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Target's website buckles under the pressure of Cyber Monday

Target's website buckles under the pressure of Cyber Monday

Deals & Shopping
November 30, 2015

A number of retail websites have been unable to hold up to the pressure of increased traffic. More consumers have turned to online shopping over 2015’s Black Friday weekend than those who visited brick and mortar stores, according to the National Retail Federation. Now that Cyber Monday deals have hit, it seems that enough of you have been trying to take advantage of Target’s CYBER15 promotion for 15 percent off all orders that the retailer’s website has buckled under the traffic.

According to TechCrunch, Target’s website went down at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 and began displaying an apologetic message to shoppers:

Please hold tight. So sorry, but high traffic’s causing delays. If you wouldn’t mind holding, we’ll refresh automatically & get things going ASAP. Thank you for your patience!

By 10:40 a.m., the site was back up, intermittently, but it’s still having regional outages. At the time of this writing, the page came up quickly. However, when writing my earlier article on Cyber Monday deals, Target’s website was the slowest of all covered retailers.

Historically, Cyber Monday is almost as big, if not bigger, than Black Friday. Consumers return to work on Cyber Monday and then browse online for the deals they weren’t able to find at their local retailers. This year, though, the National Retail Federation reports that 103 million Americans shopped online during Black Friday weekend, compared to only 102 million who shopped in stores.

Target’s outage comes after retailers such as Nieman Marcus, New Egg, HP, Saks, Victoria’s Secret, Shutterfly, and Footlocker all had problems. Online payment gateway PayPal even experienced slowdowns that resulted in many shoppers abandoning their transactions, TechCrunch notes.

It’s interesting, but not surprising, to see so much shopping traffic shift towards online sources. Black Friday brawls and riots are well known, and many people are anxious to find a way to avoid them. Even so, it’s impossible to predict just how much traffic will shift to the Internet, so temporary outages are bound to occur.

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