Missoni for Target just launched earlier today and their site crashed. Good thing for me, I was in Vietnam so I was wide awake and on the site right when it went live. So what did I do? I scored myself the awesome Missoni Bike and some other things in two, separate orders at different times! Unfortunately for others, they were either getting too frustrated staying up late and seeing a blank page, or they woke up too late just to be welcomed by Target.com error page. So How did I do it? I installed a browser refresher plugin for Firefox and I let a few pages load automatically every 1 minute while I was doing other things on the Internet. I had the main homepage, Missoni page, Missoni limited items page, and bike page loading in separate tabs. When the site went live, I was exactly where I needed to be. Not to mention that I had already added a few Target items (long and lean Mossimo tank tops) to my shopping cart and had all of my information filled out until the last step of the checkout page — this made it quicker for me to checkout later with the Missoni items because I didn’t have to fill in anymore information. If it wasn’t for my clever Mister Man, I wouldn’t have been so savvy :)
Question of the Day: Do you think Target should have limited the number of items people could purchase online and in stores?
Continue reading to find out how Target could provide a better user-experience for its online users.
So what was all this hype about?
Target has been gearing up for this launch since early Spring of this year. When the news came out that Missoni was collaborating with Target, the fashion blogosphere went haywire! Everyone was talking and blogging about the launch up until today. First, #Missonifortarget was trending on Twitter about the anticipation of the launch and how people were looking forward to it — then, people started to complain about seeing a blank page and not being able to access the Missoni section on Target.com — soon after the live launch, the site crashed. So did Target do this purposely or where they poorly prepared? I think the latter.
Well, by not telling people the time of the live launch, I think Target wanted to avoid their site from getting crashed. Too bad for you Target, you should know by now that “fashionistas” are, if not, the craziest consumers. They will wait in line, they will stay up all night, they will do whatever it takes to get their hands on some luxury, limited items — especially when it’s affordable and from a well-known, high-end fashion house! Either way, the website still crashed.
What could Target have done to be better prepared?
- Announce the time of its launch. People stayed up all night and became frustrated not knowing when the launch was. This left a bad user-experience and got people complaining all throughout social media. Perhaps this was done on purpose just like what Jex Wexler, manager of a fashion consultancy agency, was hinting to in his quote on a Forbes article about Target’s Missoni madness.
- Have its servers be geared up for the launch. Target.com should have known about the anticipation and how thousands of people would inundate its site. For the site to crash moments after the launch, people were even more frustrated — especially the ones that stayed up all night or the ones that woke up early and ditched work or school for it.
- @TargetStyle should have been all night answering peoples’ questions and complaints to avoid misunderstanding. Next time, keep someone awake to answer all @TargetStyle and @Target questions in regards to the launch. This will help them stay a little more patient and be less frustrated.
- Set up a @MissoniforTarget Twitter account so that people can go there too since it was one of the most trending hash tag (#) for this particular launch. This would have made it easier for Target to answer Missoni questions vs. general questions from people who were not trying to access the Missoni collection.
- Do not place the “Missoni for Target is here” banner at the top of the site when it really wasn’t available yet. This banner totally misled people so it made them upset that they kept seeing a blank Missoni page. Instead, Target.com should let people know that it should be “coming soon” or “coming in a few minutes so hold on tight” or “currently loading up Missoni items, check back in a few minutes.” Also, next time Target.com should have a better landing page available than a blank Missoni page — again, bad user experience.
- If you’re going to put up all of your products, make sure that your photos are all working. When I clicked on the small thumbnails to get different views of the product, the image was not available! Again, bad user experience.
- If you say Free Shipping, then mean it! After checking out a few Missoni items to purchase, I was still charged for shipping. Each item had already said “free shipping with orders over $50.” My order was over $50. I will
- If you’re going to email your customers about delayed shipments and tell them go check out a link to approve the shipment, make sure there’s actually an option to approve it on the order details page.
- Improve your process for users to check their order details on Target.com. In order for me to check the status of my order, I must click on the link of my email from Target and I’m taken to a page where the order number has already been entered for me so what’s left is for me to enter my email. After I enter my email, I’m taken to a page that say I must check my email to get the link to access the order details page. How inefficient is this?
So, the next time anyone thinks about hyping up a launch, be prepared… really prepared.
Or you know what would’ve been cool? If Target used Ikea’s Showroom idea and did something similar — this would’ve created a lot of hype and it would have been a much more positive, social media experience for users.
Even with all of the complaints and disgruntled women who couldn’t get what they wanted from Missoni for Target, this was a very successful collaboration due to all of the hype and press. I would be curious to see what the sales figures are from this partnership.
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something from this post in regards to creating hype and launching new products online.
- Hong Vo
PS. Here are the lovely items I was able to snag on Target.com :)
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