Could Target Have Avoided its Cyber Monday Systems Shake-up?

Posted by Alex Slotnick on Dec 2, 2015 4:10:19 PM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now come and gone, and in the midst of the holiday's heavy shopping traffic, we hope that everything went smoothly for online retailers and their databases. As we wrote back in October, the days after Thanksgiving are famous for being the most major shopping days of the year, and they allow stores across the country to make enviable profits... if their systems are ready for the huge spikes in traffic. The best way for businesses to prep is to outfit their databases with powerful monitoring tools, so they can address any issues that arise, smoothly and swiftly. 

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Unfortunately, some businesses still hit road bumps. This year, Target was the company that suffered the most serious post-Turkey Day trouble. On Cyber Monday, it was widely reported that Target's website had collapsed under the strain of its increased traffic: a huge percentage of customers complained that the website required them to "wait in line" when they attempted to check-out with particlar items in their cart. Wait in line online? Wired reported that "[a Target] spokeswoman said that while the site hasn’t crashed per se, the company has been 'metering' the site’s traffic since 9am CST, when the company saw its biggest spike. The company would not provide further details about its backend operations." 

And even though Target's issues never imploded into a full-blown site crash, shoppers' frustrations reached such a point that the hashtag #targetfail started to build momentum on Twitter, some tweeters saying that driving to their local store and braving the physical line was a faster altenative than waiting through the slow online queue that Target's website required. 

Cyber Monday wasn't strictly a miss for Target, however: the company broke records for site traffic, more than doubling its prior top numbers. Not bad, though it seems a shame that Target couldn't fully capitalize on its opportunities when the time came.

To learn more about how VividCortex can equip your databases with the tools they need for optimal functionality -- not just during Black Friday weekend, but everyday, all year -- you can start a free trial now.    

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