Target leans on data science to solve 'extremely large' retail problems
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Retail Dive, December 18, 2019
Target is using the combined powers of physical presence and data science to improve the customer experience through availability. According to Paritosh Desai, SVP and chief data and analytics officer, data science is being used to improve on-shelf availability, reduce inventory levels, and create operating efficiencies for Target. This is no small task as Target hosts 30 million shoppers at its 1,800 stores per week. "We're dealing with problems that are extremely large," Desai said. "And we're not just solving for today but for next week and next month."
Target isn't just talking about data science, they are putting it into action. In 2017, Target began testing algorithms to increase fulfillment velocity in its supply chain. By the following year it saw its out-of-stock levels decrease 40% in one facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Target is not just focused on data science but specifically data science with a physical presence. "A lot [of] people have predicted that stores will not have a place in the future with online shopping and e-commerce taking over," Desai said. "What we say is that stores are our most important asset."