How to Prepare your Business to Sell on the Target Plus Marketplace


July 12, 2023

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For Amazon, Walmart, or Shopify sellers who are experiencing flat sales, expanding to marketplaces like Target Plus can mean a big boost to your GMV.  Target introduced Target Plus, its exclusive marketplace, in February of 2019.  And Target’s strategy is to sign up the hottest brands over the next 2 years to drive sales for both Target and sellers.  Today they have roughly 600 sellers and they want to double that number in the coming years.  This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to sell on Target Plus.

Understanding Target Plus

Before delving into the specifics of how to sell on Target Plus, let's first understand what this platform is all about. Target Plus, also known as Target + Platform, operates similarly to its competitors Amazon Marketplace and Walmart Marketplace. As a third-party platform, it allows sellers to list their products on the website, significantly extending their reach to Target's extensive customer base.

Unlike its competitors though, Target Plus employs an invitation-only model. It is exclusive, and therefor there's a seller profile Target wants to match and there's a rigorous process for acceptance to sell on the marketplace. This approach emphasizes forming exclusive partnerships, upholding brand values, and curated product assortments. This arrangement entails product exclusivity and individual attention, making Target Plus a favorable selling platform for select third-party retailers.

The Ideal Target Plus Seller

There are several requirements to take into consideration before you begin the process of approaching Target.  If you haven’t already, you can download this expanded Target Plus checklist to evaluate if you want to pursue selling on the Target Plus marketplace. 

Target Plus takes a unique approach in choosing sellers, particularly those who would bring value and quality to their online marketplace. The meticulous screening process ensures the product selection remains high-quality, and undesirable content is avoided.

Target Plus identifies ideal sellers based on specific criteria. To ensure the platform's reputation for quality and value, the following requirements are needed for sellers:

  1. The seller should have a physical presence in the United States. This includes both a business and a bank account based in the country.
  2. The pricing on the Target Plus marketplace should be on par with the prices on their other sales channels.
  3. Orders should be dispatched within 24 hours and reach customers in a maximum of 5 days.
  4. Cross-border trade services are not available yet. This implies that the inventory is primarily served via shipping restricted to the United States.
  5. Your products should be adhere to the Target Plus Inclusive Merchandising requirements

Preparing to Sell on Target Plus: A Step-by-Step Guide

Currently, becoming a seller on Target Plus is an exclusive opportunity offered only to those handpicked by Target itself. Target prefers that their established partners, such as Zentail, submit your company for review to start the process.  The Target Plus Marketplace seller community is exclusive, and you may find that you need a year or two to prepare before you begin the Target Plus screening process.  

The Target Plus Marketplace is continuously evolving, so being prepared to harness the opportunities Target Plus can provide can be an excellent complement to your multichannel strategy. As the platform continues to grow and potentially open up to more merchants, now is the time to prepare your business to meet Target Plus's stringent criteria. This will ensure that when the opportunity comes, you'll be perfectly positioned to extend your reach to Target's large pool of potential customers, thus significantly amplifying your online sales.

Here are six steps you should take to improve your chances of getting selected to sell on the Target Plus Marketplace :

Step 1: Offer Products That Complement Target Plus's Selection

Ensure you're offering products that mesh well with the existing offerings on Target Plus. Consider specializing in high-quality products that cater to specific interests or demographics, such as branded pet products or specialized home décor items. Offering these "best-in-class" items would make your brand a valuable addition to their platform.

Step 2: Increase Your Brand Visibility

Boost your brand awareness to increase your chances of being chosen for Target Plus. Not only will this strengthen your online presence, but it will also signal to Target Plus that your brand is known, valued, and trusted by consumers.

By successfully selling on Amazon, Walmart or Shopify, you can can show Target that you're ready to join their platform. Use SEO strategies, Google Shopping Ads, and other advertising tactics to promote your products on other marketplaces as well as your own website will increase your visibility and credibility.

Step 3: Improve Your Performance on Other Online Marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart and your own site

Focus on establishing yourself as a reputable brand and fostering a positive image across all your outlets. Having a track record of excellent results on other platforms will position you as a reliable and high-quality seller, making you an attractive potential partner for Target Plus.

Step 4:  Leverage Other Marketplaces and Social Media Platforms

Target Plus looks at your brand recognition and whether or not you have a social media following.  An established presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, and Quora is something Target looks for to demonstrate that you have brand recognition. If you’re already there, focus on building followers and influencers. Having a strong social media presence can bolster your branding, draw in more customers, and increase your likelihood of becoming a Target Plus partner.

Step 5: Maintain Competitive Pricing

Strive to maintain pricing similar to those on other marketplaces. Consistent, competitive pricing across multiple platforms is a crucial aspect of building a robust online presence and can make you a more attractive candidate for selling on Target Plus.

Step 6: Improve Your Fulfillment Speed

Try to expedite your order fulfillment process. If you can ensure that orders are shipped within 24 hours and delivered within 5 days, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the competition and become an attractive partner for Target Plus.

One Final Thought

Consider how you will manage your multichannel operations should you sell on Target Plus. Each marketplace has it's own product listing requirements. From product title character counts, to descriptions, to images and required attributes, it can be quite a task to do all this through spreadsheets or EDI. Looking at multichannel solutions that can automate the translation of your existing product catalog from Amazon to Target Plus for example will cut the countless hours you'll spend on manual transactions in half. Looking at your operations, and the technology you will use to effectively streamline your operations is critical as you pursue selling to multiple marketplaces including Target Plus.

If your Amazon sales are plateauing, looking to sell on Target Plus could be your key to expanding your online retail presence and rejuvenating your sales. Essentially, to successfully sell on Target Plus, it's important to understand how this platform works and how it can work for you. This in-depth guide equips you to confidently navigate Target Plus, so you can capitalize on its potential. Remember, Target's strategy is to onboard the most promising brands, so selling on Target Plus offers an outstanding opportunity. As Target Plus plans to double its seller base, it's the ideal time to elevate your business by preparing to join the Target Plus Marketplace. Let's chart your journey to success as you prepare to sell on Target Plus!

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