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The retailer teams up with Facebook in move to convince people they still need to visit physical stores

In what some are calling a bold move into digital retailing, Target launched an collaboration with Facebook on Wednesday that allows users to earn savings on the world's largest social network. Called Cartwheel, still in test mode, will get consumers to use their smartphones to redeem savings earned on Facebook in stores. The use of mobile to drive people into stores is what Target officials say might be the missing piece to the multichannel puzzle. Until now, Twitter and Pinterest didn't really translate into real sales, and were merely ways to promote products and influence opinion. “For Target, this is an important step for us to test new technologies and learn from our guests as we continue to bridge the gap between digital and our stores,” said Target spokesman Eric Hausma in a report. Facebook will also benefit from this collaboration by promoting its mobile operations and be involved in commerce. The company said “Target recognizes that shopping is an inherently social experience,” adding, “It’s been fantastic working with the company on the development of Cartwheel and we’re excited to see how Target customers use the product.” How does Cartwheel work? Consumers log into using their Facebook accounts to view a wide selection of deals. Users pick a deal, and it appears on the Facebook newsfeed so friends see it. The more the consumer shops or the more they successfully share offers with friends earns the user more discounts. Shoppers can gain more discounts and perks the more people use the site, earning them "badges", such as Super Scanner or Uber Saver to grab more discounts and perks. Discounts are then redeemed by visiting a Target store where a special QR code is scanned on their smartphones. Shoppers redeem their discounts by visiting a Target store where employees scan a special QR code on the shoppers’ smartphones. To read more on Target and Cartwheel go here.

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