The website has nothing worth buying

Have you ever gone to the website? I had a couple of Target gift cards from the holidays and there’s no Target store all that close to where I live. So I finally decided to try to use the gift cards online. I had money to burn and could not find anything to spend it on. Maybe that’s the point people have told me. It’s as if Target wants you to go into the store, and by having a less than great user experience to buy something on its website you will be forced to go into the store.

As I’ve noted in prior posts, like many men in know, I am not much of a shopper and am more of a buyer. I go into a store to buy what I need and get out. I act the same way online.

Target is a good operation. The occasions that I’ve been in their store have been positive experiences.
That’s in stark contrast to what I found online. The online selection was skimpy at best and the few things that might have been worth considering were out of stock. I was looking for slippers for instance – the selection was awful. I looked for clothing and again was disappointed. I had heard about Jason Wu as a featured designer for Target. On the Target website every Jason Wu item was out of stock. After about 15 minutes of futile searching I finally gave up.

Let’s assume that I am not the target shopper (sorry I just had to). So maybe I am being overly critical of their online platform but somehow I don’t really believe that. Could their business model really be to have people not want to shop online at all and compel them to go into the store?

Unredeemed gift cards are a big profit center for big box retailers as more than 30% of gift cards go unredeemed. The more I think about it the more I have to admit that the lousy website experience provided by Target (and probably other big box retailers) is completely intentional.

Have you had similar experiences with or other big box retailers? Did it frustrate you like it did me?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
This entry was posted in Brand Advertising, Communication, Customer Experiences, Marketing stuff, Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The website has nothing worth buying

  1. Jeff Wilson says:

    Interesting observation and i would say that its by design. Battling for consumer attention online is a difficult, complex, and endless struggle with experiences ranging from terrible to great.

    In many ways i admire them for not going “all in” online. Smart strategy and while they may lose a few small segments of consumers (let’s be honest, they don’t care about men) they have a huge loyal following of women and moms.

    The in store experience, as you articulated, is almost always positive and they are toying with new ideas such as “stores within a store” now to enhance that experience; make it more personal or boutique-ish.

    You have a great point on unredeemed gift cards and the other big factor is impulse buying; a factor greatly enhanced enhanced in a store environment.

    Cheers and thanks for the post!


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