Targets mobile app strategy will undergo a significant change, starting this summer. The retailer announced this week it will soon combine the functionality of its Cartwheel savings app with its main browse app, in preparation for an eventual Cartwheel shutdown. The Target app will also receive a notable upgrade this year, adding support for an indoor map that shows your locating in the storage, along with the nearby Cartwheel deals, in addition to support for mobile payments.

According to Target, the decision to merge its apps into one is a result of client feedback. Shoppers wanted an easier lane to access all of what Target has to offer from one destination , not two.

Target isnt the only retailer to streamline its mobile app strategy. A couple of years ago, Ebay shut down its wider suite of apps( Fashion, Motors, and Valet ), to return their functionality to Ebays main app, for example. Meanwhile, other retailers like Walmart, Kohls, and CVS all of which have their own mobile payments service offer their pays and savings features within their main shopping app , not in a separate one.

The retailer hadannounced its plans to launching a mobile payments service earlier this year, but has not been able to exposed when that would be beyond sometime this year. Thats still the ETA for the mobile pays segment of this transition and, in fact, it could be pushed back to January, if the team needs the time.

We likewise already knew that Targets initial entry into this space would be focused on supporting its Target REDcard holders, rather than a broader strategy that would allow for other means of payment.

The REDcard is Targets own charge card, offering shoppers 5 percent off of all their purchases. The corporation declined to say how many cardholders it has, but noted they accounted for 24 percentage of last years sales.

With Cartwheel, consumers today add bargains to an in-app shopping list, then depict their barcode at checkout to save on its consideration of this agenda item theyve bought that match the available discounts. Following Cartwheels integration with the main Target app, this process will continue except that, with is supportive of mobile payments, shoppers will be able to both save and pay by having that barcode scanned just once.

The transition to the main Target app has already begun.

Customers can now access their Cartwheel deals in the main app, even though the standalone version of Cartwheel has not been shut down. We understand that Target has no immediate plans to close Cartwheel, instead favoring a slower transition for this app, which is the more popular of the two.

Cartwheel has been downloaded around 40 million times, and its consumers have saved around a billion dollars via its bargains. Thats up from the $600 million reported last year.

However, Target says it will soon begin alerting Cartwheel users to make the switch to the Target app through notifications.

Following the transition of Cartwheel to Target, the main app will be updated with other features, including mobile payments and the in-app map.

Beacons in Targets new LED Lights

This map will now present a consumers location in the store as a blue dot, and it will display which Cartwheel bargains are nearby.

This addresses one of the disconnections between using the Cartwheel app today, and actually shopping the store shelves. You can only should be noted that youve added bargains to your list, but it doesnt demonstrate their exact place. The bargains arent even organized in your list by type or aisle number, signifying you have to have a pretty good memory of what you wanted while actually placing items in your cart at the store.

Though Targets main app has offered a store map and aisle finder functionality for years, the capacities for it to track your location and prove you deals which will begin rolling out this summer are new. We understand that location-tracking will be enabled through the use bluetooth beacons.

Beacons, which use bluetooth for positioning, are how the Target app will be able to provide a GPS-like experience for its apps indoor map. Thatssomething Target began testing a couple of years ago, of cooperating with lighthouse provider Estimote.

That test wrapped up some time ago, we understand. Instead, Target is updating all stores with new, energy-efficient LED lighting, and will be installing fixtures that have beacons building up. The company isnt disclosing the name of its vendor partners, but may be working with more than one on their own efforts. The program is to have several hundred storages updated with the beacon-enabled LED illuminations this summer, and the full chain by the holidays.

Presumably, once Target main app becomes the actual place for shopping in-store, online, seeing deals, and constructing payments, it could then be updated to include other newer features, if Target chose. One of those potentially could be support for its next-day home delivery service, Target Restock, which will also launch a pilot test the summer months.

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