Cartwheel Turns A New Chapter In Target E-Device Discounting

Target is using Facebook to promote a new application, dubbed Cartwheel, that gives consumers a fresh way to receive discounts from the company. According to a posting in Facebook’s Ap Center, Cartwheel is “a whole new spin on saving,” that allows consumers to sign up and instantly choose from hundreds of exclusive discounts from 5% to 30% available on computer or mobile devices.

Target notes that the discounts aren’t for single use, as is the case with a traditional coupon. Consumers with the Cartwheel ap can use them as many times as they like before they expire. A barcode that appears on the mobile device or computer the Cartwheel participant uses redeems the discount.

Cartwheel users get the deals on top of the 5% they can save if also members of the Target REDcard loyalty program.

The app keeps discounts organized and ready for any Target visit, the retailer noted. It bills Cartwheel as “a simpler, easier way to keep track of the offers you want most.”

Target also operates a secure Cartwheel web site. There, Target promotes a range of discounts on merchandise including a heavy presence of private label items. Consumers can browse deals by Trend, Expiring or Newest. They also can search the deals by category, and Target assembles certain discounts as collections including, currently, Hot Deals and Mother’s Day.

Deals promoted on the website today range from 5% off a KitchenAid coffee maker to 10% off on a Room Essentials dish drainer or a box of up & up water filters, to 15% off a Threshold kitchen island to 30% off Threshold Picture Frames.

Much of the emphasis is on everyday and occasional items such as food and greeting cards. Many of the discounts are of the 5% variety but, as with its loyalty card program, Target seems to be counting on the ease of use to compensate for the limited savings. The ability to double up on the loyalty card program could make both more attractive to consumers. The deeper discounts could generate unique store visits, but the goal of the program may be to establish savings sufficient to discourage shoppers from showrooming at the store or when they are out on a general shopping trip. It has the added benefit of encouraging consumers to try and to shop Target’s food offering more often, giving consumers who typically shop supermarket’s anyway an incentive to break their typical shopping habits and try the discounter’s grocery alternative more readily. And, of course, Cartwheel generates sales data that Target can use to make its discount offering, and operation in general, more efficient.