Target Drive Up Review: How Target Grocery Pickup Works

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Ordering your groceries online for delivery or pickup is becoming a regular shopping method for many of us. Recently, Target added more grocery pickup options

In this article, I’ll take a close look at Target Drive Up. Team Clark member Beth recently placed a curbside pickup order with Target to see what the process is like and to learn what you need to know before placing an order.

4 Things to Know About Target Drive Up

Ordering your groceries online is a great way to cut down on time spent at the store and money spent on impulse buys. And there are other benefits including the ability to compare prices quickly between stores and getting access to exclusive savings.

Of course, the process is a little different from your traditional shopping trip. To find out exactly what you can expect with Target’s free Drive Up service, check out these four things to know before placing your first order:

Below, you’ll find more detailed information including how to place an order, what you can expect to pay and ways to maximize your savings. 

What Is Target Drive Up?

Target Drive Up is a free and convenient grocery pickup option. With Drive Up, you can place an order for groceries and household essentials using the Target app. Target Drive Up is available only through the Target app for iOS and Android devices. 

Currently, more than Target 1,100 stores offer free pickup service.

The products Target offers for pickup vary by location. When Team Clark member Beth placed her Target Drive Up order, she was able to order a whole range of items including skin care products, vegetables and yogurt. 

Once your order is placed, you can drive to your selected store and park in a designated parking space. From there, a Target team member will bring it out to your car. 

In addition to Drive Up curbside pickup, Target also offers same-day delivery through Shipt, free in-store order pickup and free two-day shipping on qualifying orders. Of course, Target Drive Up is the only free option that allows you to stay in your car for same-day curbside pickup.

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To see if Target Drive Up is available near you, use the online store finder and click “filter by services.” Select “Drive Up” under store services before entering your ZIP code or city and state.

How Much Does Target Drive Up Cost?

Target Drive Up is a completely free curbside pickup service. You don’t have to meet any minimum order requirements to get free curbside pickup. You’ll pay only for the products you purchase and any associated taxes. 

As far as the cost of products, you should see the same price in the app as you would see in-store. If you do find a lower price after you’ve placed your Drive Up order, you may be able to get the difference refunded.

Target offers price matching for up to two weeks after purchase. You can get this price match if you find your items at a lower price on Target.com, select online competitors or in a local ad from Target or select competitors within 14 days of purchase. 

To maximize your savings, take advantage of in-app discounts, coupons and promotions. You can now apply Target Circle earnings to Drive Up orders. Plus, you’ll get a 5% savings if you use a debit or credit RedCard during checkout.

How Does Target Drive Up Work?

Target Drive Up works like most other curbside grocery pickup services. You can place your order in the Target app and drive to your selected location to pick it up once it’s ready. When you arrive, you park in a designated space and a Target team member will bring your items to your car.

To place a Target Drive Up order, follow these steps: 

1. Download the App

To get started, you’ll need to download the Target app and sign in. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one for free. You’ll just need to enter your name, email address, phone number and a password. If you already have a Target.com account, you just sign in to get started. 

When you first open the Target app, you can scroll to “Contactless shopping options” and choose “Drive Up” for free. You can also click the shopping bag icon at the bottom of the screen to start shopping.

Target Drive Up Option in the app

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If you’ve allowed location services, the app will automatically suggest your nearest store. The location is displayed at the top of the app, and you can click on it at any time to change your preferred store. Some items may be in stock only at certain locations.

2. Fill Your Shopping Cart

Once you’ve selected the Drive Up option and verified your location, you’re ready to begin shopping. But before you start browsing available products and adding items to your shopping cart, take the time to see if there are any coupons, discounts or promotions available

“It’s very easy to find and apply coupons,” says Beth. “You just have to make sure you do it at the beginning.”

You can click on Target Circle Offers in the Discover tab of the Target app to find coupons and access exclusive savings. If you have any saved offers or available Target Circle earnings, you can apply them in the Wallet tab at the bottom of the screen. You can also enter any gift cards, and if you have a RedCard, you can enter that here too if you haven’t already. 

