At around 10 a.m. today, eager Cyber Monday shoppers scoping out Target’s website received a message asking them to “hold tight” due to a record volume of online traffic. The issue was first reported by Catchpoint Systems, which oversees the web performance of various retail sites.
In order to control traffic, Target created a virtual line for customers, gradually giving access to individuals patient enough to wait. Things were still rather hectic even later into the day, as multiple shoppers received apology messages from the retailer, asking them to “try again shortly.” Fortunately, recent reports state that the Target website appears to now be mostly accessible.
“We are seeing an absolutely extraordinary response to our Cyber Monday offer” said Katie Boylan, a spokeswoman for the company. “The traffic, the demand, the orders are just absolutely through the roof.” Target’s website is currently offering 15 percent off all items and free shipping on every order.
Some earlier reports state that the website indeed crashed due to the high volume of traffic, but Jenna Reck (another Target spokeswoman) said that this information was false; she said the company actually purposefully slowed down the site in order to accommodate as many customers as possible.
Reck stated that the volume reached today is “twice as high as our busiest day ever.”
In order to avoid long lines and the hectic nature of holiday shopping in-store, many customers are starting to take their business online, and this year was the 10th anniversary of “Cyber Monday,” which always occurs the first Monday after American Thanksgiving.
Cyber Monday is promoted by online retailers as a day full of incredible bargains. According to numbers provided by the National Retail Federation, online sales are driving holiday profit more so this year than they have in the past.
As evidenced by Target’s situation though, online shopping might not necessarily be as convenient as one might think and the day can prove to be a busy one, akin to Black Friday.