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Target partners with Facebook to launch Cartwheel website

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
By collaborating with Facebook, Target aims to highlight the social experience of shopping and draw customers to its stores instead of losing them to competitors’ websites.

In collaboration with social media network Facebook, Target Corporation on Wednesday launched “Cartwheel”—a new website that allows customers to earn savings and share information with Facebook friends about deals that they redeem.

Individuals log in to the Cartwheel website with their Facebook accounts using a computer, tablet, or mobile device and gain access to discounts on a wide variety of items available at Target. After users select deals that they wish to redeem (up to 10 to start), they have the option to either print the Cartwheel barcode—which is needed to apply the discount upon purchase—or present it at the register using a mobile device. 

The deals users select then appear on their Facebook news feeds, thus allowing their Facebook friends to see what they’re buying, although they are able to adjust privacy settings to limit who sees the information.

Eddie Baeb, a Target spokesman, declined to disclose the financial terms of the partnership. However, he toldTwin Cities Business that the Cartwheel team consists of 35 to 40 employees, all of whom work in Target’s offices.

By collaborating with Facebook, Target aims to highlight the social experience of shopping and draw customers to its stores instead of losing them to competitors’ websites.

“Cartwheel bridges the in-store experience with social technology to help our guests discover and share personalized deals and inspiration with their friends,” Casey Carl, president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy for Target, said in a statement.

Cartwheel features discounts of 5 percent to 20 percent on items including clothing, bedding, cleaning items, CDs, and toys. On the website, users can browse and select items from deal categories such as “Hot Deals,” “Safe in the Sun,” and “Grill it Up.”

At Wednesday’s launch, Cartwheel offered deals for roughly 700 Target items. Baeb told Twin Cities Businessthat Target expects to exceed 1,000 items as the site grows.

Deals are valid for one month, and customers can receive the discount on up to four of each item over the course of a single transaction or multiple transactions. Offers are only valid in U.S. Target stores; they cannot be redeemed on Target.com or at Target’s locations in Canada, although Baeb said this may change depending on customer feedback.

The website is being launched in beta so customers can report bugs and provide feedback as Target works to streamline the site.

Twin Cities BusinessThe collaboration with Facebook is Target’s latest foray into digital and tech-based markets. In April, the company announced a partnership with technology-focused magazine Wired through which Target stores feature an in-store and online assortment of tech gadgets selected by the magazine’s editors.

Minneapolis-based Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $71.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended February 2. It operates 1,808 stores—1,784 in the United States and 24 in Canada.

Founded in 2004, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook had 1.1 billion monthly active users as of March. It went public in May 2012 and reported $1.585 billion in 2012 revenue.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

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