Target Drive Up Savings offers in the app

When you’re ready to start shopping, you can shop by category, recently viewed, trending products, current deals and seasonal selections. You can also use the search bar at the top of the app to look for specific brands or products.

When you’ve found a product you want to add to your order, you can click “pick it up” and select the Drive Up option before adding it to your cart. If the product isn’t available for Drive Up, you can try a different store, switch to in-store pickup or skip it.

When you’ve added all that you need to your shopping cart, you can click the cart tab to check out.

3: Place Your Order

When you click on your shopping cart to check out, you’ll see a breakdown of your order and each product’s price. Look at the banner toward the top of the screen to make sure Drive Up is selected as the pickup method. Here, you’ll also see when your order will be ready. When Team Clark member Beth placed her Drive Up order, it was ready within four hours.

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Checking out with a Target Drive Up order in the Target app

You’ll see any applied discounts or promotions below your order items.

Lower on the screen, you’ll see your subtotal, estimated tax and delivery fee. The delivery fee for Drive Up should be completely free

Once you’ve confirmed that your order is correct, click “Check out” to enter your payment information. Keep in mind that you’ll save 5% by paying with your debit or credit RedCard. If you have a gift card or any available Target Circle earnings, you can also add them here. 

When you’re ready, click “Place your order.”

4: Pick Up Your Order

After you place an order with Drive Up, you’ll simply wait until you receive a “ready for pickup” email. Depending on your push notification settings, you may also get an alert from the app. Once you get an alert that your order is ready for pickup, you can get ready to go.

Before you leave, you can let the Target team members know you’re on your way. Simply open the app and click “I’m on my way” when you’re getting into the car. At this point, the team will start preparing your order to be carried out.

You can check the app for step-by-step instructions to pick up your items. Generally, you’ll park in a designated parking spot labeled “Drive Up” in the Target parking lot. The designated parking spots are located near a store entrance. 

Target Drive Up designated parking space and order

If your location services are turned on, a team member will automatically be alerted. If not, you can open the Target app and select “I’m at the store” after you’ve arrived

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From there, a Target team member will bring your order out to your vehicle and look at the Drive Up verification code on your Target app to confirm your order. When Team Clark member Beth picked up her order, she was able to hold her phone up to her car window for a completely contact-free experience.

Drive Up orders that aren’t picked up are held for three days. After three days, the order will be canceled and a refund will be issued unless you request an extension in the app. However, if your order contains fresh grocery items, your order will only be held until the close of the next business day.

Once you’re finished and the order is in the car, a receipt will be emailed to you.

Pros & Cons of Target Drive Up

Overall, Target Drive Up is a reliable and free curbside pickup service that allows you to stay in your car while a team member brings your order out. Still, there are a few drawbacks to ordering your groceries online. After testing out Target Drive Up, here are the biggest pros and cons that Team Clark member Beth found:

Pros

  • Pricing: Target Drive Up is a free service with no order minimum required and no delivery fee. You’ll simply pay for the products you’re purchasing and any associated taxes.
  • Convenience: You’ll just need to download the app to begin shopping. It’s easy to find and apply coupons, plus you can shop for a huge variety of products ranging from food to household essentials.
  • Same-Day Pickup: After you place your order in the app, it’ll be ready for pickup within a few hours. Beth was able to get her groceries two hours after placing her order.

Cons

  • App Usability: The app isn’t as user-friendly as some of the competitors’ apps. Beth found that she had to backtrack a lot and that the search bar wasn’t on every screen.
  • Communication: When you place your order, you won’t get a precise timeframe for when your order will be ready. When Beth tried out the service, her order was estimated to be ready “within four hours.” You also won’t get a confirmation email immediately after placing your order.
  • Packaging: When you pick up your products, the packaging isn’t insulated. If you buy any perishables and have a long drive, you may want to bring your own insulated bag.

“Basically, I think this is best for people who want their stuff pretty quickly but have a flexible schedule,” says Beth. “I think the biggest benefit is the free pickup that’s ready within a few hours and access to a whole range of products.”

Have you used Target Drive Up to pick up your groceries for free? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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