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May 9, 2013

by akm305

Ironically, the answer to showrooming may be to get consumers to go online. Or at least, that’s what Target thinks. According to a Brandchannel article, Target partnered with Facebook to create “Cartwheel,” a website that “combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.”  The idea behind the site is for Target customers to go on the site to find deals, then when they select a deal, it is posted to the costumers Facebook. The deals are redeemed in the store; thus, the customer has to go to the store to buy the good. Personally, I’m skeptical that this site will do anything to curb showrooming. I think, for most people, a deal would have to be VERY good to motive them to go to the physical store, rather than buy something online. However, given how cheap goods are on Amazon.com, the discounts probably won’t compete with Amazon’s prices or convenience. I think the idea of “combining digital technology with the in-store experience to bridge those worlds” is a really good one, but I don’t think that  Cartwheel is going to be the most successful implementation of that idea. Only time will tell if something more immaginative and innovative than a coupon site that links to Facebook will come along in order to save the brick and mortar stores.

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