Target Stumbles in Executing ‘Cartwheel’ on Facebook
Target’s new “Cartwheel” Facebook shopping app is a great concept – use the world’s most popular social media platform to help generate in-store traffic. But the execution is clunky. It kind of reminds me of the second “Star Wars” trilogy that came out around the turn of the millennium – the back story of Darth Vader was rich with potential, but George Lucas polluted a great dramatic story arc with floppy-eared aliens and lame attempts at political commentary.
There is nothing in Cartwheel anywhere near as atrocious as Jar Jar Binks, but Target fails to provide the kind of streamlined, personalized service that the social media-savvy consumers it is targeting have come to expect. After registering with the service through their Facebook account, users can search different product collections (grouped into categories such as “Mother’s Day” and “Fun in the Sun”) and make item selections. Customers then visit a local Target store to find and purchase the items, with the clerk scanning a barcode generated on their mobile phone to provide a discount that can range from 5%-30%.
Before pointing out where Target has gone wrong, I’d like to credit them for what they have done right. First, Target is recognizing that for many consumers, going online means logging into a social network, with Facebook still holding a commanding lead in social network popularity. Consumers use their social accounts as their online “homes,” and retailers who don’t reach out to them there are missing out on a huge opportunity to provide convenience and familiarity.
Second, Target is recognizing the omnichannel nature of modern retail. Consumers will browse items on a home PC, pull them up later on a mobile device, and use that device to aid a traditional in-store purchase. They do not recognize the existence of different “channels” in this process, and Target is smartly removing channel boundaries and providing a seamless, sequential experience that fits in with how 21st century consumers are living their lives.
And third, Cartwheel discounts can be used over and over in a given time period, which is sure to build consumer goodwill.
Okay, so where is Target missing the bullseye? Most critically, there does not appear to be any personalized targeting of discounts. On an opt-in basis, this type of service should really provide individualized product selections and promotions based on the customer’s omnichannel shopping and browsing history, rather than forcing customers to search through product collections with cutesy names for generic discounts.
In addition, customers are not really spared any of the hassles associated with traditional in-store shopping. They still have to go to the store, find everything, bring it to the register and have a clerk scan their mobile barcode. To really take advantage of social and mobile’s potential with this program, Target should let Cartwheel users find and reserve products in local stores, with a ship to store option for out-of-stock items, and then pay for them in advance and schedule a pickup at a convenient time.
As described by Target on the Cartwheel Facebook page, the app “keeps your discounts neatly organized, all ready for your next Target run. Cartwheel is a simpler, easier way to keep track of the offers you want most.” That’s all well and good, but with extra effort and vision, Cartwheel could be so much more.
300 food banks benefit from Walmart’s fight-hunger campaign
Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart and its philanthropic arm, the Walmart Foundation, were busy working alongside notable food companies in April, as part of the corporation’s Fighting Hunger Together Initiative.
Between April 1 and April 30, more than 443,000 votes were cast for the more than 300 eligible Feeding America food banks and partner agencies as part of the campaign, which fights hunger in local communities.
Walmart set up a landing page on its website where customers were able to vote for eligible organizations. As a result, 100 food banks and partner feeding agencies won a total of $3 million in grants, provided by the discount retailer this spring. The funds will be distributed by Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger relief organization. These grants will help support a number of programs, including local backpack programs that provide vital meals to children when they are out of school and community gardens that teach families how to grow their own healthy foods.
Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra Foods, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, Nestlé USA, PepsiCo and Unilever all participated in the campaign.
“We hope that the organizations benefitting from these funds will be able to continue and expand the positive work they are doing in local communities,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “We want to thank all those who participated in this campaign for their commitment to hunger relief, and we hope that the impact of the grant dollars we award will combine with new volunteers and greater public awareness of this issue to make a lasting impact in communities throughout the country.”
With the help of ConAgra Foods, General Mills and Kellogg Company, Walmart was able to generate an additional 136,000 meals for Feeding America food banks through local market food drive events. Joining the General Mills event in Atlanta was country music artist Thomas Rhett, meanwhile in Nashville, Emmy Award-winning analyst for ESPN’s College GameDay, Kirk Herbstreit, partnered with Walmart and Kellogg.
The Fighting Hunger Together initiative is part of Walmart’s and its foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, the corporation and its foundation pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from its stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.
Walmart encourages customers to give back
SALT LAKE CITY — As part of its philanthropic efforts, Walmart is holding a fundraiser between now and Friday, June 21 benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Walmart is inviting customers and Sam’s Club members to make a $1 donation or more at the retailers’ more than 4,600 U.S. locations. Participants can add a “Miracle Balloon” donation during checkout, and 100% of all funds raised will go directly to the member hospital in the area.
In 2012, Walmart and Sam’s Club efforts in U.S. and Canada helped raise more than $64 million, or an average of $122 per minute. During those 60 seconds, 62 North American kids entered a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for an injury or illness, of whom 11 required life-saving treatment in emergency rooms.
“Donations from Walmart and Sam’s Club customers and members each year are vital to provide what every child deserves — the opportunity to ‘live better’ by receiving the best in localized care,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We are so appreciative of the give-back spirit and unwavering encouragement that associates bring to our fundraising campaign, and continue to be humbled by the generosity displayed every day at store registers.”
Since 1987, Walmart and Sam’s Club fundraising in the U.S. and Canada has provided more than $650 million for pediatric care. Funds are used by the community hospital depending on the greatest need — helping to provide needed charitable care, establish critical care wings, introduce therapy programs and fund specialized, life-saving treatment and equipment.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.