Of all days for a retail Web site to crash, today has to be the worst.
Target.com went out of commission during the high-stakes Cyber Monday selling period, displaying the message: “Please hold tight. So sorry, high traffic’s causing delays. If you wouldn’t mind holding, we’ll refresh automatically & get things going ASAP.”
Miffed consumers took to the Internet to voice their displeasure. Messages included, “Target is totally unprepared for Cyber Monday.” “Omg, how annoying… can’t even get on!” Other shoppers complained about not getting the 15 percent discount at checkout as Target advertised, or finding promoted items sold out or “long lines” for the products.
Target.com was out of commission for about 30 minutes before returning at about 11:10 a.m.
“As a part of our Cyber Week promotion, today for the first time, Target is offering 15 percent off virtually everything online,” a Target spokeswoman said. “Both traffic and order volumes are exceeding Target’s Thursday Black Friday event, which was our biggest day ever for online sales. To help manage the volume, we have been metering traffic to the site. We have teams working diligently to restore target.com to full functionality.”
Target has had issues with Web capacity before. In April, when the retailer launched its Lilly Pulitzer collection there were reports that its Web site had crashed. Target contended that it was simply regulating traffic to the site. The retailer was faced with overwhelming demand for its Missoni collection in 2011 and the Web site buckled under the pressure.
There were reports that Paypal’s site also crashed today. Users said they were unable to pay for items in their baskets on eBay late Sunday night or early Monday morning. The outage is said to have lasted an hour.