Target launched a new digital retailing venture on Facebook that the company hopes will link the rapidly growing social media phenomenon with shopping at its stores.
The new application called Cartwheel initially allows shoppers to pick 10 of about 100 discount offers and redeem coupons for the deals at a Target checkout — either on their smartphone, or a printed barcode.
The application could then post the activity to Facebook, "so your friends can then see your activity, and your friends can then choose and discover and be inspired to select products for their cartwheel, based on their friends usage," says Eddie Baeb, a spokesman for Target. "We know its very powerful when people read online reviews and when people get product recommendations from friends and others."
The application's benefits are cumulative, Baeb said. The more shoppers pick and redeem, and the more friends they invite to Cartwheel, the more discounts and offers are available on the application.
Baeb says the company is releasing the application in beta form. He said Target is trying to link online activity more firmly to its stores, beyond "liking," sharing or simple referrals offered by social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
It's the second major digital venture by Target in recent weeks. Stores are highlighting a display of gadgets selected by Wired magazine editors through July.