How To Choose The Best 3PL For Target Plus

Nearly every American has shopped at a Target – the retailer holds a level of popularity comparable to that of Amazon and Walmart. The Minnesota headquartered retailer’s brick and mortar footprint is well spread. As of 2023, Target had 1948 stores in the U.S and hauled in $106 Billion in revenue. More importantly, the company holds a huge audience for sellers and brands to target – according to Business Insider, 8 out of 10 US shoppers are Target customers. The average Target customer makes 23 trips a year to one of their stores. But while Target has had a sizable customer base for years, eCommerce sellers and brands have largely focused on their competitor, Amazon. However, in recent years, Target has begun expanding its online offerings. In 2019, it launched its third party marketplace on its website – Target Plus. This has opened up a massive new audience for eCommerce merchants to expand into. 

In this article, we look at the advantages Target Plus offers sellers, the key factors merchants must consider when evaluating a 3PL for their Target Plus orders, the options that are available to them and our recommendation of the best 3PL.

Why Target Plus Is A Great Option For Sellers

Invite-Only Marketplace With a Large Audience

Target Plus was introduced by the retailer in 2019 as an invite-only platform. The company said it was doing this to carefully curate the assortment of brands and products available to customers on its website. According to Marketplace Pulse, the company started with 30 sellers on Target Plus in 2019. Four years later, that number has grown only to 650. 

This represents enormously exclusive digital real estate for brands. In certain product categories, there may be just one brand featured. This means that all the customers visiting Target’s site focus exclusively on this limited selection, boosting sales enormously for the featured brands.

Autonomy Over Logistics and Fulfillment

Brands have freedom from having to work with another platform-captive fulfillment solution, such as Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) or Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). Target Plus enables them to handle their logistics and order fulfillment however works best for them – through their own warehouse, a traditional 3PL or order fulfillment networks. 

This also means freedom from the fees and surcharges associated with these platform captive fulfillment solutions. Lastly, it allows merchants to manage their inventory in a centralized location – rather than having to send more inbounds to a warehouse owned by a marketplace sales channel, they can simply pull from a centralized pool of inventory that they use for their own website, or Shopify storefront, for example. 

A More Equitable Marketplace - No Inhouse Competitor like Amazon FBA

Target Plus allows merchants to send orders out to customers, Target stores or Target fulfillment centers through whatever logistics operation works for them. Additionally, because Target does not have its own competing logistics network (such as FBA on Amazon), there is no preferential treatment provided to sellers who use certain logistics providers. 

The model is simple – let the merchants compete, and may those with the best products and order fulfillment standards win. 

While Target Plus is a great growth opportunity, the marketplace is still invite-only – Target themselves reach out to the brands that they think would be a good fit for them, explaining the exclusivity. Their website has a form for merchants to fill out if they’re interested in being part of the marketplace, but it is not clear what the chances of getting approved are.

What Should You Look For In A Target Plus 3PL?

In Target’s own words, the items from 3rd party sellers featured on their website appear exactly the same as all other listings, meaning that these merchants are responsible for upholding the experience customers expect from Target through their product assortment and order fulfillment standards. 

Through the invite-only process, Target ensures the product assortment is what customers expect. However, the order fulfillment standards are entirely your responsibility – your ability to maintain enrollment in Target Plus largely depends on the 3PL that you work with. 

We’ve outlined the criteria that we think are most important when choosing a 3PL partner for your Target orders:

Ability to Fulfill Orders in 1 Business Day

Image of a warehouse.

Target Plus requires participating brands to fulfill their orders (get it out the warehouse) in 1 business day. This requires warehouses that have excellent picking and packing practices, as well as order fulfillment standards. For example, warehouses in the Cahoot order fulfillment network are vetted through a 44-point checklist, ensuring that only the very best make the cut.

Ensure Order Delivery in 5 Business Days

The marketplace requires that brands / products deliver orders to the end-customer in under 5 business days. However, customers today expect fast, free shipping in under 2 days across every channel. Amazon and their Prime loyalty program have created this customer expectation. With Cahoot’s nationwide network of strategically located warehouses, you’ll be able to delight customers nationwide with shipping in less than 2 days, while also saving costs by using economical ground shipping. 

Flexibility To Use All Shipping Carriers and Services

Target Plus expects participating sellers to be able to accommodate a variety of carriers and shipping services. 

With Cahoot’s next generation shipping software, you get much more than that. Our system intelligently rate shops across different carriers, services and warehouse locations on every single order to ensure that the cheapest shipping label that will meet the 5 day delivery timeline is picked on every order. 

