Joining the rush of retailers eager to expand overseas, Target on Friday revealed that it’s testing an international version of its Web site in response to demand from “tens of millions of visitors from outside the United States every year.”
Earlier this year, Target did some testing with eBay as part of a global shipping program.
“This is another, bigger step,” a Target spokesman said, referring to the international site. “We’re doing both [testing the Web site and eBay].”
Intl.target.com features a checkout page in the local language of the global shopper, with duties, tariffs and taxes calculated at checkout and local currency prices listed. The retailer is accepting about 60 different currencies and prices are the same as those offered in the U.S.
Target said it will be delivering orders to more than 200 countries and territories during the holiday season, including South America, China, India, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The site promises low shipping rates and guaranteed landed costs (no additional charges at delivery).
“It will go beyond holiday,” the spokesman said of the test. “We want to test and learn.
“We wanted to do it quietly,” he continued, “like the soft opening of a store.”
Visitors to the international Web site will be able to shop about half the assortment of target.com, including apparel, beauty products, home décor, housewares, baby goods and toys. “We have contractual agreements with certain vendors and we don’t have the right to be the retailer overseas,” the spokesman said. “Some items can’t be shipped overseas due to regulations. We want to see what resonates and what there’s interest in.”
“International shipping marks another step toward Target being able to truly deliver to guests anytime anywhere,” said Jason Goldberger, president of target.com and mobile. “We look forward to getting feedback from our international guests so we can continue to test, learn and iterate to ensure we provide a great value to our new international guests. This test will give us even greater insight into how shoppers around the world engage with Target.”
Target’s Lego assortment has been popular in China and other markets, while health and beauty products and small electronics have been selling briskly on eBay internationally.
The retailer began testing overseas shipping in 2013 in the U.K. The program in the spring expanded to serve 60 countries and the number was subsequently raised to 200.
“It’s a growth opportunity,” the spokesman said. “We know that we get international traffic already. This is an opportunity to learn and test how we might think about and move into international markets.”
The Web site was developed through a partnership with Borderfree, a Pitney Bowes company.
This isn’t Target’s first international foray. The retailer in 2013 began opening what would be 133 stores in Canada in less than two years. Target’s performance in Canada was below expectations and bleeding money. After receiving approval from Canadian bankruptcy court, Target shuttered the last of the stores in April.