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Target Pilots GenAI-Powered Chatbot Designed for Store Staffers

Target is piloting a generative artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot that answers store staffers’ questions about on-the-job processes.

The retailer is piloting the Store Companion chatbot at about 400 stores and plans to roll it out to nearly all of its almost 2,000 stores by August, Target said in a Thursday (June 20) press release.

“Generative AI is game-changing technology and Store Companion will make daily tasks easier and enable our team to respond to guests’ requests with confidence and efficiency,” Mark Schindele, executive vice president and chief stores officer at Target, said in the release.

Store Companion will be available as an app on Target store team members’ handheld devices, according to the release.

It will allow team members to enter prompts and get answers about how to sign a guest up for a Target Circle card or how to restart a cash register after a power outage, for example, the release said.

To develop this chatbot, Target’s in-house technology team used frequently asked questions and process documents from store teams across the United States, per the release. Target is now using teams’ feedback from the pilot to further refine the tool.

“We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail — for our team members, our guests and our business,” Brett Craig, executive vice president and chief information officer at Target, said in the release. “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.”

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that after years of retailers working to leverage AI’s earlier iterations to support their customer experience initiatives, the rise of large language models (LLMs) has thrust generative AI into the driver’s seat of retail technologies.

Seventy-seven percent of business leaders rank generative AI as the most impactful emerging technology, according to “What Generative AI Has in Store for the Retail Industry,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and AI-ID collaboration.

Another company that deployed an internal AI assistant, the global payments network and shopping assistant Klarna, said in May that over 87% of its employees are now using generative AI in their daily work and that the AI assistant is answering 2,000 employee questions per day.