrier to Entry – The difficult barriers for entry are both good and bad.  The main benefit is that Target Marketplace isn’t flooded with people undercutting each other trying to sell the same product.

Downsides to Target’s Marketplace

Every business is different, and while Target is a great company with a comprehensive network of consumers, Target Plus Marketplace may not be for everyone. Target is already a large presence within the e-commerce market, and the preexisting logistics might not be compatible with your company’s products or needs. Some of the largest downsides of Target Marketplace include:

  • Invite Only – The most prominent drawback of Target Plus is its high barrier to entry. The invitation-only nature of the program lacks overall accessibility to new or growing businesses that lack a strong background in sales.  
  • Must Fulfillment Network – Unlike Amazon and Walmart, Target does not have a shipping network to utilize so merchants must handle all of this independently. Also, orders must be shipped out within 24 hours of being received, regardless of when the order is placed. Merchants will often contract the help of a third-party logistics provider like ShipCalm to help with quick Target Marketplace fulfillment.
  • Target Redcard – Some Target customers can use their Target RedCard to take 5% off their orders. The discount can eat into a company’s profit margins. Along with having to handle your own logistics, the Red Card can pose some issues. However, because there are high barriers to entry these potential losses can be mitigated by not having to worry about a flood of competitors.
  • Can Lose Listing to Manufacturers – Just because you’ve been accepted into the Target Plus program doesn’t mean the competition has disappeared. If the manufacturer of the product a company sells gets invited to the platform the manufacturer can take over the listings from the merchant. 
  • Need Quality Products – To sell goods through Target Marketplace, your product needs to be exceptional. Merchants must have a higher quality product that isn’t currently for sale on the platform to ensure success.

Reach Out To ShipCalm To Boost Your Logistics Program

Finding the right home for your products is a critical component of building a brand, and the exposure to be gained from Target Marketplace is definitely worth considering. Target Marketplace might be an invitation-only program but that doesn’t mean merchants can’t improve their odds of being invited. Boasting competitive pricing and a strong working knowledge of modern e-commerce markets, ShipCalm is here to help your business grow. ShipCalm can help new and growing companies gain Target’s exposure by boosting a company’s shipping logistics and improving fulfillment processes to make the company an attractive business for Target’s marketplace. Contact a ShipCalm representative today to learn more!

ShipCalm Logo

ShipCalm is an Omnichannel 3PL for E-Commerce

Subscribe for more insights like this!