Target merges Cartwheel mobile savings into main app

Dive Brief:

  • Target, the second-biggest discount retailer in the U.S. behind Walmart, is combining its Cartwheel in-store savings system into its main app, according to a blog post by the company. Customers can now use the same app to plan shopping trips, access Cartwheel deals on in-store purchases and order items online.
  • Sean Murphy, Target’s vice president of digital product, said the company will soon ask Cartwheel users to switch over the main Target app. The Target app also will soon show customers their specific location in the store as they shop and highlight nearby Cartwheel deals.
  • The store chain will add mobile payment for holders of the Target Redcard credit card, which offers 5% discounts, free shipping on most items at and extra time for returns. The Target app is available now in the App Store and Google Play.

Dive Insight:

Target is focusing its mobile marketing strategy on how to streamline its online platforms and make its app more convenient and easier for customers to use. Store chains like CVS, Kohl’s and Walmart also offer savings and payment features as part of their main shopping apps. In January, Target announced plans to develop a mobile payment app, but that feature is still to come. The upgraded app is a solid strategy to boost convenience and ease for loyal Target shoppers. With a streamlined mobile app that consumers can use both in stores and on the go, it sets the brand up for significant space to grow its digital capabilities down the road.

Cartwheel has been downloaded more than 40 million times, making it a popular discount app while providing savings of about $1 billion to customers since its launch, per the blog post. Target’s main app has offered a store map and aisle finder for several years, but the ability to track in-store location and deals is a new feature. The location tracking will be enabled with Bluetooth beacons provided by New York-based Estimote, according to TechCrunch.

Target fared better during its first quarter than analysts had feared, with same-store sales declining just 1.3%, better than estimates. Cutting prices pressured sales and squeezed its gross margins. The store also began testing same-day delivery to customers who order in-store at its New York locations. It’s also testing a service called Target Restock that allows customers to order a large box of household essentials and have it delivered the next day.

Filed Under: Apps
Top image credit: Target Corporate