A couple of years ago, Target decided to end its arrangement with Amazon. For the last ten years they used Amazon’s e-commerce platform, fulfillment services and web hosting. The outsourcing cost Target a reportedly $100 million in online commissions annually.
So it seemed logical that Target would take their brand and create their own online store.
Establishing a new platform for Target.com allows Target to reinvent our guests’ online environment and create a more user-friendly, reliable experience,” stated Steve Eastman, president of Target.com.
After two years of development, the much anticipated new Target website was launched. At first glance, it seemed a bold new redesign, with product graphics prominently displayed, and category listings easily accessible from the homepage. However, there were numerous features that were not immediately available to the Target online customer. Features like wedding registry, order tracking, and passwords. These “glitches” were ultimately fixed, but the initial user experience was tainted.
In September, three weeks after Target launched its new resigned website, the site crashed and was down for at least four hours. Target had been promoting their exclusive Missoni products, but were unable to handle the amount of web traffic the retail campaign produced.
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Unfortunately, the site was down again for about six hours on October 13th. This latest outage coincides with the departure of Steve Eastman, president of Target.com.
Developing an e-commerce store is complex. While the Target experience seems extreme, it’s not out of the ordinary. There are many things to consider before you launch your website, and providing a user-friendly, reliable experience is expected.