Target Fetch

Well that’s disappointing.

Today Target notified backers that the retailer has decided not to move forward with a beta of Fetch, the IoT powered replenishment platform the company introduced via an Indiegogo campaign in April.

While Fetch was similar in concept to Amazon’s Dash platform, Target chose three ordinary looking (but connected) household items in a paper towel holder, a toilet paper spindle and a soap dispenser to act as replenishment sensors . Each device was to come with built-in Bluetooth and would reorder consumables for the user.

Not anymore, at least with this particular Indiegogo campaign. Here’s an excerpt from the cancellation update on the Indiegogo page:

Hi Backers,

We’d like to thank you again for pre-ordering Target Fetch. Your support as early adopters is very much appreciated.

We’re always testing and piloting new products and services for our guests as we work to meet their needs now and into the future.

At this time, we’ve made the decision to not move forward with the Indiegogo beta test for Target Fetch. Our purpose was to learn, and we received great input.

I liked the idea of Target creating its own replenishment ordering platform and had actually backed the campaign out of curiosity. As I wrote in my post from April of this year:

 I do think it makes sense for Target to start to think about ways to allow customers to subscribe to products online as more consumers transition to online shopping. Combine Fetch with Target’s same day delivery service, Shipt, (which is expanding to more cities) and it’s easy to imagine never running out of paper towels or any of the household basics.

If one thing struck me as off about the initiative, it wasn’t the idea of Fetch itself, but instead how the company chose to roll it out.  I had to wonder why a national retailer like Target would use an Indiegogo campaign to introduce the concept to consumers. Not only did using Indiegogo take the buyer away from Target’s home turf (both in the form of its home page and the in-store retail environment), but it also risked the chance of a slow uptake of its online campaign.

And so what happened? The uninspiring campaign accumulated 200 total backers and hit only 86% of its revenue goal (and this after extending the deadline).

What today’s announcement didn’t make clear is whether Target is cancelling the Fetch project in totality or just the Indiegogo beta rollout. According to the timeline on the Indiegogo, the Fetch team been working on the project since early 2016, so it’d be surprising if they gave up on the concept altogether.

We’ve reached out to Target and will provide an update when we hear back.

Leave a Reply