Even though I try to stay on top of all marketing news occasionally I miss something. That is my excuse for just now downloading the Target Cartwheel app on my phone. Even though I have been a loyal Target shopper my entire life I really haven’t ever paid attention to their apps, coupons or other marketing. Over the past few months I have heard rumblings of Cartwheel and even seen news about friends using it but I didn’t pay attention until in a meeting someone mentioned it’s basically a rewards program that doesn’t call itself a rewards program. Of course Target has its REDcard loyalty program but that is only available for customers using the credit card. For me the idea of being rewarded for my loyalty to Target sold me on downloading the app immediately.
I haven’t even had a chance to use the app but I have a few initial observations. Cartwheel only works if you attach it to a Facebook account. Initially I wasn’t sure if I wanted to; I’m very choosy about what I attach to my Facebook. But Cartwheel lets you immediately decide if you want to post your offers as you open the app. This eased my worries about the app infiltrating my news feed with annoying updates.
From what I can tell it is a new medium for their couponing that is incorporating the social aspect of marketing. By sharing offers with your Facebook friends you are marketing specific specials and offers for Target. I can customize what deals I want, add in comments about the offers and share them with my social network. By logging in to my account and adding offers I can also view what offers my friends are adding and recommending.
When I am at Target all I have to do is show the barcode at the checkout and I get my offers. That seems ridiculously easy in theory so I am excited to check it out in real life.
They also incorporate the idea of gamification by awarding badges for different activities. It appears that I can only add a certain number of offers to my Cartwheel. When I earn more badges I am able to get more offers. There are also offers from specific collections that are available. At the top of your profile there is a counter that shows how much you have saved. I personally love knowing that number and sharing with others when I get great savings.
You can tell that Target took the time to make the app fun and interactive to entice customers to use it regularly. Of course this app gives Target more information about me as a customer and will help them more effectively market to me. We often talk on the blog about the benefit of tracking customer information with loyalty programs and targeting your marketing. If the tradeoff for being tracked is getting more personalized offers most customers don’t mind, espcially if they opt-in to being tracked.
My initial thought is that the app looks fun and easy to use. Already I can tell that looking at the items I can receive a discount on will drive me to Target even if I don’t necessarily need anything. As I browsed the first page a 20% off shoes offer made me excited for my next Target trip. Cartwheel along with one of my favorite Instagram accounts, Target does it again, just may be the downfall of my wallet. Even if it isn’t marketing itself as a loyalty program I am excited to be rewarded for my loyalty to Target.
Are you using Cartwheel to get special offers?