Target Launches AI Chatbot to Support Staff, Enhance Customer Service

Target’s new staff chatbot comes as the company doubles down on generative AI to improve customer experiences

Ben Wodecki, Junior Editor - AI Business

July 2, 2024

2 Min Read
A row of linked Target shopping carts

Target is launching its own generative AI chatbot for staff, designed to help them answer customer questions and support store operations management.

The Store Companion chatbot is available as an app on handheld devices, allowing staff to quickly access help with daily tasks and answer queries from new team members.

Store Companion was trained on Target’s internal data, including frequently asked question pages, so it can generate answers to specific queries to help staff improve customer service.

“Generative AI is [a] game-changing technology and Store Companion will make daily tasks easier and enable our team to respond to guests' requests with confidence and efficiency," said Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer. "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.”

Target said early user feedback has been positive, with staff encouraged to suggest additional ideas to further develop the chatbot.

“We're hearing great feedback from our team about the new app,” said Jake Seaquist, store director in Champlin, Minn. “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.”

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Target said it’s been testing “dozens” of generative AI applications this year.

The retailer has infused generative AI with its online shopping experiences to curate relevant results for customers and improve product descriptions on its website pages.

Its Guided Search solution lets customers search its website using conversational language. For example, users can search for "summer party," and Guided Search will return a broad range of relevant items, rather than a specific item with that name.

The AI-powered search feature was initially rolled out on, but the retailer plans to expand it to other services later this summer.

Beyond Store Companion, the company plans to roll out a second generative AI tool for staff in the coming months. 

No details on what the internal AI tool will consist of were disclosed, however, initial deployment will begin with team members at the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis.

This article was first published in AIT World Today's sister publication AI Business.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Junior Editor - AI Business

Ben Wodecki is the junior editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to junior editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others.

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