May 17, 2013
One of the big questions surrounding Target’s Cartwheel app is: To what degree will Cartwheel offers be personalized? According to Casey Carl, president of multichannel at Target, “Cartwheel bridges the in-store experience with social technology to help our guests discover and share personalized deals and inspiration with their friends.”
Does that mean in-app browsing, previous redemptions, location, weather, etc., will play a role in what offers the customer sees with Cartwheel? Will Target be able to use the customer’s Facebook profile data to customize its offers?
Target has made it clear that Cartwheel is a not part of Target.com; it’s a separate app, accessed only through Facebook, and the deals are not redeemable online. You have to wonder if Target could be losing out on a big opportunity by not having Cartwheel link to a customer’s online Target profile—which would allow the brand to understand a full and rich history of the customer’s buying behaviors in order to create more relevant offers.
Will Cartwheel help Target “know its customer”? Or is the goal of Cartwheel to simply drive in-store sales, leverage Facebook peer influence, and focus on the transaction? Time will tell. Strike that—the customer will tell Target whether Cartwheel is worth doing cartwheels over.