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Home / Business / Target extends its 1 percent return loyalty program, Target Circle, to multiple US markets – TechCrunch

Target extends its 1 percent return loyalty program, Target Circle, to multiple US markets – TechCrunch



Target expands access to its new loyalty program that rewards buyers to return to their stores by offering 1 percent return on the next trip, including benefits. The program, called Target Circle, is still in beta testing after the start of March last year. At that time, the program was called Target Red, but the company has since rebranded it. It was also previously available only in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Today, Target opens access to beta to six other major US markets, including Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Phoenix. This will allow the dealer to test the program on a much larger scale with millions more customers.

In addition to the loyalty program's name, the company also changed the marketing around the program.

Today, Target Circle is heavier focused on promoting 1

percent back on the buy piece designed to increase foot traffic in Target stores. The 1 percent is supposed to lure in the shoppers who don't want to sign up for Target's big card, REDcard. The card, which comes in both a credit and debit version, returns 5 percent at the checkout and has seen decent decisions to date. After Target's quarterly earnings, REDcard penetration was almost 24 percent.

However, this figure has remained stagnant quarter over the quarter. It does not grow at all, and in some cases, even drops a little. It's a concern.

Target Circle then represents another way to reach, engage, and reward customers to shop at Target and get them to return again and again.

While Target REDcard members can join Circle to receive the other benefits, they will continue to get 5 percent back instead of earning 1 percent back, Target notes.

The Target Circle beta website now also has two other components to the program, including the ability to vote for the target's local community providing initiatives and a "birthday surprise" feature, which is only one aspect of the program's larger personal feature set.

Unlike Cartwheel discounts, which are offered to all customers, Target Circle aims to customize the benefits of individual consumers. For example, if you shop for baby items all the time, Target will send you a personal discount for items in that department. You will also get a reward of some sort in front of your birthday.

Retailers have of course adapted their offerings without loyalty programs. In fact, Target once famously found out that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did, and sent her coupons to baby items much to father's colors. Now, loyalty program members will choose this type of data collection instead of figuring out how to opt out. In return, they will get few offers and discounts they may actually want.

On the Target Circle website, there are two other notable rewards that were also available when the program was launched: 50% discount on customers' first year Shipt membership and free delivery of household items today through Target Restock.

Goals confirmed with TechCrunch are still these rewards with the Target Circle, but said it only chooses not to market them now.

The dealer says that the expansion of Target Circle to half a dozen new markets follows the successful test in Dallas-Fort Worth. The program was well received, claims it, and millions of customer transactions ran through the program since its debut. Target customers also directed around $ 250,000 in local giving.

The company has not talked much about the program during the testing. In November, there was a brief review of the earnings call with investors, where Target CFO Catherine Smith (who announced her retirement earlier this year) said the program was about to see "really good enrollment and engagement."

Customers in New Test Markets can now join Target Circle by registering on the site, Target.com/circle, by downloading the Target mobile app, or by providing their phone number at checkout.


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