The first breakdown of the new site came during the launch of the Missoni brand. When Missoni was introduced on September the 13th, the brand drew such heavy traffic that Target.com crashed and had to redirect customers to a screen saying "We are suddenly extremely popular. Please stay here and we'll get you in soon as we can." Even when shoppers did get through, many of them complained that items disappeared from their shopping cart or they weren't able to check out, as reported in the New York Times.
After this event, it gradually became obvious that the Target.com's problems have nothing to do with the mess that was drawn by the popular Missoni products. Angry shoppers began making their voice heard online, with almost everything from not being able to zoom in a picture, to not able to check out, to not able to manage wedding registrations, etc.
"It just hasn't been thought through enough." said a disappointed customer and we agree. This may be caused by the internal friction between Target's marketing and IT department over how the new site should operate, according to Ad Age. But, it is quite embarrassing for one of the largest retailers in the US to have a website that can't support a user-friendly interface. Especially since the company claims to provide "positive shopping experience". Actually it would be embarrassing for any e-commerce site to face this problem. Remember tip #4 in on of our previous blog articles: "Make sure your website actually works, before launching it"? This is one of the consequences that you suffer through with inadequate usability testing and User Acceptance Testing (UAT), and imagine the burden that will ultimately place on your customer service team, potential brand erosion, and sales and profit.
If you are facing a similar problem, don't hesitate, pick up your phone and contact FiG today to get it fixed!