Target Corp. (Minneapolis) will launch a beta test today for a service that combines social networking and discounts as a way to bring online customers into its stores.
The service, called Cartwheels (which Target owns), allows shoppers to select online deals, download a barcode - either on paper or on a mobile phone – and bring it into the store to get the discounts.
Shoppers can also see what offers their Facebook friends have chosen, and earn more offers by having their Facebook friends sign up.
Shoppers can only redeem the offers in Target's U.S. stores, not online, though Target did not rule out the possibility of allowing Cartwheel offers to be redeemed on its web site someday.
The test will will initially be advertised on Target's web site, through Facebook and in emails to Target shoppers and card holders and the retailer will ask for feedback as it makes changes.