Hit and Miss: Target Fails To Achieve Their Target on Cyber Monday


Cyber Monday has come and gone but for some online retailers, it hadn’t really arrived. How? As the clock struck its midnight hour, big online retailers such as Target were close to going offline as their website’s traffic couldn’t bear the brunt of holiday shoppers that showed up (not unexpectedly) to avail the retailer’s Cyber Monday bargains.

Their Incredible Sales Strategy Played a Big Role in Its Downfall

To increase sales and traffic simultaneously, the retailer had to offer a 15% discount for any and all purchases that were to be made through the site. In theory, this sales strategy could have worked far better in any other day than Cyber Monday because just shortly after 10 a.m., Target started to experience problems with their servers. This technical issue was later solved (temporarily) by placing customers who had already purchased orders in a virtual queue so that they won’t lose their orders after refreshing the page.

Issued an Apology to Shoppers, Blaming ‘Technical Difficulties’

Following this incident, the company took to its Twitter page and posted an apology to the masses that couldn’t avail the incredible Cyber Monday deals on offer. One thing of note, which the statement mentioned as well, was the heavy traffic that they experienced on Thanksgiving. This day will now be remembered as the single busiest day as customer traffic was estimated to be twice as heavy as compared to Cyber Monday. So, in effect Target didn’t lose their target after all!

Security Analysts Say This Is Part of the Process, Better to Get Used To It

Apart from Target, other very big names in the retail industry also took a big hit on Cyber Monday when their servers crashed; or in the most glaring of cases, when PayPal refused to work resulting in many customers being unable to pay for their purchases.

The disruptions for these (Victoria Secret, Neiman Marcus) came at a very critical time, i.e. when massive sales was a given but there’s yet more to come according to analysts.

A Huge Shift in Thinking of Consumers Regarding Online Shopping

According to estimates made by the National Retail Federation, more that 121 million people (approx.) planned to partake in the online shopping fun on Cyber Monday. While we can attribute this impressive figure to the amazing deals and promotions that consumers can avail due to Cyber Monday, we have still seen a gradual shift from brick and mortar stores to online shopping.

Despite the popularity of online shopping, retailers can’t seem to get out from the myriad of difficulties faced when it comes to effectively running an online store. According to Ian Trump, Security Lead at LogicNow, ‘The web code behind websites and apps has become even more complex than before, and only a few companies that are worth billions are able to get it right”.

This situation while being embarrassing for giant retailers won’t stop holiday shoppers from trying to get what they want, which begs the question: are online retailers ready to tackle the growing demand for mobile and online purchasing head on? Keeping in mind, such issues are likely to crop up in future events.

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Hit and Miss: Target Fails To Achieve Their Target on Cyber Monday
Now that we've survived another Black Friday, there are only hours to recover before the next big shopping holiday of the year, Cyber Monday. The upcoming online bargain day differs from its older sibling in several ways, including more online sales but fewer consumers using mobile devices to do their buying.