When a retailer launches a new line, media coverage is usually more than welcome. But in the case of Target’s new Missoni line, the more than 200 headlines found literally around the world could have had a better message. These reports all focused on how the large retailer’s e-commerce site, which recently switched from an Amazon back-end to one that’s proprietary, crashed under the heavy traffic.
Target was not prepared for the customer demand for this limited-edition designer line, and the e-commerce site was down for approximately 12 hours. The line’s launch – and the site’s crash – was preceded by amped up publicity for the line, leading to starlets discussing their interest in specific items on Twitter before the line was available. Of course, unhappy Target.com shoppers went to Twitter as well when they couldn’t access the website once these items were for sale.
While Target says this specific demand was unprecedented, dwarfing the traffic they get even on Black Friday, it is important for e-commerce websites to be prepared. Knowing the marketing push behind the Missoni line and the interest it was generating in social networks, Target should have taken steps to ensure the website would work as if it were any other day.
At Blueport, when we know one of our clients’ e-commerce sites will be getting extra traffic due to an incredible sale or promotion, we take steps in advance to be sure the websites can handle the onslaught of traffic. For example, when one of our clients ran a Living Social daily deal, our IT Operations department took action so the user experience was not affected in any way.
When your company plans a spectacular event, make sure that the event is as spectacular online as it is offline. And this becomes even more important as the holiday shopping season approaches. Online retailers should take the steps now to be sure their websites will be able to do what they need them to do this holiday season – and that’s selling merchandise.
- Get Your E-Commerce Website Ready for Daily Deals
- E-Commerce and the Dangers of Downtime -- Especially with the Holidays Approaching
- How Does Your E-Commerce Shopping Software Manage Stock-Outs?
Copyright 2010, Official Blog of Blueport Commerce