This ensures you see savings on every order, which gives you back money to invest in growing your brand and sales. 

Ability to Produce a Branded Packing Slip on Every Shipment

On every order that is sent out from the warehouse, Target requires a branded packing slip to be part of the shipment. This is something that needs a 3PL who will sweat the details and ensure that the little, but very important things are taken care of. Cahoot is fully compliant with these requirements, ensuring that you’re always meeting all of Target’s criteria for the program.

Full Compliance with Target’s EDI Requirements

Target requires merchants to be able to receive and push communications via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). These communications are automated. Target will use EDI to push purchase order information to merchants. To provide acknowledgement of order receipt and notify Target that the order has been shipped from the warehouse, the merchant must EDI to push this information back. 

There are a variety of EDI systems that you can use to connect to Target. Importantly, your 3PL must be able to help you stay fully compliant with these requirements. 

Responsive, Reliable Customer Support

Image of a customer support agent.

Order fulfillment is a complex operation, involving multiple, intricate steps in the process from click to delivery. Things don’t always go as planned, but what is crucial is ensuring that your 3PL has a responsive, reliable customer support team whom you can rely on to fix problems fast, with minimal disruption to your business operations. 

Most traditional 3PLs may not have personnel with the experience and expertise required to troubleshoot and fix problems fast – costing you precious time and sales. It is important to identify a Target Plus fulfillment partner with a reliable, responsive customer support team – who will be ready to dive in and solve problems quickly, so that you’re always selling and keeping your customers happy.

So now that we’ve taken a look at the important criteria that guide your choice of a 3PL for Target Plus, let’s look at the options that are actually available to you, and the pros and cons of each of them:

Top Target Plus 3PL Companies

Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment

Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) is Amazon’s service through which you can fulfill orders on sales channels outside Amazon, such as eBay and Target Plus. 

The service deploys the same infrastructure and resources that power Amazon’s in house Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) logistics network.


  • Huge nationwide network – as of January 2022, Amazon operated just over 1000 warehouses in the US

  • Amazon Fulfillment Centers are well equipped to handle small and lightweight SKUs – if the majority of your product catalog falls in that category, MCF may be worth exploring.


  • Despite deploying the same logistics infrastructure powering FBA, the fees for MCF can be significantly higher (the reason is obvious – Amazon would like to ensure that its own marketplace takes top priority for merchants and sellers). 

  • FBA’s pricing is not well suited for heavier, larger-sized, seasonal or slow moving SKUs – if your product mix falls into these categories, FBA can become prohibitively expensive.



  • Compliant with Target’s EDI requirements.

  • Nationwide network of fulfillment centers. 


  • ShipBob customers have complained in the past about inefficient packaging choices – for example, using a larger sized box than may be necessary or sending a shipment in multiple boxes when a single one can be used. This can both lead to higher costs and disappoint environmentally conscious shoppers who are trying to cut down on packaging waste.

  • Some customers have complained of an inconsistent customer support experience. This might be a crucial factor for sellers as Target holds them accountable for issues with order fulfillment, not their 3PL. 

Cahoot: The Best Target Plus 3PL

Cahoot’s peer-to-peer order fulfillment network is built for the future of eCommerce. Our network of warehouses is located at strategic locations across the US, enabling Target Plus merchants to offer their customers ultrafast shipping. Our fulfillment centers are well equipped to handle all types of SKUs – including heavier, seasonal, larger-sized and slow moving ones (which the typical Amazon Fulfillment Center may struggle to process). 

We are compliant with all aspects of the Target Plus program. Our US based customer support team is always ready and responsive to ensure that your order fulfillment operations are running smoothly all the time. 

Cahoot order fulfillment company logo
Traditional 3PL
Flexibility of shipping carriers and services
Compliance with Target Plus EDI Requirements
Target Packaging Requirements
Ultrafast Nationwide Shipping
Responsive, Reliable Customer Support

Cahoot is committed to helping Target Plus sellers grow their businesses with fast and affordable ecommerce order fulfillment service.

If you’d like to find out how Cahoot can help your ecommerce business, please get in touch with us. We can’t wait to show you how Target Plus order fulfillment was meant to be.

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If you are selling on multiple sales channels and are interested in 3PLs that can help you with fulfillment, you can read our other articles:

  1. How to Choose the Best 3PL for Your Shopify Store
  2. How to Choose the best 3PL for Your Macy’s Orders
  3. How to Choose the Best 3PL for Wayfair
  4. How to Choose the Best 3PL for the Nordstrom Direct Drop Ship Program

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