Target, Cartwheel Prepare for App Merger

June 13, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Target hasn’t exactly been in great shape of late, with several data breaches and similar issues going on over the last few years along with a general decline in brick-and-mortar operations in the face of the growing threat Amazon poses. However, many brick-and-mortar operators are discovering that adding technology can improve matters, and Target’s been augmenting its own mobile payment capability with one big new move.

Target has had a companion app called Cartwheel for some time now, and now, Target’s going to be getting rid of it soon. This departure will come with a major new augmentation for the Target app, which will basically bring together the functionality of Cartwheel and Target under one platform.

Essentially, that’s just what customers wanted; instead of using two apps, customers wanted to be able to get all that functionality out of just one app, so Target scrapped Cartwheel and brought its functions to Target. Moreover, the Target app will get further upgrades, adding indoor maps to help shoppers find their way around stores and even the ability to spot deals in relation to where the shoppers are, complete with mobile payment support.

The changes will be gradual, reports note, and Cartwheel users will soon receive notifications to begin making the switch away from Cartwheel and over to Target’s main app instead.

It’s a fairly complete package, and will even call on some beacon technology to help drive the process forward. Target is clearly finding value in paying attention to its customers; given that Cartwheel has been downloaded a total of 40 million times, and its users have saved right around a billion dollars so far—which is up significantly from the $600 million reported in 2016—there’s a clear reason to pay attention and a lot of business at stake.

When people so clearly want to use the app, and make purchases at the store offering the app, there’s every motivation to make it the best it can be. Target has a lot of competition in the field, and has to make sure that it’s a match for that competition. Revamping its app should help drive some business, particularly given that the two-app structure was already delivering value. Giving customers what they want seldom ends badly, and Target’s cannibalization of Cartwheel should only help.