Target expands rollout of gen AI-powered chatbot at 2,000 stores

'The tool frees up time and attention for our team,' Target exec says

Target expands rollout of gen AI-powered chatbot at 2,000 stores

US retailer Target has announced that it is rolling out a generative AI-powered chatbot for all employees in nearly 2,000 stores by August.

The chatbot, called Store Companion, will be available as an app on employees' handheld devices and answer their questions on the company's processes and procedures.

It will also serve as a "process expert and coach" that will help new and seasonal team members learn on the job.

"The tool frees up time and attention for our team to serve guests with care and to create a shopping destination that invites discovery, ease, and moments of everyday joy," said Mark Schindele, executive vice president and chief stores officer, Target, in a statement.

Store Companion uses data from frequently asked questions and process documents from the company's store teams across the United States, according to Target. It also has expertise from the organisation's experienced employees.

The expansion of the chatbot's rollout comes just months after its pilot began at about 400 stores.

Jake Seaquist, store director at one of the pilot stores in Champlin, Minn, said their team has been reporting "great feedback" about the app.

"Streamlining day-to-day tasks goes a long way with our team members and adds up to more time spent with guests and a better guest experience across the store," Seaquist said in a statement.

Gen AI use in Target

Meanwhile, Target said it plans to roll out another generative AI tool in the coming months, starting with employees at its headquarters.

"We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail — for our team members, our guests, and our business. With that in mind, we're continually experimenting with new tools to make it even easier for our team to do their jobs and to bring more of what guests love about shopping at Target to life," said Brett Craig, executive vice president and chief information officer, Target, in a statement.

No further details have been released about the other generative AI tool, but it is expected to add to Target's growing use for such tools in the workplace.

The company has begun using generative AI for its product pages and search capabilities to "elevate" the digital experience of its consumers.

"The transformative nature of gen AI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations, and we're excited about the role these new tools and applications will play in driving growth," Craig said.

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