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Target cements Cartwheel’s mcommerce prowess with manufacturers’ digital coupons

Target’s standalone shopping application, Cartwheel, is currently testing a new feature enabling users to leverage manufacturers’ digital coupons, which offer dollar amount discounts rather than a percentage, giving customers access to increased savings opportunities.

Per Target’s official blog, Cartwheel’s latest app update includes digital manufacturer coupons that let consumers take advantage of a dollar amount discount instead of the usual 5 to 15 percent-off savings. The ability to clip real digital coupons that may also be found in local newspapers will allow customers to enjoy greater savings, consequently giving Target a leg up on its competitors.

“Target is excited to start testing a new type of offer for Cartwheel users — single-use, digital manufacturer coupons — as a way to provide guests even more ways to save with the Cartwheel app,” said Eddie Baeb, a spokesman for Target. “For some time now, guests have asked for additional ways to save and consolidate their couponing with Cartwheel.”

New ways to save
The new service is made possible through Target’s collaboration with third-party coupon provider Quotient. Cartwheel is now integrated with a coupon database that enables it to pull relevant offers, thereby eliminating the need for Target to strike direct deals with a slew of manufacturers.

Cartwheel users will be able to save money on a wider range of items, since the dollar-off coupons can be applied to products that were previously eligible for percentage discounts only. These percentage discounts generally clock in at around 5 percent, meaning that shoppers may be able to save more by using manufacturers’ coupons, depending on the deal.

Target’s decision to implement this tool speaks to the retailer’s desire to become a one-stop shopping destination for consumers searching for groceries, clothing and household products. Individuals will now be able to save more significant amounts of money using Cartwheel, meaning that they may choose to complete more of their shopping list at Target stores.

Consumers can test out the new feature within Cartwheel

Manufacturers typically provide deals such as $0.50 off a product, or several dollars off if shoppers purchase two or more items. With many of Cartwheel’s offers giving users only 5 to 10 percent off groceries and other items, this new feature has the potential to significantly transform the shopping experience.

Approximately 40 manufacturer coupons are available at launch, although this number is set to change as the brand continues honing this feature.

These coupons will also have a longer use period – sometimes several months – but will only be available for single use. Cartwheel users may click on the desired coupon to add it to their app’s bar code, which will be scanned by a cashier during checkout. The discounts will then be deducted.

Target’s focus on innovating within mobile commerce has been undeniable, as evidenced by the retailer’s previous beacon rollouts and digital couponing initiatives.

Over the holiday season, Target drove sales of household products by placing signage in designated in-store aisles, prompting shoppers to text a keyword to a phone number to receive an exclusive mobile coupon (see story).

Additionally, Target is reportedly working on its own mobile wallet, borrowing a page from Walmart as the need to address consumers’ growing demand for smartphone services takes on greater urgency (see story).

Revealing Target-saving hacks
The retailer’s blog also highlighted several useful Cartwheel features for consumers wanting to reach more of an expert level in mobile couponing knowledge.

IOS users can press the “share” button within the app to send their shopping lists into the iPhone Notes feature, while Android users may press and hold the app’s screen to use a shortcut leading to the bar code widget.

Consumers can also opt to sign up for push notifications and emails alerting them of the latest deals so that they will not need to rely on the Sunday circular for all of their information.

Meanwhile, shoppers visiting a new Target store for the first time can take advantage of the in-store map tool, which will show them exactly where their desired items are located.

Individuals shopping with their families or multiple people can leverage the tag-team saving option, which calls for one person to pull products from shelves while another scans the items’ bar codes with the Cartwheel app to determine if there is a discount available.

Ultimately, Target is likely to see an increase in Cartwheel app downloads following the manufacturers’ coupons rollout, a feat that will place the brand higher on the list of mobile leaders in the retail sector.

“We look forward to seeing how Target guests respond to these offers,” Mr. Baeb said.