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Cartwheel – New app from Facebook and Target offers deals to help drive foot traffic to stores

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Target Cartwheel Home Page

Launching this week is Cartwheel, a new deals program from Facebook and Target that will initially offer more than 700 deals that are redeemable only in Target stores.  And every time someone claims a deal an automatic Newsfeed post is generated unless the user has elected to turn off that option.

This sounds like an earlier Facebook program, Beacon, that generated so much user dislike that Facebook had to end the program almost before it began.  Both companies claim that Cartwheel is different because the user has the option to disable the Newsfeed post.  And, just for the record, purchases of some items like underwear and personal care products are automatically kept private.

But this is an interesting attempt at integrating the online world with brick and mortar locations.  Each user can add 10 deals from a variety of collections (groupings of offers themed around events or product categories), the deals are valid for a month, and can be used four times per transaction as well as multiple times throughout the month.  Users can also stack the deals with manufacturer’s coupons for increased savings. Cartwheel apps for IOS and Android are due out this summer but the main site was built using responsive design so it can be accessed from your mobile device now.

What are your thoughts?  Will this be another Beacon-like meltdown for Facebook or will savvy shoppers flock to the site?

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