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Target’s Cartwheel drives 10pc more offer downloads via personalization

Target recently introduced personalized recommendations to Cartwheel, resulting in a more-than 10-percent increase in the number of offers downloaded per user.

This is just one of the ways that the merchant continues to fine-tune the Cartwheel application, which manages offers and lets users see what their friends are saving on. An Aug. 17 update to the app added the ability to map offers for the first time as well as introducing Apple Watch support.

“One of Target’s key strategic priorities is developing more personalized digital experiences for our guests along with bringing more localization to our stores,” said Eddie Baeb, spokesman for Target.

“We’re using Target’s personalization engine to serve up more relevant Cartwheel offers to guests in the ‘For You’ section of the app,” he said. “For example, if you regularly use Cartwheel to save on makeup purchases, you’ll see more beauty offers there.

“Cartwheel also serves up personalized content via savings updates and expiration notifications based on items on guests’ shopping lists.”

The personal advantage
Personalization is a big push for Target, which has been ramping up use of an internally developed recommendation engine that incorporates in-store and online customer history.

The new platform first replaced the previous third-party recommendation engine last year and has been expand to mobile, email, subscriptions and Cartwheel this year, Target executives revealed in a conference call with analysts last week discuss the chain’s most recent financial results.

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, reported during the call that the new engine is driving meaningful increases in conversion compared with the previous product, generating incremental sales of $50 million to $100 million so far this year.

Enhancing personalization can streamline mobile shopping experiences, which is important given the small screens on smartphones.

Leading the way
Cartwheel was first introduced in the spring of 2013 and been downloaded more than 18 million times.

In the latest version of the app, users can now tap on a map icon on the bar code screen to see exactly where to find deals on their list in their local target.

The map function is currently in the testing phase.

Indoor location is a growing trend for big retailers, with Walmart, The Home Depot, Walgreens and others adding this capability to their apps.

The Cartwheel app now also offers Apple Watch support, enabling users to scan their Cartwheel bar code at checkout with just a flick of their wrist.

Other enhancements include an improve bar code scan feature so users know when their scan attempt is successful and the app is actively searching for a valid related offer.

The app also now features sounds throughout the experience to make it more interesting.

“We continue to see strong growth for Cartwheel – 18 million users have saved +$275 million – as more and more guests find ways to use the app as a utility to help them save and shop at Target,” Mr. Baeb said. “They use the app to comparison shop, to scout for deals before their trips and to inform purchase decisions.

“We’re very pleased with the early results we’re seeing to our efforts to enhance personalization and make Cartwheel an even more valuable tool to help our guests shop and save at Target,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York