Report: Target.com Is A Glitchy Mess

After a decade under the Amazon.com roof, Target finally took over its own e-commerce site in late August. And while the retailer has made headlines ever since, they haven’t exactly been good news for Target.

Over at Ad Age, they take a look at the wide range of issues that customers have complained about in the few weeks since Target.com relaunched.

“Broken links, missing baby and wedding registries, and carts with a mind of their own are just a few of Target’s problems,” writes Ad Age, who also detail the internal friction that has developed during the last two years between the company’s marketing and technology departments over how the new site should operate.

Regardless of which side won out, the new Target.com is irking an awful lot of customers. First there was the launch of Missoni for Target which crashed the new site as shoppers looked to gobble up the bargain goodies.

But, writes Ad Age, “The buzz tied to the Missoni launch and the problems it created at Target.com acted as a smokescreen of sorts, drowning out those consumers having unrelated problems.”

After that smoke cleared and it became obvious that the problems on Target.com were no longer related to the Missoni mess, irate shoppers began making their voices heard online, with complaints about everything from not being able to zoom in on photos to not actually being able to purchase items.

From AdAge.com:

[O]n Facebook, a bride-to-be relayed disappointment at having received doubles and triples of items at her shower, because her registry wasn’t being updated. Likewise, a mom-to-be complained that, with her baby shower just two weeks away, she was unable to even access her registry. Dozens of consumers on Facebook and Twitter reported receiving error messages when trying to check out, as well as difficulty creating new-user logins and passwords. A quick tour of the site revealed a number of broken links and prominently placed “out of stock” items in search results. Links on a page promoting dresses didn’t work, though a link to shoes did. And several attempts to place a pair of jeans into the shopping cart were unsuccessful.

And we’ve written two stories in the last few weeks about shoppers having trouble with Target.com. First, there was the reader who complained at the site’s PayPal policy and then there was the reader who keeps getting phantom debit card charges from Target.com.

While a Target rep wouldn’t comment on specific problems, it did issue a lightweight statement to Ad Age.

“Target strives to deliver an exceptional guest experience in our stores and online,” writes the retailer. “Our new Target.com site is intended to be reflective of Target’s brand and we sincerely regret that some of our guests have experienced challenges. Target is committed to addressing any concerns that are brought to our attention, and we are working diligently to ensure that the site is operating efficiently.”

What concerns us is that Target referred to the level of traffic that crashed the site during the Missoni incident as “near Black Friday.” We hope Target has everything set up for when Black Friday actually rolls around, or else it could do significant damage to the store’s public image.

Target’s Site Plagued by Glitches, Friction Between Marketing and Tech Teams [AdAge.com]